About CASE

Pam Russell
Senior Director of Communications


For Immediate Release
20 November, 2017

Statement in Response to Daily Mail Investigation into University Fundraising Campaigns

Tricia King, Vice President Global Engagement, Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) which works with universities on fundraising best practice commented:

"Last year UK universities raised over £1bn in philanthropic income in support of their core activities of education and research. This money supports many things including support for students from disadvantaged backgrounds to crucial life-changing research.

As an important part of the university community, it's very clear that many alumni are proud to support the work of their former institution and want to be contacted.

CASE works with universities in over 82 countries and, in the UK we see a sector that is continually looking to maintain and develop its strong and ethical fundraising practice.

In our experience universities take the privacy of their alumni and other philanthropists very seriously. We provide platforms for fundraising experts including the Fundraising Regulator and the Information Commissioner's Office to make sure universities are kept up-to-date with best practice.

The Daily Mail investigation of university fundraising suggests universities may be not doing enough to explain how personal data is used and in what context. CASE was pleased to hear that the Information Commissioner's Office has confirmed that it believes "profiling individuals for a fundraising campaign itself is not against the law, but failing to clearly tell people that you're going to do it, is." CASE will continue to work with ICO and the Fundraising Regulator to improve university fundraising practice and compliance.

More resources:

  • ICO Statement
  • Institute of Fundraising blog post
  • FAQ's from Adrian Beney with More Partnership
  • Statement from Michael Oglesby, founder of the Bruntwood Group and chairman of the Oglesby Charitable Trust

21 November Update:

We have been working hard behind the scenes to support our members interests in the UK as the Daily Mail publicised its investigation on higher education fundraising on Monday and Tuesday

Our comment was issued late on Sunday evening as soon as we'd seen the Mail's copy and was included in the Guardian, Telegraph, Third Sector and Civil Society pieces. It was also in the Press Association copy.

We are continuing to follow up with broadcast, education and HE sector media today and tomorrow. We have been in close contact with broadcasters since before the Mail headlines hit to ensure they knew that we were prepared to go on air to advocate for the sector if they decided to follow up the Mail story - which none of them did in any detail. We've also been overwhelmed by the support for the work fundraisers do on social media and in the comment threads on mainstream media.

All week we are keeping a close watch on social media and have ensured our view - that universities take the privacy of alumni seriously and that the funds raised do vital work - has been heard by commentators on Twitter.

If you wish, you can re-tweet our statement.

In short, we will continue to work closely with colleagues at Russell Group, Universities UK, The Fundraising Regulator and Information Commissioner's Office to continue to support the vital work university fundraisers undertake.

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.