About CASE

Pam Russell
director of communications


For Immediate Release

University Donors Increase as Experts Hail 'Culture Shift' Toward Philanthropy

Annual survey into higher education philanthropy reveals more people giving to institutions as cash income stabilises at £0.5bn per year

LONDON-The number of philanthropic donors to UK universities has increased by 25 percent since 2007-2008, according to the annual Ross-CASE survey, the only comprehensive source of information on higher education philanthropic income in the UK.

More than 185,000 people and organisations donated to UK universities, colleges and higher education institutions in the period 2009-10, providing funds which will be used to support a wide range of initiatives—from accelerating research and building new facilities to providing bursaries for students. The number of alumni giving to their former university or college also increased by 10 percent during this period, with more than 147,000 individuals making gifts. This is particularly encouraging when compared to recent data from the influential Council for Aid to Education's survey on voluntary giving in the United States, which reported a decline in alumni giving for 2010.

Ross-CASE Survey infographic

The Ross-CASE report also reveals how the trend toward a more professional and sustainable role for philanthropy in the sector is paying dividends. Cash income from philanthropic donations has now exceeded £0.5bn for two years in a row, while the amount spent per pound raised has fallen by 30 percent from 32 pence to 23 pence. Total new funds raised, which includes pledges, has gone up by by 9 percent to £600 million.

In view of these positive indicators, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, the membership organisation for professionals working within education in communications, marketing, fundraising and alumni relations, sees a confident outlook for higher education philanthropy during the long-term. The impact of the matched funding schemes in England and Wales in incentivising universities to ask and donors to give is also evident.

Joanna Motion, vice president for international operations at CASE, said: "Such a significant increase in the number of people and organisations giving to universities reveals the early signs of a culture shift toward higher education philanthropy. Continued professionalisation of university fundraising combined with the impact that donors can see from their donations are making a real difference. It's tremendously exciting and a testament to the institutions' efforts in this area."

Chris Cox, director of development and alumni relations at the University of Manchester, and chair of the Ross Group of Development Directors, added: "At a time of economic turmoil, alumni and other donors have responded generously, responding to requests which resonate with their own values and priorities, and extending the widespread benefits that higher and further education institutions deliver for society. Institutions are continuing to steward donors well, demonstrating the impact of their gifts on a range of beneficiaries, including thousands of students."

In recent years, university fundraising has benefitted from the government's matched funding scheme for voluntary giving to universities, a £200 million fund open to all English higher education institutions that matches philanthropic donations. The scheme started in 2008 and finishes in summer 2011 and has been credited with generating a 12 percent increase in donations. A similar scheme in Wales provides a pot of £10m for matching university fundraising activity in Wales.

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.