About CASE

Pam Russell
Director of Communications


For Immediate Release
May 20, 2014

New Survey Reveals Strategic Importance of Student Philanthropy Programs to Overall Fundraising at Colleges and Universities

CASE and Campbell & Company Release First Survey on Engaging Students as Lifelong Donors

WASHINGTON, D.C.Survey results released today by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education reveal that colleges and universities that invest in student fundraising programs tend to raise more money per capita, and are more successful at engaging their students as lifelong donors, than institutions that do not make such investments.

Sponsored by Campbell & Company, a national consulting and executive search firm for nonprofits, the CASE Student Philanthropy Study surveyed fundraisers and alumni relations staff at more than 200 higher education institutions worldwide to gather perspectives and best practices on student philanthropy.

Peter Fissinger, president and chief executive officer of Campbell & Company, says the findings confirm the importance of student philanthropy programs and that not enough emphasis has been placed on their current and potential value.

"We've only begun to examine whether and how we can help shape lifelong donors to colleges and universities," says Fissinger. "To do so effectively, development professionals must be informed and strategic in their approach. This survey is a first step toward helping to uncover the best practices for investing in and monitoring student programs, and connecting these programs to strong alumni giving programs."

According to the survey, the majority of institutions surveyed invest little in student philanthropy, with nearly half of the institutions allocating $2,500 or less to engage students during fiscal year 2014. Alumni relations and fundraising staff at these institutions also cite minimal staffing and low financial support as obstacles to establishing effective student philanthropy programs on their campuses.

The results, says William Walker, interim vice president for advancement resources at CASE, clearly show that institutions that boost their funding and resource investments in student philanthropy can create a foundation for successful long-term fundraising.

"The research demonstrates that a program that makes appropriate investments, engages key campus partners, uses strategic messaging and is fine-tuned based on feedback from stakeholders can help students develop a sense of philanthropic appreciation and engagement that endures," Walker says.

For example, the survey findings indicate that institutions that spent more than an average of 50 cents per enrolled student on student philanthropy initiatives raised, on average, 250 percent more per capita than institutions that spent less.

Other key findings of the CASE Student Philanthropy Survey include:

  • More than two-thirds of surveyed institutions have a staff working group or a campus organization dedicated to student philanthropy; nearly one in 10 institutions had no activity.
  • Nearly 75 percent of student philanthropy programs are funded by the development or fundraising office followed by the alumni relations office at 38 percent (many institutions listed multiple sources).
  • Less than 15 percent of advancement professionals rate their institutions as having a high or very high degree of success in engaging students.
  • Beyond resources (staff and budget), another frequently cited barrier is that many students believe they have already fulfilled their financial obligation by paying tuition.
  • Advancement offices that collaborate with students on engagement through peer-to-peer networking or student leadership groups have significantly higher giving participation rates.

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 Campbell & Company

The Campbell & Company Higher Education Team understands the context in which higher education institutions operate, and create a structure and process within that context, tailored to your community, that allows philanthropy to grow. For 37 years, we have successfully partnered with a range of higher education institutions, including large public universities, mid-majors, private liberal arts colleges and community colleges. We also draw on our staffs' experience to develop initiatives for specific higher education segments including Historically Black Colleges and Universities and professional schools.

Campbell & Company maintains offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Washington, DC. For more information, please telephone (877) 957-0000 toll free, email info@campbellcompany.com or visit www.campbellcompany.com.