About CASE

Pam Russell
director of communications


For Immediate Release
August 7, 2012

New Academic Year to Bring Growth in Giving to Education, Fundraisers Predict

Washington, D.C.—Fundraisers for schools, colleges and universities estimate that giving to education grew 4.9 percent during the 2011-12 academic year just ended and will grow an additional 5.9 percent in the year ahead, 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. 

CFI: Rate of change in giving to education

The 5.9 percent predicted for the forthcoming 2012-13 academic year slightly exceeds the 20-year average of 5.8 percent, said John Lippincott, president of CASE.  

"These are some of the most optimistic predictions we've received from fundraisers since the great recession," he added. "If they hold true, giving will have reached or exceeded pre-recession records when the books are closed on 2011-12 and will rise to a new record in 2012-13."

Giving to higher education reached a record $31.6 billion in the 2007-08 academic year but dropped an unprecedented 11.9 percent to $27.85 billion the next year due to the recession, according to the results of the annual Voluntary Support of Education Survey conducted by the Council for Aid to Education.

"The CFI is based on predictions from fundraisers who are talking with current and potential donors every day," Lippincott said. "The results suggest that donors are signaling a continued renewal of confidence in the economy and a continued interest in providing needed philanthropic support to education."

Lippincott noted that fundraisers at public colleges and universities, who predicted a 5.1 percent increase for 2011-12 and a 6.5 percent increase in 2012-13, were more optimistic than their counterparts at private institutions, who estimated increases of 4.4 percent for 2011-12 and 6.1 percent for 2012-13. He said fundraisers affiliated with two-year institutions were the most consistently optimistic.

"It's heartening to see that survey respondents from community colleges, many of which are relatively new to fundraising, are predicting the highest increases among any institution type in 2011-12 followed by strong additional growth in 2012-13," he added. "Clearly, they're beginning to see their investments in fundraising lead to increased private support."

CFI: Rate of change in giving to education

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.

He 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 July. The July CFI survey had a response rate of 7.1 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.