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Joanna Motion

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Feb. 15, 2007

UK Government Challenge Set to Double University Fundraising

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) today welcomed the matching gifts programme announced by UK Prime Minister Tony Blair as part of an ongoing strategy to build a culture of private donations to universities in England.

The prime minister today outlined his vision for greater involvement by university alumni and other philanthropists in higher education funding by matching donations to universities in England with public funds.

“An injection of new money into our universities on this scale will be invigorating,” said Joanna Motion, CASE’s vice president for international operations, based in London. “It could double the current level of fundraising by universities within three years.

“The link between a university’s ability to attract external support and its reputation is increasingly evident,” Motion added. “The government is giving a timely boost to the international competitiveness of universities in England through this imaginative proposal.”

A recent CASE report on matched funding programmes around the world, commissioned by the Sutton Trust, showed that ‘challenge funding’ can galvanise the readiness of donors to give to universities and increase the professionalism and effectiveness of the institutions in asking for support.

In the past ten years universities in the UK have shown renewed commitment to fundraising, investing in development offices staffed by professionals and raising expectations of what can be achieved through the support of alumni and friends. Universities of all kinds and missions are now attracting support for projects such as scholarships in support of widening participation, cutting-edge laboratory facilities and endowed professorships.

“UK universities compete globally for students, staff and reputation,” said Peter Slee, deputy vice-chancellor of Northumbria University and chairman of CASE Europe’s Board of Trustees. “This welcome initiative will make an important contribution to those projects and programmes that make a university distinctive and able to compete internationally.

“Further consultation within the higher education sector to fine-tune the proposals will enhance this scheme to help change donors’ attitudes, create greater focus within universities in their fundraising activities, and revitalise the overall philanthropic culture,” Slee added. “CASE will actively support this initiative as Europe’s leading provider of professional education for university fundraising.”

The president of CASE, a worldwide organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., in the United States, applauded the prime minister’s announcement.

“Educational institutions around the world rely on the generosity of donors to create access, expand research, build facilities and grow the economies of their regions,” said John Lippincott.

"By launching this programme, the UK government has made a clear and strong commitment to the principle that both public and private resources are essential to ensuring educational quality, access and affordability,” added the CASE president. “Other nations will undoubtedly take note of this bold and strategic effort.”

About CASE

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education is a professional association serving educational institutions and the advancement professionals who work on their behalf in alumni relations, communications, development, marketing and allied areas.

CASE was founded in 1974 and maintains headquarters in Washington, D.C., with offices in London (CASE Europe, 1994), Singapore (CASE Asia-Pacific, 2007) and Mexico City (CASE América Latina, 2011).

Today, CASE's membership includes nearly 3,700 colleges and universities, primary and secondary independent and international schools, and non-profit organizations in more than 80 countries around the globe. This makes CASE one of the world's largest non-profit educational associations in terms of institutional membership. CASE serves more than 85,000 practitioners.

To fulfill their missions and to meet both individual and societal needs, colleges, universities and independent schools rely on—and therefore must foster—the good will, active involvement, informed advocacy and enduring support of alumni, donors, prospective students, parents, government officials, community leaders, corporate executives, foundation officers and other external constituencies.

CASE helps its members build stronger relationships with all of these constituencies by providing relevant research, supporting growth in the profession and fostering support of education. CASE also offers a variety of advancement products and services, provides standards and an ethical framework for the profession and works with other organizations to respond to public issues of concern while promoting the importance of education worldwide.