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Paula O'Neill
Head of Marketing and Communications
CASE Europe
+44 2074489955

Pam Russell
Editorial & Media Director
Marketing and Communications, CASE


July 20, 2018

Philanthropic Giving to UK Institutions Continues to Grow

Institutions See Slight Dip in New Funds Secured but Growth in Total Cash Income, Donors

LONDON — Philanthropic giving to UK higher education institutions totaled £979 million in 2016-17, according to the Ross-CASE survey conducted annually by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. This is the second-highest total reported by the survey since it began in 2000; the highest total in new gifts and pledges was £1 billion in 2016.

The Ross-CASE Report 2018, released today, also showed record cash income, increased donor participation and strong investment in development and advancement operations among the 108 institutions participating in the survey of gift revenue and fundraising costs.

Total cash income received in 2017 was £886 million, an increase of 6 percent over 2015-16. Individuals contributed 49 percent and organizations contributed 51 percent toward cash income received.

Of particular significance was the growth in donors year over year. The total number of donors grew from 229,959 in 2015-16 to 246,056 in 2016-17, an increase of 7 percent.

Comparing the survey data for 2016-17 to 2015-16, the total investment in alumni relations was £49 million while total investment in fundraising was £121 million, an increase of 8 percent and 11 percent respectively.

Tricia King, vice president of global operations for CASE, says the overall findings of the report present a sector that is in robust good health.

"The investments that these 108 institutions are making in their alumni relations and fundraising operations are clearly having a significant impact," King says. "More individuals and businesses are donating than ever before because they believe in the power of our institutions to transform lives and society "

Other significant findings from the report include:

  • Fifty-two percent of the £979 million in new funds secured came from organisations, including companies, trusts and foundations, with 48 percent from individuals. 
  • Nearly 211 donors gave new gifts or pledges of more than £500,000.
  • Nearly £100 million of the total cash income of £886 million came from 1,066 legacy donors.
  • Alumni donors (191,073) consisted of 80 percent of individual donors (246,056).
  • Total fundraising costs increased by 8 percent and alumni relations costs by 11 percent. Staff costs accounted for 68 percent of total fundraising costs and 65 percent of alumni relations costs.
  • Universities from the established group accounted for 22 percent of new funds secured while those considered to be Elite accounted for 44 percent of new funds secured.

The Ross-CASE Report 2018 is conducted annually by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education in Europe. Participating in the 2016-2017 survey were 108 institutions in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The 108 institutions that participated in the survey had 15.9 million alumni of which 11.4 million were contactable. Of the contactable alumni, 191,073 donated to their alma mater.

The report provides an estimate of the overall impact of philanthropy on the higher education sector and is the only source of information on this subject in the UK. The survey was carried out by CASE Europe and allows participating institutions to benchmark their performance against their peers. The first survey was carried out in 2000 and has been repeated annually since then.

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.