Voluntary Support of Education Survey
Council for Aid to Education
Report The Council for Aid to Education conducts the annual Voluntary Support of Education (VSE) Survey, which collects data on private giving to U.S. higher education and private K-12 schools. In addition to a print report, a database called the VSE Data Miner allows subscribers to interact with 300 data variables and create custom reports. Variables include total giving, alumni participation, deferred and bequest giving, and capital purpose and current operations gifts, among others. CASE co-sponsors the annual VSE Survey and encourages members to participate.
Using the VSE to Benchmark Your Fundraising Efforts (free webinar)
Ann Kaplan and Germaine Brandt Elkins for CASE
Online Seminar The Voluntary Support of Education (VSE) survey is considered to be the authoritative source for annual data on private giving to higher education and K-12 independent schools in the United States. This March 2013 recording provides an introduction to completing the survey, shows ways institutions can use VSE data and the Data Miner tool to benchmark and improve their fundraising, and offers insights about the most recent data on private giving to community colleges. Note: The recording lasts for 54 minutes and starts about five minutes into the presentation.
Office Space: Prime Time
CURRENTS Article This column discusses how and why annual giving has grown more sophisticated and more important at higher education institutions in the past couple of decades as well as the challenge of engaging alumni in a weak economy amid rising college costs and student loan debt.
Grooming Students to Give
CURRENTS Article The success of Rochester Institute of Technology's Campaign Day event in 2006 led staff to modify it and make it a campuswide annual fund kickoff event, Raise Our Annual Responses Day.
Introduction to Annual Giving
Product This webinar reviews the key elements of a successful annual giving program. It starts with the basics concepts and philosophies of annual giving, works its way through the tools available to annual giving teams and finishes by discussing how to build a program positioned for long-term success. While the session is intended for newcomers, the ideas and information shared can benefit professionals at all levels. This multimedia file is a recording of a webinar presented Oct. 30, 2012.
Creating a Sophisticated Annual Giving Program
Product This multimedia file is a recording of a webinar presented June 20, 2013.
The Debt Threat
CURRENTS Article A young alumnus would like to give to the annual fund, but his student loan debt is holding him back. What can advancement do to address this burgeoning problem?
Five-Week Annual Fund
Product This webinar looks at the success realized by the Fay School since it implemented a five-week model for its family annual fund in 2009: three years of 100 percent family participation and 103 percent increase in revenue. This webinar focuses on aligning core philosophies with strategy and walks through Fay’s implementation as a case study of shortening the solicitation cycle to promote the natural cultivation of donors. This multimedia file is a recording of a webinar presented Nov. 1, 2012.
Nonprofits Say Annual Giving Revenue, Donor Numbers Grew in FY2011
Article Nearly 70 percent of respondents to a new survey on annual giving say their organizations raised more during fiscal year 2011 compared to 2010, and more than 60 percent say they saw an increase in the number of donors.
Ross-CASE Survey of Gifts and Costs of Voluntary Giving to Higher Education in the UK
National Centre for Social Research on behalf of the Ross Group and CASE
Report This annual survey of gift revenue and fundraising costs is carried out to measure the philanthropic performance of UK higher education and further education institutions. It is the only source of data on this subject in the UK and enables institutions to benchmark with peers. It also provides an estimate of the overall impact of philanthropy on the higher education sector. The Ross-CASE Survey site provides information about the survey and findings from 2011-12 (published 11 April 2013) and previous years.
Turning Community College Alumni into Donors
Article The advancement staff at the Community College of Baltimore County in Maryland—where alumni donations increased 89 percent in one year—has discovered practices that turn alumni into donors.
VSE Report: Increase in Giving is “Welcome News,” CASE Says
Article Donors contributed $30.3 billion to higher education in 2010-11, according to the recently released results of the annual Voluntary Support of Education Survey. The 8.2 percent increase is welcome news, says CASE President John Lippincott.
Class Show Offs
CURRENTS Article The Baylor School in Tennessee tackles the challenge of illustrating annual fund progress for each grade and spurs some good-natured schoolwide competition in the process.
Office Space: The True Measure of Loyalty
CURRENTS Article This article looks at the importance of benchmarking and assessing your annual fund program in order to improve your rate of donor retention and to create true donor loyalty, not just participation, by getting and keeping donors engaged in meaningful ways with your institution.
New Segmentation Model for Annual Giving
Product This seminar looks at how San Francisco State took a new approach to donor research by using a new model for framing and categorizing the attitudes, motivations and giving behaviors of more than 2,000 alumni. It then successfully used the research data to classify their alumni, inform their existing segmentation strategies and tailor communications to each segment. The session includes a high-level review of the study, which revealed three distinct donor types (Champions, Friends and Acquaintances), and provides an in-depth look at the unique attributes of each group. This multimedia file is a recording of a webinar originally presented Feb. 9, 2012.
Mobilizing a Volunteer Team for Your Community College Annual Fund Campaign
Product This webinar discusses how the Los Rios Community College District mobilized a group of volunteers to conduct a successful annual fund campaign. The team of 12 volunteers raised $40,000 in two weeks. Handouts include contains agendas, job descriptions, scripts and other items needed to run a successful volunteer appeal at a two- or four-year institution with limited staff and resources.This multimedia file is a recording of a webinar originally presented Oct. 4, 2011. It is part 1 of a three-part Community College Webinar series.
Direct Mail, Phonathons and Class Agents for the 21st Century
Product This webinar looks at how some top independent schools are enhancing their annual fund programs by increasing participation, productivity and dollars raised with their direct-mail plans, class agent programs and phonathons. The session is designed for annual fund directors and their teams at institutions of any size and type. This webinar discusses the strategic questions that need to be asked in order to develop and advance philanthropic relationships. This multimedia file is a recording of a webinar originally presented Oct. 20, 2011.
Creating a Sophisticated Annual Giving Program
Online Seminar This session will help you create expectations beyond the standing annual giving program, to a sophisticated annual giving-advancement pipeline.
Learn to Run a Successful Volunteer Annual Fund Blitz
Article Last spring, the two-person advancement staff at Los Rios Community College District mobilized volunteers for an annual fund campaign that raised more than $40,000 in two weeks. In October 2011, officials behind the campaign will host a webinar on how to launch a similar campaign with limited staff and resources.
Special Topics in Annual Giving: Matching Gifts
Conference This conference is designed for newcomers to the advancement profession and professionals with mid-level responsibility.
Successful Annual Giving Strategies
Conference Examine the principles and philosophies of annual giving and tackle the basics of segmentation, messaging, ask amounts and analytics—all in light of current conditions and best practices. You will consider the role of special campaigns, leadership gifts and more.
Innovations in Annual Giving 3.0: The Online Annual Fund
Product This webinar looks at how social media has changed the annual giving paradigm. The speaker gives examples of multimedia annual giving programs from a range of educational institutions and demonstrates how institutions are adapting their traditional goals to meet the reality of online annual giving. This multimedia file is a recording of a webinar presented May 24, 2011.
Setting an Example
CURRENTS Article When annual giving by faculty and staff at St. Catherine's School in Virginia reached 100 percent, parents noticed the commitment and increased their giving despite the uncertain economy.
VSE Report: U.S. Donors Show Steady Commitment to Education
Article While giving to colleges and universities during the 2009-10 fiscal year didn't increase as much as anticipated, donors continued to "demonstrate their commitment to higher education with $28 billion in private support during the slow climb out of the recession," says CASE President John Lippincott in response to the Voluntary Support of Education Survey results.
CURRENTS Article In an interview with CURRENTS, London South Bank University's head of annual giving, Ullysses Tucker, talks about the challenges of starting an annual giving program from scratch and the differences between fundraising at universities in the United Kingdom versus those in the United States.
The Small Net
CURRENTS Article In spring 2010, Amherst College explored the possibility of using text-to-give technology as a method by which donors could contribute to the school's annual fund but ultimately decided that the costs exceeded the benefits. Amy Bovaird, associate director of Amherst's annual fund, explains why they decided not to use it but also discusses emerging technology that may work in the future.
El pan nuestro de cada día
CURRENTS Article Por qué la colecta anual sigue siendo la base para el éxito de la recaudación de fondos.
Bread and Butter
CURRENTS Article Giving experts and institutional fundraisers argue that annual giving is the bedrock of development success. They make the case for investing in best practices for annual giving today as a foundation for the major gift program of the future.
Toast of the Town
CURRENTS Article The Catholic University of America nearly doubled its annual fund between the years of 2004 and 2008 by strategically revamping its appeals and by fully engaging a team of alumni volunteers who became "the face of philanthropy" for the Washington, D.C., institution. A sidebar tells how Harley School, a private independent day school in Rochester, N.Y., gave its annual giving program a makeover in less than five years.
The Giving Gap
CURRENTS Article Some of the circumstances that keep alumni giving participation rates low at public institutions cannot be changed. But what circumstances can be changed? In this story, various public universities share strategies that helped them to increase alumni participation and giving.
Advance Work: Tweet and Greet
CURRENTS Article The University of Leeds uses Twitter to communicate about its annual fund drive. Student phonathon callers tweet about the nightly results and other information of note.
The Annual Fund: A Building Block for Fund Raising
Henry A. Rosso; introduction by Robert Schwartzberg, for the School of Philanthropy at Indiana University
Article This article, pre-course reading for the School of Philanthropy at Indiana University, introduces basic fundraising concepts and their relationship to the annual fund.
VSE Survey Shows Sharp Drop in 2009 Giving to U.S. Colleges, Universities
Article Charitable contributions to colleges and universities in the United States declined 11.9 percent to $27.85 billion, an indication that the impact of the recession on donors and the institutions they support was “even greater than anticipated,” according to CASE President John Lippincott.
CURRENTS Article Direct mail isn't dead yet, but institutions can't do business as usual. This article explores how some institutions are learning how to integrate e-mail, Facebook, and other Web tools into their annual fund appeals.
The Big Match and... Twitter
Article The University of Leeds is using Twitter to make its annual fund campaign more interactive and to promote the advantages of the UK government’s £200million matched funding scheme.
Ross-CASE Survey Shows Increased Higher Ed Giving Prior to Worst of the Recession
Article Giving to universities in the United Kingdom grew by 28 percent to £682 million in 2007-2008, according to the Ross-CASE Survey.
Advance Work: Cultivating Cocky Behavior
CURRENTS Article The University of South Carolina created an annual giving campaign that appeals to young alumni.
More Innovations in Annual Giving: Ten Global Departures That Worked
Product This book shares best practices in annual giving from 10 institutions from around the world. Includes examples of direct-mail pieces, web pages, brochures, postcards and other annual giving communications.
Harvard-Westlake School: Gold Award
Best Practice Harvard-Westlake School implemented a number of strategies to improve its 2006-2007 annual giving program. As a result, the program met its goals and exceeded $6,000,000 in gifts, showed increased individual giving and showed increased participation rates.
CURRENTS Article This article gives in-depth profiles of eight of the 2008 CASE Circle of Excellence Award winners. These winners were chosen to represent a wide range of types of institution as well as each aspect of advancement: fundraising, alumni relations, communications and marketing, and advancement services.
Cinderella Doesn't Live Here
CURRENTS Article The annual fund is the most obvious place to go looking to develop your major gifts, but it is also the most overlooked. Here are concrete strategies for building your pipeline.
Postcard from Puebla
CURRENTS Article When an institution in Mexico needs to find the correct way to begin an annual giving program, they discover their answers in corporate sponsorships of scholarships.
Annual/Regular Giving Programs: The College of New Jersey - Gold Medal
Best Practice The College of New Jersey embarked on an aggressive campaign called "Target 10,000." The goals were to increase alumni participation in the annual fund by at least 1,000 gifts in the first year and to 10,000 gifts within three years, increase online donations by at least 10 percent, and establish a peer-to-peer solicitation program.
Community College Advancement: Annual Giving
Product The steps outlined in this paper are intended to help community colleges establish an annual fund or give an existing program a boost. Includes 10 ways to motivate annual gifts and a look at problems and pitfalls of annual giving programs. This is one of a series of electronic papers written for and by community college development professionals. The series covers annual giving, planned giving, total resource development, public-private partnerships and the role of the president in advancement.
Never Say Never
CURRENTS Article Is it worth the development office's time and money to keep soliciting those with no history or a dormant history of giving to alma mater? What are the pros and cons of continually trying to build relationships with inactive prospects? Experts say institutions should never completely abandon their never-givers, but should have realistic expectations for return on investment.
Innovations in Annual Giving: Ten Departures that Worked
Product This book examines imaginative and successful annual giving and annual fund programs at 10 leading colleges, universities and schools around the world. Readers gain clear and practical insights into reasons for the success of these programs.
Career Path: Out of the Shadows
CURRENTS Article Annual giving jobs are no longer mere stepping stones to major gift positions. Instead, annual fund professionals are gaining new respect for their skills with statistics, data mining, market research, customer and volunteer relations, and more. This Career Path column is of interest to annual giving professionals, development managers, and major gift officers.
Making Peace between Annual and Major Gifts
CURRENTS Article The difference between annual and major gifts lies more in their purpose and their relationship to the donor’s capacity than in their actual dollar amount. To ensure that the annual and major gift programs work together successfully, development leaders must articulate clear donor strategies, use the annual fund to feed the major donor program, and promote the “dual ask”--the practice of asking major donors for continuing annual fund gifts.
Outgrowing the Annual Fund
CURRENTS Article Top-level annual donors deserve special attention to maintain their commitment. It’s often best to manage these donors within the annual fund office, but with special cultivation and stewardship methods such as in-person solicitation visits, personal letters, special events, gift clubs, and volunteer opportunities on campus boards or committees. Strategies such as challenge gifts can encourage them to increase their annual donations, and some of them will eventually make major gifts.
AdvanceWork: Testing Assumptions
CURRENTS Article One university's challenge to annual giving beliefs provides insight into ask amounts.
Annual Giving: A Practical Approach
Product This thorough overview of both the theory and practice of annual giving provides innovative concepts and specific tactics that cover every aspect of annual fund programs. Offers ideas for newcomers as well as veteran fundraisers at schools, colleges or universities to formulate new approaches or rethink a program.
Proceed According to Plan
CURRENTS Article Development officers often don’t create a strategic plan for the annual fund. But doing so can help them develop goals and strategies, plan budgets and timelines, set priorities, built awareness, prevent interference, and create continuity even amid staff turnover. The author outlines the approaches six institutions take to drawing up a strategic plan.
World-Class Annual Funds
CURRENTS Article Wondering how you might broaden your annual fund campaign to include prospects outside the United States? Consider these tips: 1) target those countries where your alumni are most concentrated; 2) follow your campus’ strengths by targeting countries where faculty already possess expertise; and 3) focus on building ties with parents. How can you keep overseas prospects connected to your institution? Consider establishing an alumni association just for alumni in a particular part of the world, and encourage volunteers with overseas connections to get involved. When communicating about the importance of philanthropy, remember that approaches to natives of other countries and U.S. expatriates need to be different. When wondering if you should use English in all correspondence, use English if you teach in English.