About CASE

Pam Russell
director of communications


For Immediate Release

Statement on the Results of the 2011 Voluntary Support of Education Survey

Statement by CASE President John Lippincott

The 8.2 percent increase in giving to U.S. colleges and universities during the 2010-11 academic year is welcome news that affirms the optimism that we have been hearing from CASE members.

The total of $30.3 billion is not quite back to the pre-recession peak of $31.6 billion, but we may see the record matched or surpassed in the next couple of years depending upon the economy.

Giving for capital purposes rose much more rapidly than giving for current operations. This is consistent with historical patterns, as capital giving tends to track the stock market, while giving for current operations tracks more closely with growth in the GDP (gross domestic product).

We're delighted to see the modest but real increases in giving from alumni after two years of decline. Direct donations from alumni accounted for a quarter of all giving to education for the year. Since some alumni make gifts through family foundations or donor-advised funds, actual giving from alumni is likely to be even higher.

It's not surprising that institutions with strong fundraising traditions account for a relatively large percentage of total gifts. Other colleges and universities can emulate this success over time by maintaining or reinforcing their commitment to fundraising and alumni and donor engagement.

Given the continued decline in state support for higher education and the importance of maintaining affordability, it's worthwhile to remind ourselves that private giving represents less than 6 percent of a public institution's operating expenses, on average, according to the CASE Advancement Investment Metrics Study. For private institutions, the figure is less than 15 percent. While philanthropy remains a critically important resource as institutions seek to increase educational quality and opportunity, it is not a replacement for funding from other sources.

Regardless, the fundraising program remains one of the best investments an institution can make, returning on average nearly $6 for every dollar invested, according to the AIMs study results. The return will vary by institution based on the maturity of its fundraising program, its donor base, campaign status and many other factors, but the key is that the return starts with the investment.

The VSE survey is voluntary and requires participants to report their numbers following the CASE Reporting Standards & Management Guidelines for Educational Fundraising, 4th edition. The reporting standards are also the basis of the annual CASE survey on educational fundraising campaigns.

About CASE

CASE believes in advancing education to transform lives and society. As a global nonprofit membership association of educational institutions, CASE helps develop the communities of professional practice that build institutional resilience and success in challenging times. The communities include staff engaged in alumni relations, fundraising, marketing, student recruitment, stakeholder engagement, crisis communications and government relations. CASE is volunteer-led and uses the intellectual capital of senior practitioners to build capacity and capability across the world.

CASE has offices in Washington, D.C., London, Singapore and Mexico City. Member institutions include more than 3,700 colleges and universities, primary and secondary independent and international schools, and nonprofit organizations in 82 countries. CASE serves nearly 88,000 practitioners. For more information about CASE, please visit www.case.org.