About CASE

Pam Russell
director of communications


For Immediate Release
Jan. 19, 2010

Education Fundraisers Predict Growth in Giving for 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Fundraisers for U.S. schools, colleges and universities predict that giving will increase 3.7 percent during 2010, according to survey results released today by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. For 2009, the CASE Fundraising Index estimates that giving declined less than 1 percent from the previous year.

The optimism for 2010 follows a challenging and unpredictable year for donors and fundraisers alike, said CASE President John Lippincott.

CASE Fundraising Index 2010 graph

“Although the estimated decline for 2009 is less than 1 percent overall, we found wide variations in the individual responses. Some institutions reported double digit increases and others double digit declines. A number of factors, including the maturity of an institution’s fundraising operation and the profile of its donor population, contributed to these disparate results,” Lippincott said.

“On the whole, the decline is quite modest given the severity of the economic downturn,” he added. Fortunately, improvements in the gross domestic product and the stock market in the second half of the year appear to have mitigated the negative impact of the global recession on giving to education in 2009.

“The predicted growth in 2010 is indeed a welcome sign,” Lippincott said. “And while the rate of growth is below the average for the last two decades, it nonetheless offers reason for optimism and reassurance that fundraising programs remain one of the best investments an institution can make.”

Lippincott noted that this year’s CFI results suggest that fundraising professionals at private schools and colleges are generally more optimistic about the year ahead than their counterparts at public institutions.

“Private institutions benefit from long traditions of support from their donors,” Lippincott said. “The findings suggest that the rebound from the recession may be slower for institutions that are still building those traditions.”

CASE conducts the CFI twice each year – once at the end of the academic year (July 1-June 30) and once at the end of the calendar year (Jan. 1-Dec. 31).

The first CFI, conducted July 2008, looked back at the 2007-08 academic year and ahead to 2008-09 and provided an early signal that growth in year-to-year giving was slowing down. The second CFI, conducted in January 2009, predicted relatively flat giving for the 2008 calendar year and a decrease of 1.7 percent for the 2009 calendar year. The third CFI, conducted in July 2009, signaled the beginning of optimism following the economic downturn.

Lippincott said the CFI is intended to complement the 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.

“The CFI gives us an early snapshot of the educational fundraising landscape,” Lippincott said. “It is intended to help fundraisers set preliminary benchmarks for their recent performance and set expectations for their future performance. In volatile economic times, it can be an especially useful tool as institutions recalibrate their fundraising expectations.”

The CASE CFI is based on an online survey of senior-level fundraising professionals at more than 2,200 member institutions in the United States conducted Jan. 5-13. The response rate was 7.4 percent.

The survey instrument asks fundraisers to estimate their year-end results and predict their year-ahead performance using a scale made up of three-point ranges. The average annual rate of growth used as the norm for the CFI is based on the 20-year mean for results reported in the Voluntary Support of Education survey issued by the Council for Aid to Education.

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.