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Anna Wallace
Interim Marketing and Communications Manager
CASE Europe
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Pam Russell
director of communications


For Immediate Release
12 September 2012

CASE Europe Statement on the Publication of the Review of Philanthropy in Higher Education

LONDON—CASE Europe welcomes the Review of Philanthropy in Higher Education, launched today, as a timely analysis of the achievements of the UK higher education philanthropic community during the past eight years since the influential Thomas Report, Increasing Voluntary Giving to Higher Education. Considerable improvements in fundraising performance (with more than £550 million raised annually from philanthropy to higher education) and growing professionalism have benefited the sector.[1]

Today's review sets ambitious new targets for the sector to achieve during the next 10 years: £2 billion funds raised from 640,000 donors by 2022 (a potential increase of 72 percent and 68 percent on current levels respectively), including elevating the giving participation rate from alumni of public universities to 5 percent, up from 1.2 percent in 2010-11.

Kate Hunter, Executive Director of CASE Europe, commented:

"CASE Europe supports all of the review's recommendations in working towards further embedding a culture of giving to higher education in this country. This is no small task, but one which the sector and CASE Europe relishes: institutions and fundraising professionals can and will reach higher goals, raising more funds that will ultimately impact students and others who benefit from university research and teaching."

In response to the review, CASE Europe identifies the following areas as being a key focus for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and its members in the years ahead:

  • Increased significance of advancement in universities' strategic agenda
  • Firmly establishing educational fundraising as a profession and growing the workforce development opportunities within this field, looking from within and outside the sector for sustainment and increased robustness
  • Communicating the charitable status of universities and the importance of supporting these institutions for the public good

CASE Europe is the leading membership and training body for UK education advancement professionals and has played an important part in the sector's progress and achievements during recent years, notably providing invaluable support and training for the English and Welsh Matched Funding for Voluntary Giving schemes on behalf of HEFCE and HEFCW.

The pivotal role of academics and leaders in taking advancement to the next level

The review recommends that university governing bodies strengthen their competence and understanding of institutional advancement, given the importance of institutional leadership in successful philanthropic fundraising.

"We endorse the importance of leadership from within institutions for successful fundraising and will continue our high-level training for vice-chancellors, deans, academic leaders and members of governing bodies to raise awareness and skills so that they can support their university's fundraising efforts," said Hunter.

The review's emphasis on advancement rather than fundraising alone indicates that, whether integrated or not, the disciplines of marketing, alumni relations, communications and fundraising are inter-dependent and must work together as they are linked to the definition of a successful institution. CASE represents all these professions and provides resources and training across the advancement spectrum.

Workforce development and fundraising as a profession

The review notes the marked increase in professionalism within UK educational fundraising. CASE Europe has worked with HEFCE in delivering training and support for the effective Matched Funding Schemes.

The number of UK HE fundraisers has tripled during the past six years. The 1,101 full-time employees, with 496 FTE in alumni relations (a 6 percent rise in both fields year on year), demonstrates  that the number of staff and size of budget devoted to fundraising and alumni relations correlates directly to fundraising performance.[2]

"The UK has seen a rise in home-grown experience during the last eight years, however recruitment issues remain and skilled senior fundraising professionals are in short supply. CASE Europe has schemes addressing both entry-level recruits and offering continued professional development for our members. The CASE-HEFCE Graduate Trainee Programme has been successful at growing more of our own advancement talent and is now in its fourth year. We also offer a mentoring programme on our Career Central website," said Hunter.

Promote public understanding of universities as good causes

The review highlights that the promotion of public understanding of universities as good causes delivering social impact will help grow the culture of giving to higher education. The annual Universities Week campaign is gaining increasing public recognition.

"We support the review's desire to promote the public understanding of universities as good causes delivering social impact and urge government to reinstate the Gift of Knowledge communications campaign as a mechanism to change attitudes and behaviours regarding giving to universities," said Hunter.

CASE Europe also runs an awards programme that publically recognises the outstanding achievements of emerging and distinguished development professionals in advancing education across Europe.

"The continuation of progress and commitment to these endeavours will help to grow the culture of philanthropy for education in the UK, making giving to universities something that ordinary people-especially graduates-do," said Hunter.

[1] The Ross-CASE survey 2010-11

[2] The Ross-CASE survey 2010-11

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  1. The Review of Philanthropy in Higher Education can be found on the HEFCE web-site at www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/rereports/year/2012/philanthropyreview/

    The review of philanthropy was set up in January 2012 by HEFCE to address the next decade's challenges in increasing voluntary giving to higher education. The review was chaired by Professor Shirley Pearce, former Vice‑Chancellor of Loughborough University. The other review members were:
    • Nick Blinco, Director of Development and Alumni Relations, University of Birmingham
    • Rory Brooks, Founder, Rory and Elizabeth Brooks Foundation
    • Professor Sir Richard Trainor, Principal, King's College London
    • Martin Williams, Director of Higher Education Strategy, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
  2. Fundraising consultancy, More Partnership, was commissioned by HEFCE to produce the report following review of data and relevant literature, interviews with institutions and donors, and an open consultation with stakeholders.
  3. 2004 Thomas Report on Voluntary Giving
  4. 2010-11 Ross-CASE Survey The Ross-CASE survey 2010-11 is carried out annually by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) on behalf of the Ross Group and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) in Europe.
  5. HEFCE Matched Funding for Voluntary Giving scheme
  6. Find out more about CASE Europe at: www.case.org/europe
Shirley Pearce, Eric Thomas, David Willetts, Minister for Higher Education and Rory Brooks

Eric Thomas, Shirley Pearce, Rory Brooks and David Willetts, Minister for Higher Education, at the Pearce review launch.

About CASE Europe

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in London, Singapore and Mexico City, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education is the professional organization for advancement professionals who work in alumni relations, communications, fundraising, marketing and other areas.

CASE is one of the largest nonprofit education associations in terms of institutional membership. Its membership includes more than 3,400 colleges, universities, independent elementary and secondary schools, and educational associates in 74 countries around the world. It serves nearly 65,000 advancement professionals on the staffs of its member institutions.

CASE helps its members build stronger relationships with their alumni and donors, raise funds for campus projects, produce recruitment materials, market their institutions to prospective students, diversify the profession and foster public 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.