About CASE

Pam Russell
director of communications


For Immediate Release
Jan. 31, 2012

Fundraisers Predict Steady Growth in Giving to Education for 2012

Washington, D.C.—Fundraisers for schools, colleges and universities estimate that giving to their institutions grew 4.4 percent in 2011 and will grow an additional 4.6 percent in 2012, according to survey results released by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

The CASE Fundraising Index, or CFI, is conducted twice a year and asks 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.

CASE Fundraising Index Estimate and Forecast Jan 2012

The 4.4 percent growth in giving estimated for 2011 at the end of the year is just over 1 percent lower than the 5.6 percent growth they predicted at its beginning, says John Lippincott, president of CASE. The 20-year average for year-to-year growth in actual giving is 5.6 percent.

"The optimism tied to the improving economy at the beginning of 2011 wasn't quite realized due to the volatility of the markets in the second half of the year," he said.  "While the direction of the economy and its impact on donors is still somewhat unpredictable, the good news is that fundraisers are seeing renewed growth in giving to education after the steep declines driven by the great recession."

Lippincott noted that fundraisers at private colleges and universities estimated greater growth in giving for 2011—5.0 percent—than did their counterparts at public institutions, who estimated growth of 3.1 percent.

CASE Fundraising Index Forecast by Institution Type

Looking ahead to 2012, however, fundraisers at public institutions were more optimistic, predicting growth of 5.2 percent vs. the 4.3 percent predicted for private colleges and universities. Fundraisers at community colleges and private independent and secondary schools predicted between 4.5 and 4.8 percent growth in both 2011 and 2012. 

"Overall, the CFI gives us a strong early signal that giving will continue to grow steadily this year," Lippincott said. "The CFI predictions are made by fundraisers who are on the ground talking with donors every day, and clearly fundraisers are hearing donors express continued commitment to making education a focus of their philanthropy."

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 2,100 CASE-member institutions in the United States conducted during the first weeks of January. The January CFI survey had a response rate of 7.6 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.