About CASE

Pam Russell
Director of Communications


For Immediate Release
Feb. 18, 2015

CASE Fundraising Survey: U.S. Educational Fundraisers Estimate Highest Increase in Giving Since Economic Downturn

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Fundraisers at schools, colleges and universities in the United States estimate that donations to their institutions grew 6.9 percent in 2014, according to survey results released by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. This is the highest estimated growth in donations reported to the CASE Fundraising Index since the year prior to the economic downturn in late 2008.

Conducted twice a year, the CFI survey asks educational fundraising professionals to estimate the level of charitable giving to their institutions for the 12-month period just ended and to predict the level for the 12 months ahead. In addition to fundraising estimates for colleges and universities (public and private, two-year and four-year), the CFI includes estimates for pre-collegiate independent (private) schools.

The estimated 6.9 percent growth is significantly higher than the 5.2 percent growth predicted by fundraisers at the beginning of 2014. It is also higher than the 20-year average for year-to-year growth in actual giving at 5.9 percent.

CFI Feb 2015

"While fundraisers may remain cautiously optimistic with their predictions, donors seem to be sending a clear message that supporting education is important to them, and that they are better able to do so now as the economy continues to improve and become more robust," said John Lippincott, president of CASE.

Among those surveyed, fundraisers at two-year higher education institutions estimated the greatest growth in giving for 2014 at 11.3 percent. Fundraisers at public and private higher education institutions estimated increases of 7.3 percent and 6.3 percent respectively, while independent schools estimated giving growth at 7.4 percent.

Lippincott noted that these latest CFI results clearly indicate that giving to education has recovered following several years of economic uncertainty.

Looking forward, fundraisers at schools, colleges and universities predicted an increase of 5.5 percent in giving in 2015. Private higher education institutions and independent schools were the most optimistic, predicting 6.2 and 6.0 percent increases in giving.

Lippincott stressed that the CFI percentages are averages and that performance at individual institutions will vary based on a variety of factors, such as the maturity of the fundraising program and whether or not the institution is in a campaign.

Lippincott said the CFI is intended to complement work being done by other organizations that provide detailed analyses of giving based on actual results reported several months after the close of the calendar or academic year. It is also intended to help fundraisers set preliminary benchmarks for past and future performance.

The CFI is based on an online survey of senior-level fundraising professionals at more than 1,600 CASE-member institutions in the United States conducted between Jan. 6 and Feb. 4, 2015. The CFI survey had a response rate of 6.1 percent. Results of the CFI since its inception in July 2008 can be found on the CASE website.

The 20-year average growth rate for giving to education is based on the Council for Aid to Education's annual Voluntary Support of Education survey.

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.