About CASE

Pam Russell
Director of Communications


July 14, 2008

Growth in Giving to Education Likely to Slow in Coming Year

CASE launches new index to gauge fundraising outlook

NEW YORK - The rate of growth in giving to education in the United States is likely to slow in the coming year, according to a new forecasting tool launched by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

The CASE Fundraising Index predicts that philanthropic support for schools, colleges and universities will grow by 5.3 percent for the academic year that began on July 1. Over the last 20 years, the average annual rate of growth for giving to education has been 7 percent.

CASE Fundraising Index

For the 12-month period that ended on June 30, the CFI estimates that educational institutions will record a 7.2 percent increase in giving, roughly even with the 20-year average.

CASE unveiled the results of the new CFI at its Summit for Advancement Leaders in New York City on July 14. The CFI is based on a survey of senior fundraising professionals at universities, colleges and independent schools in the United States.

"We are excited about the potential of the CFI to provide our members and our profession with a valuable tool to gauge the outlook for fundraising in the coming year and to benchmark early estimates for the year just ended," said CASE President John Lippincott.

"The initial CFI results suggest that the weak U.S. economy will slow the rate of growth in educational fundraising in the coming year, but the results also suggest that giving will continue to grow," Lippincott noted. "For the previous 12-month period, the CFI indicates that the effects of the economic downturn had not yet impacted giving to education."

CASE will conduct the CFI twice a year-once at the end of the academic year and once at the end of the calendar year. With each survey, CASE will report an estimate of the results for the previous year and a prediction for the year ahead.

Lippincott said that "over time, CASE will refine and calibrate the CFI so that institutions can use it to benchmark their own year-end estimates and to forecast the fundraising climate as they plan for the coming year."

CASE will eventually be able to assess the accuracy of the CFI by comparing its figures with those issued by other organizations, such as the Council for Aid to Education and Giving USA. CASE will also track trends in the CFI from year to year as a further indicator of changes in the climate for giving.

"The CFI is intended to complement the excellent work being done by other organizations that provide detailed, after-the-fact analyses of giving," Lippincott said. "The CFI gives us an assessment of the immediate past and a look into the immediate future as judged by educational fundraisers who are on the front lines of philanthropy."

Notes on methodology: The CFI is based on an electronic survey of senior fundraising professionals at 2,320 CASE-member institutions in the United States conducted between July 1 and July 9, 2008. With 239 completed surveys, the inaugural CFI had a response rate of 10.3 percent.

The survey instrument asks senior fundraisers to estimate their year-end results and predict their year-ahead performance using a scale made up of three-point ranges spanning the historic highs and lows. 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.