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Chua Beng Hwee
Executive Director
CASE Asia-Pacific
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Pamela Russell
Senior Director, Communications



For Immediate Release
September 16, 2015

Charitable Giving to Universities in Australia and New Zealand Grew in 2014

SINGAPORE—Universities in Australia and New Zealand reported significant growth in the number of donors in 2014, according to a report on higher education philanthropic giving in the two countries.

The total number of donors giving to the surveyed Australian and New Zealand universities increased from 41,511 in 2012 to 51,357 in 2014 while the total number of alumni donors at these surveyed institutions grew from 23,896 in 2012 to 31,296 in 2014.

Universities participating in the survey, conducted earlier this year, had more than 2.5 million contactable alumni in 2014. This represents a 12 percent increase from nearly 2.3 million contactable alumni in 2012.

During the three years, the total new funds raised rose by 65 percent from 2012 to 2013.


The Ross-CASE report reveals that total new funds raised through the annual fund1 reached $10.8 million in 2014, an increase of 12 percent compared to 2013.

Sue Cunningham, president of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, says the fundraising progress that institutions in Australia and New Zealand have made during the past three years is significant.

"It is hugely heartening to see a rise in the total number of donors and alumni donors," says Cunningham. "There is an opportunity to reach out to these alumni and build a strong and sustainable donor-centric relationship with them."

Clare Pullar, pro-vice-chancellor (Advancement) of The University of Queensland, and chair of the Committee of Chief Advancement Officers of the Group of Eight, Deakin, RMIT and Auckland universities, agrees that the results are encouraging and says there is reason for optimism among institutions.

"Vice chancellors should be encouraged by these results. In a climate where diversification of funding sources is crucial to the future standing of universities, the role philanthropy can play in enriching the student experience for all students and supporting teaching and research is of increasing significance," says Pullar. "Universities are proving to be very worthwhile places to invest and donors are seeing the impact they make in learning, teaching and research ripple out positively to communities globally."

Chua Beng Hwee, executive director of CASE Asia-Pacific, says the Ross-CASE report is a valuable resource for universities that want to build their advancement operations.

"We continue to grow participation in the survey as institutions realize its value and return on investment," said Chua. "We hope to see even greater participation next year with the goal to extend the survey to the entire Asia-Pacific region in the future."

The report also highlights trends in philanthropic giving within the sector, based on analysis done on data provided for each of the three years (i.e. 2012, 2013 and 2014):

  • The total new funds2 raised in 2014 amounted to AUD$408.5 million, a 36 percent increase over the 2012 total of $300.5 million. Total new funds raised did spike to $495.3 million in 2013, which can partly be attributed to several universities publicly launching major institution-wide philanthropic campaigns with major gifts.
  • In 2014, the institutions collectively received 54 confirmed pledges over $1 million, the highest in the three-year period.
  • The number of cash gifts over AUD$1 million reached its highest point at 42 in 2013, a rise from the 33 cash gifts over AUD$1 million in 2012. However, figures dropped again in 2014, reaching 35 cash gifts over AUD$1 million.
  • The total number of donors and total number of alumni donors grew from 46,769 and 27,316 in 2013 to 51,357 and 31,296 in 2014, respectively.
  • Total annual fund and total cash income3 received by the annual fund both reached their highest points in 2014 at AUD$10.8 million and AUD$10.3 million, respectively.
  • The total investment in fundraising was $53.4 million in 2014, fundraising staff costs and non-staff costs were $40.5 million and $12.9 million, respectively.

Notes to editors


1Annual fund is defined as gifts obtained through mass participation often directed to general operations and/or designated university priorities.

2New funds secured in a year comprises both new single cash gifts and the full value of confirmed new pledges (but excludes any cash payments against pledges secured in previous years). It is often regarded as the best measure of the success of a fundraising programme in any particular year since it captures pledges that will typically be paid up over an agreed period of time (this is very characteristic of larger gifts, in particular).

3Cash income received in a year includes new single cash gifts and cash payments received against pledges secured in previous years

About the Ross-CASE survey ‘Charitable Giving to Universities in Australia and New Zealand'

The Ross-CASE report is annually commissioned by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education in Europe.

This report presents findings from the Charitable Giving to Universities in Australia and New Zealand Survey 2014. The aim of the research is to provide a picture of charitable giving to a group of 19 universities in Australia and New Zealand between 2012 and 2014.

This is the third survey of this kind and participation has increased from 7 to 19 universities from 2012 to 2014.

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.