About CASE

Chua Beng Hwee
Executive Director Global Engagement
CASE Asia-Pacific

Jon Paparsenos
Vice President, Philanthropy
UNSW Sydney



For Immediate Release
August 23, 2018

CASE Report Reveals Record Growth in Philanthropic Giving to Australian and New Zealand Institutions

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education released a report today that shows record growth in overall fundraising results and increased investment in advancement operations in 2017 among institutions in Australia and New Zealand.

Charitable Giving to Universities in Australia and New Zealand reports that participating institutions say new funds secured1 grew by 15 percent from 2016, reaching AUD650 million in 2017. This is the first time that institutions crossed the AUD600 million mark in the CASE survey's six-year history. Other key findings:

  • Annual fund2 income secured increased by 51 percent at non-Go8 institutions from 2016 to 2017, while Go83 institutions saw an increase of 17 percent during the same time period.
  • Cash income received4 was AUD519 million in 2017, which marks the first time the total amount has crossed the half a billion mark in the history of the survey.
  • Total value of largest cash gifts received by universities increased for the third consecutive year, reaching AUD116 million in 2017, an increase of 36 percent over 2016.

Go8 institutions saw a significant rise in the value of largest gifts, with a 57 percent increase in 2017 over 2016; non-Go8 institutions saw a significant rise in the value of largest non-bequest pledges with a 31 percent increase from 2016 to 2017.

Jon Paparsenos, Chair of the Group of Eight Chief Advancement Officers and Vice President, Philanthropy (Alumni, Engagement & Development) of UNSW Sydney, says that this cultural shift of increase in generosity reflects greater recognition of universities as vehicles for positive change.

"While many institutions are in a state of flux as we navigate how best to strategically engage our alumni community, ongoing research will reveal how our investments in this space will impact on those relationships and subsequent development strategies," says Paparsenos. "I foresee many innovative approaches surfacing in the coming years."

Investments in staffing and overall fundraising activity5 in 2017 were AUD92 million—a 17 percent increase over 2016—while investment in alumni relations staff and activity6 were AUD49 million.

In terms of costs, alumni magazine production and distribution costs decreased for non-Go8 institutions from 2016 to 2017 by 27 percent whereas production and distribution costs for Go8 institutions decreased by 9 percent.

Tricia King, Vice President of Global Engagement for CASE, says that the significant growth in philanthropic success has provided impetus for capacity building.

"Australia and New Zealand are leading the way by achieving remarkable, record-setting levels of philanthropic giving to higher education," says King. "CASE has been impressed by a sector that is growing at a rapid rate. We have enjoyed working to support our communities and their inspirational, ambitious leaders. As a response to meet the growing demand for the upscaling of skills in this region, our CASE Asia-Pacific Advancement Conference will be held in Australia for the first time in 2019."

Paparsenos noted that while participation in the survey has grown during the last six years, he encouraged all institutions to participate in the survey, which is vital in contributing to a more robust dataset.

"This survey provides academic and advancement leaders with an understanding of the investments and outcomes of engagement," says King. "A greater participation rate will contribute to stronger results and enable advancement practitioners to build a better case for support in their work."

The report also highlights trends in philanthropic giving within the higher education sector based on analysis done on data collected from 24 institutions in Australia and one institution in New Zealand over three years (2015, 2016 and 2017), constituting half of the total number of institutions in the region.

Next year's Charitable Giving to Universities in Australia and New Zealand survey is scheduled to be administered in the first half of 2019.

Notes to editors


1 New funds secured: New funding secured by the institution, including new donations received and new confirmed pledges not yet received but excluding payments of pledges made in previous years. This does not include bequest pledges but includes bequest received.

2 Annual funds: Gifts obtained through mass participation often directed to general operations and/or designated university priorities.

3Group of Eight: The Group of Eight (Go8) is a coalition of research-intensive Australian higher education institutions (refer to the Go8 website for further information).

4Cash income received: Income received by the institution including payments received towards pledges made in previous years, excluding new pledges where payment has not been received.

5Investment in fundraising: The costs associated with the efforts to gather new funds secured and cash income received. It includes the cost of the staff (staff expenditure) undertaking the fundraising and the other costs (non-staff expenditure) of running and maintaining the fundraising operations. When the cost of both staff expenditure and non-staff expenditure is combined this equals the total fundraising expenditure.

6Investment in alumni relations: The costs associated with engagement activity with alumni and community, including staff and non-staff expenditure.

About the Charitable Giving to Universities in Australia and New Zealand Survey

The Charitable Giving to Universities in Australia and New Zealand Survey is annually commissioned by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education in Europe. Presenting findings from the Charitable Giving to Universities in Australia and New Zealand Survey 2018, the aim of the research is to provide a picture of charitable giving to a group of 25 universities in Australia and New Zealand between 2015 and 2017.

This is the sixth survey of this kind and participation has increased from eight to 25 universities from 2012 to 2017.

About the CASE Asia-Pacific Advancement Conference

The CASE Asia-Pacific Advancement Conference (APAC) is a four-day conference that equips advancement professionals with vital skills to achieve success in admissions, advancement services, alumni relations, development, fundraising, marketing, communications and related functions. Through a variety of platforms, APAC brings highly relevant topics in the ever-changing landscape of advancement, arming delegates with new knowledge, best practices, and provide opportunities to engage with their advancement community.

Held annually in Singapore or Hong Kong, the conference will head to Australia for the first time in its 12-year history. APAC 2019 happens from 8 - 11 April in Brisbane, covering five programs catering to advancement

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.