CASE has undertaken a study of investments in advancement. The study is based on a survey that will be open for data submission every other year. The FY2012 survey has closed and results will be available in 2014. The survey asks a series of questions about funding totals and spending on selected advancement functions to measure return on investment.
The survey was fully launched in 2011 and is based on a pilot AIMS study conducted with 39 institutions in 2009. Following the pilot, the methodology and survey questions were further refined before the launch of the full study.
The specific objectives of AIMS are to:
Benchmark expenses and staffing in advancement (advancement services, alumni relations, communications and marketing, fundraising/development and advancement management/leadership) and to identify variances by type and size of institution, campaign status, staffing and other factors,
Demonstrate the value of advancement to institutions in terms of return on investment and to give members systematic, comparable, well-grounded information for making the case to invest,
Encourage the strategic business use of any resulting fundraising investment data for data-driven planning and decision making in the advancement field,
Develop practical methods and strategies for predicting return on investment that can be used by members when planning and expanding their advancement operations to meet given goals and
Help CASE members articulate the rationale for investing in advancement, assess the effectiveness of their fundraising operations, understand how to interpret resulting numbers and use the information for continuous internal improvement of programs.