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Pam Russell
Director of communications

Tom Hazell
Marketing and communications manager
CASE Europe
Direct: 0207 448 9955 Mob: 07949 415 301


For Immediate Release
12 November 2009

UK Universities Boost Fundraising to £682M

Annual Ross-CASE survey shows increased giving to higher education before the worst of the recession

LONDON—Giving to universities in the United Kingdom grew by 28 percent to £682 million in 2007-2008, according to the Ross-CASE survey.

The Ross-CASE survey is the only source of information on higher education philanthropic fundraising in the UK. It is an annual survey commissioned on behalf of the Ross Group of Development Directors and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education in Europe and was conducted by NatCen.

The survey covers the academic year 2007-08, before the worst months of the recession in the UK. It was also the final academic year prior to the launch of the UK government's £200 million, three-year Matched Funding Scheme for England.

Key findings:

  • In total, UK universities secured £682 million in new philanthropic funds in 2007-08. This was a growth of £151 million since the 2006-07 study.
  • £143 million would have been eligible for the government matched funding scheme introduced in 2008/09.
  • Alumni donations accounted for 82 percent of all donations to higher education institutions in 2007-08.
  • The year-on-year increase in the number of donors giving to UK higher education is 144,000, up 12 percent on the year before and up 32 percent over two years.

CASE is an international professional association that serves educational institutions and the professionals who work on their behalf in fundraising, alumni relations, communications and marketing professionals

Joanna Motion, CASE vice president for international operations, said: "The year-on-year increase in the number of donors giving to higher education in the UK is striking and encouraging. More and more universities are nurturing a culture of philanthropy. Next year when we see the impact of matched funding schemes in England and Wales, there will be a welcome boost to fund the transformational work of our higher education institutions."

Motion continued, "This report shows we are at a crossroads in the UK as giving to universities is no longer seen as the preserve of the wealthy. It's steadily becoming something ordinary people do as universities become more professional in their engagement with alumni and supporters."

The £200m matched funding scheme was introduced on 1 August 2008. Funding is available to match eligible gifts raised by English higher education institutions and directly funded further education colleges. Participation in the annual Ross-CASE Survey is a condition of entering the scheme.

A £7 million Universities UK-managed Matched Funding for Fundraising pilot project for the scheme ran in 2004. According to the Ross-CASE survey, the median value of funds secured by the 27 UUK sponsored institutions involved in the pilot increased from £743,000 in 2006-07 to £905,000 in 2007-08, an increase of 22 percent over the last year. These universities have continued to invest in their fundraising programmes, which promises good success for wise use of expanded resources and disciplined strategic fundraising efforts when the effects of the £200 million scheme are examined.

Peter Agar, director of development at Cambridge University and chair of the Ross Group, said:

"The findings of this survey demonstrate the growing importance of philanthropy in higher education in the UK and the high returns to the investments being made across the sector in professional fundraising. Importantly, alumni are increasingly recognising their role in sustaining the excellence of their alma maters, particularly as we face pressures on public funding."


Notes to editors:

Universities in the UK now generate £59 billion for the UK economy, putting the higher education sector ahead of the agricultural, advertising, pharmaceutical and postal industries.
Source, ‘The impact of universities on the UK economy,' Universities UK, November 4, 2009.

Full copies of the Ross-CASE Survey 2007/08 can be obtained on request. For interviews with Joanna Motion, Peter Agar, or for further details, please contact:

Tom Hazell
Marketing and Communications Manager
CASE Europe
Direct: 0207 448 9955 Mob: 07949 415 301

Owen Morris
Communications Management
Direct: 01727 733887 Mob 07515966628

CASE is the membership association that serves educational institutions around the world by enhancing the effectiveness of their fundraising, alumni relations, communications and marketing professionals - the group of related disciplines to which North Americans give the shorthand term "institutional advancement." CASE is committed to being the primary resource for professional development and information and the leading advocate for professional standards and ethics.

CASE is a charitable trust, constituted as an unincorporated association, and is among the largest associations of educational institutions in the world. Its members include nearly 3,400 universities, colleges and schools in 59 countries.

Ross Group
The Ross Group is a network of leading fundraising professionals from universities in the UK and Ireland. Members of the group are directors of development or equivalent positions in their home universities. The Ross Group began this survey in 2001-02 in order to ensure that there was a reliable source of data on the philanthropic health of universities in the UK.

Founded in 1969 as Social and Community Planning Research (SCPR), NatCen is now Britain's leading and largest independent social research institute. It is a nonprofit research institute registered as a charitable trust. NatCen's objective is specialising in high quality social research for government and other public bodies and carrying out grant-funded research. The 2007-08 survey was the second Ross-CASE survey NatCen has conducted, the first covered the 2006-07 academic year.