About CASE

Pam Russell
Director of Communications


For Immediate Release
Feb. 6, 2014

Educational Fundraisers Predict Continued Growth in Donations in 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Fundraisers at schools, colleges and universities in the United States estimate that donations to their institutions grew 5.1 percent in 2013 and predict additional growth of 5.2 percent in 2014, according to survey results released by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

Conducted twice a year, the CASE Fundraising Index (CFI) 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 5.1 percent growth in donations for 2013 is close to the 5.3 percent growth rate that fundraisers predicted at the beginning of the year, said John Lippincott, president of CASE. He also noted that the 20-year average for year-to-year growth in donations is 5.6 percent.

"I am delighted to see that the estimated rate of growth in giving to education for the year just ended is in line not only with the estimate CASE members offered at the beginning of the year, but also is consistent with the historical rate of growth. This is a clear indication that educational fundraisers are continuing to build strong relationships with current and potential donors," said Lippincott. "In other good news, this estimate leaves very little doubt that we have exceeded the previous high watermark of $31.6 billion in overall giving to education that was set just prior to the recession."

CFI: Rate of change in giving to education, all institutions vs HE institutions only

Lippincott noted that fundraisers at public higher education institutions estimated greater growth in giving for 2013—5.7 percent—than did their counterparts at private institutions, who estimated growth of 4.8 percent.

Fundraisers at public colleges and universities were also more optimistic than their counterparts at private institutions about giving in 2014. Those at public institution predicted growth of 5.6 percent while those at private institutions predicted growth of 4.8 percent.

Fundraisers at community colleges and private independent elementary and secondary schools estimated 3.8 and 5.0 percent growth, respectively, for 2013. Fundraisers at community colleges indicated increased confidence in 2014 by predicting a 5.2 percent growth in giving. Independent schools fundraisers also predicted that giving will grow an estimated 5.4 percent in 2014.

"Survey results indicate that fundraisers are cautiously optimistic for 2014 but obviously they believe there are factors that continue to impact donor confidence," said Lippincott. "The good news is that consumer confidence continues to grow, albeit slowly, and many experts predict that the economy is picking up momentum."

CFI: Rate of change in giving to education, HE institutions and K-12

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 nearly 1,800 CASE-member institutions in the United States conducted during the month of January. The January CFI survey had a response rate of 10.1 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.