About CASE

Pam Russell
Director of Communications


For Immediate Release
July 16, 2009

Giving to Education Likely to Decline Nearly 4 Percent in 2008-09; Modest Growth Predicted in 2009-10

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Fundraisers for schools, colleges and universities will likely see an average decline in giving to education of 3.9 percent when they close their books for the 2008-09 academic year, according to the Council for Advancement and Support of Education's fundraising index.

Looking ahead to 2009-10, however, the CASE Fundraising Index predicts that philanthropic support will begin to recover, increasing by a relatively modest 2.5 percent. Over the last 20 years, the average annual rate of growth for giving to education has been 7.1 percent.

CFI Chart 7

"The steep decline confirms that we are in uncharted economic territory that may be having an equally uncharted impact on private philanthropy to education," said John Lippincott, president of CASE. "The good news is that fundraisers are predicting that giving will turn around in the year ahead, an optimism that may also reflect optimism about the economy in general.

"We also know, anecdotally, that donors committed to giving to education are still stepping up to the plate, and those who may not be able to give now are still talking with fundraisers about making gifts when the economy recovers," he added.

Lippincott noted that this year's CFI indicated that fundraising professionals at private institutions of higher education were generally more optimistic about the year ahead than their counterparts at public colleges and universities and independent schools.

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. 30).

The first CFI, conducted in 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.

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 benchmark their most recent performance and calibrate expectations for future performance. Of course, individual institutions may have different results based upon their own specific circumstances."

The CASE CFI is based on an online survey of senior fundraising professionals at more than 2,100 member institutions in the United States conducted July 1-14. The response rate was 7.2 percent.

The survey instrument asks senior fundraisers to estimate their year-end results and predict their year-ahead performance using a scale made 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.