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CASE Europe
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For Immediate Release
May 15, 2014

Giving to UK Universities Reaches All-Time High

23 Percent Increase in Cash Income for Universities in 2012-13, Coupled with 6 Percent Jump in Donors

LONDON—Universities in the UK have reported a positive picture in their donations received for 2012-13, with cash donations reaching an all-time high, and the number of donors reaching its highest ever level. Nearly 175,000 alumni gave to their universities, an increase of 60 percent during the past six years.

2014 survey infographicThe 136 UK higher education institutions surveyed by the annual Ross-CASE survey report, which is the only detailed source of information on philanthropic giving to higher education institutions, received a total of £659.8 million in cash donations (excludes pledges and gifts in kind), compared with £534.6 million in 2011-12. This rise can be attributed to a number of factors, including several particularly large pledges in previous years which are now being paid up. The largest cash gifts during this period were made to the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, King's College London, Nottingham Trent and London Business School.

Just under a quarter of a million donors made gifts to higher education institutions (223,352) during the year, up from 209,404 the year before. Universities had 9.3 million contactable alumni, up from 8.5 million in the previous year—an increase of 9 percent. The survey also indicates a broader trend in the number of alumni giving, with a steady increase recorded during the last three years. In total, just fewer than 164,000 alumni gave to universities in 2010-11, rising to almost 168,000 in 2011-12, and jumping to more than 174,000 this year.

For the first time, the survey recorded the sources of gifts to universities. In total, 59 percent of cash given was from organisations and 41 percent from individuals1. In addition to alumni and others, university staffs, parents of students and patients at university partner hospitals were identified as individual donors.

Fundraising delivered a better rate of return than the previous year: every pound donated cost, on average, 27p to raise, compared with 36p the year before. This figure has varied between 22p and 36p in the last six years.

There were 44 more fundraising staff working in the sector in 2012-13, and 1,198 fundraising staff in total amongst the universities surveyed. These figures come on the heels of the recent report from HEFCE finding that the UK higher education fundraising workforce will need to grow at a faster rate—to double or even triple from its current base—to meet the sector's fundraising potential.

Tania Jane Rawlinson, director of campaigns and alumni relations at the University of Bristol and chair of the Ross Group of Development Directors, said the findings "bear out a broader trend in higher education philanthropy that is transforming the sector."

"Successful fundraising universities are those with a clear mission statement and realistic goals around fundraising," Rawlinson said. "As always, the Ross-CASE survey report is invaluable in showing where universities are seeing success and providing guidance to those higher education institutions which are looking to develop or improve their own fundraising programmes."

Kate Hunter, executive director of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Europe, one of the key partners in the report, added that it is "hugely encouraging to see such a strong increase in cash income and the number of donors giving to UK universities in 2012-13."

"Organisations and individuals are giving, in growing numbers, to support the work of universities across teaching, learning and research," Hunter said. "Universities deliver benefit to the public in many ways, and fundraisers are becoming increasingly professional and persuasive in making their case to a range of supporters."

She continued: "The survey also demonstrates the correlation between the size of the fundraising workforce and the amount of philanthropy raised. For this figure to continue to rise, further investment in professional staff and broader engagement with the academic community is needed. CASE is working with Universities UK to enhance knowledge of effective practice across the sector."

For a full version of the report, visit www.rosscasesurvey.org.uk.

1 These figures represent responses from 129 of the 136 universities surveyed, who answered this particular question

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For further information, contact Carrie Greene or Lydia Strange at Kindred Agency:
0207 010 0819/0207 010 0810 or carrie.greene@kindredagency.com / lydia.strange@kindredagency.com

About The Ross-CASE survey and NatCen

The Ross-CASE survey is carried out annually by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) on behalf of the Ross Group and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) in Europe. The first Ross-CASE survey was carried out in 2002, and has been repeated annually since then. It is funded by HEFCE.

136 institutions took part in the Ross-CASE survey 2012-13, including two further education colleges. Of the higher education institutions surveyed, 113 were based in England, 7 in Wales, and 16 in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Four international universities participated in the Survey this year, one from the Republic of Ireland and three from the Netherlands. The information from these submissions has not been included in the report.

The survey of gift revenue and fundraising costs has been carried out each year since 2002 to measure the philanthropic performance of higher education and further education institutions. It is the only source of information on this subject in the UK, enabling institutions to compare themselves with their peers. It also provides an estimate of the overall impact of philanthropy on the higher education sector.

For further information visit www.rosscasesurvey.org.uk.

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.

About The Ross Group
The Ross Group Development Directors Forum is an independent support group of senior development directors involved in fundraising for higher education. Members come from HE institutions across England, Scotland and Ireland; membership is by invitation of the group. 

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