About CASE

Thomas Hazell
marketing and communications manager
CASE Europe
020 7448 9955

Pam Russell
director of communications


For Immediate Release
26 May 2010

Ross-CASE Survey: Charitable Donations to Universities Increase Despite Recession

CASE to launch campaign to further promote culture of charitable giving to universities

LONDON—UK universities secured more than £0.5 billion in charitable donations in the academic year 2008-09, according to this year's Ross-CASE survey, the only comprehensive survey on higher education philanthropic income in the UK. The donations will support a wide range of initiatives—from accelerating research and building new facilities to providing bursaries for students.

UK universities are charitable bodies, and in 2008-09, more than 163,000 people and organisations made gifts in support of higher education. This represents an increase of 18,000 people or 12 percent over 2007-08 and a 24 percent increase over 2006-07. The number of cash gifts worth £500,000 or more also increased sharply from 119 in 2006-07 to 165 in 2008-09, with 22 universities receiving a cash gift of £1 million or more, and four universities receiving single gifts of more than £4 million each. In all, despite the recession, 51 percent of the responding universities reported an increase in new funds secured.

The 2008-09 period was also the first year of the UK government's matched funding scheme for English universities. This innovative scheme encourages voluntary giving by allowing donations to be matched by up to £200 million in government funding. The first year of the scheme has shown a positive impact in encouraging donations, with English higher and further education institutions claiming the maximum amount of matched funds available.

Peter Agar, Director of Development and Alumni Relations at the University of Cambridge and Chair of the Ross Group of Development Directors, said: "At a time of economic turmoil, alumni and other donors have continued to recognise the need to support universities' contribution to all our futures. This year's survey results are a tribute to the generosity and vision of our donors, and it's encouraging to see that there is a growing culture of giving to higher education."

Joanna Motion, Vice President for International Operations at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, said CASE is greatly encouraged by the steady increase in the numbers of people getting involved in giving to universities.

"Of course, wealthy philanthropists who can give millions make a big impact. But building the habit of giving through lots of us making smaller, regular donations creates the essential pipeline for the future," Motion said. "The government's matched funding scheme appears to be a compelling tool and is helping to counter the effects of the recent drag of the economy on donors. The scheme has made people sit up and take notice across the sector, by triggering more gifts and increasing fundraising professionalism. We look forward to seeing institutions and donors continue to take advantage of this special opportunity before it comes to an end in July 2011."

Following the success of the matched funding scheme, CASE is launching a national campaign to increase awareness of the role of philanthropy in higher education and promote a culture of giving to universities. “Whose Life will You Change?” will focus on the impact of charitable giving to universities and the wider achievements that gifts enable, including medical research, developments in social policy, scholarships and improved access to higher education.

For further information about the campaign, visit www.giftofknowledge.org.uk.

For media enquires, please contact:
Francesca Rivett-Carnac
020 7612 8866

Thomas Hazell
020 7448 9955

About the Ross-CASE survey and NatCen:

The Ross-CASE survey is carried out annually by the National Centre for Social Research on behalf of the Ross Group and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education in Europe.

The 2008-09 Ross-CASE survey received responses from 165 institutions. This breaks down as 149 universities and higher education institutions and 16 further education colleges.

The survey of gift revenue and fundraising costs has been carried out each year for the last eight years 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 the Matched Funding Scheme:

The matched funding scheme is a government-led program that aims to increase voluntary giving to higher education providers. All higher education institutions and directly funded further education colleges in England have been invited to participate in the scheme.

Eligible gifts to participating institutions will be matched through a fund of £200 million. Such institutions will receive matched funding according to their place in one of three tiers, each with a different funding ratio and cap suitable for institutions with differing degrees of fundraising experience.

The scheme, the first in the UK, started on 1 August 2008 and runs until July 2011. For further information, visit www.hefce.ac.uk/finance/fundinghe/vol/. A similar £10m scheme in Wales is administered by The Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) and runs until 2012.

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 is a network of leading development directors working in higher education (HE). It works closely with CASE—the Council for Advancement and Support of Education—and is the developer of the
Ross-CASE Survey of Fundraising which is published annually and is the most comprehensive source of information about fundraising trends in UK higher education.