Publications & Products
September 2017
Volume 15 Issue 9

Research and News of Note

U.S. Educational Fundraisers See Slower Growth in 2016-2017

Online Giving: Key Insights from Around the Globe

Asia-Pacific Institutions Report Record Growth in Donors, Giving

APAC: 3 Future-Focused Takeaways—Plus Setting the Stage for 2018


U.S. Educational Fundraisers See Slower Growth in 2016-2017

Chief development officers at U.S. colleges and universities estimate that institutional fundraising grew just 2.3 percent during the academic year that ended June 30, 2017, compared to more optimistic projections of 5.5 percent growth made at the start of the year in July 2016.

Public and private post-secondary institutions in the U.S. differed sharply in their estimates of fundraising growth for the past year, with public institutions estimating growth of 3.9 percent for the year and private institutions estimating growth of just eight-tenths of a percent.

U.S. independent schools were more optimistic, estimating growth of 5.9 percent for 2016-17.

Post-secondary institutions (mostly public) outside of the U.S. estimated growth of 3.4 percent for the 2016-17 year.

Fundraisers from CASE's global membership of educational institutions were asked to estimate their fundraising performance in the academic year just ended and to project performance in the year ahead for the CASE Fundraising Index.

CASE also asked senior development officers to identify the factors that influenced fundraising for the 2016-17 year and opportunities and challenges for the year ahead.

Among the 23 percent of U.S. institutions reporting a decline in fundraising for 2016-17, several factors were consistently identified as accounting for the slowdown: Campaign cycles, institutional leadership transitions, and the distorting effect of large gifts. The prior presidential election was the only general environmental factor frequently cited as having had a negative impact on fundraising over the past year.

Looking ahead, U.S. colleges and universities predict growth in fundraising of 5.9 percent for the 2017-18 academic year. U.S. independent schools are more pessimistic, anticipating growth of 4.3 percent.

Post-secondary institutions outside the U.S. anticipate growth of 3.9 percent, and non-U.S. independent school expect growth of 5.3 percent.

Fundraisers see opportunity in the importance of education to economies, the satisfaction of their alumni, the commitment of donors, and enhanced analytical tools. They expressed concerns about the current political climate, economic instability, educational costs and student debt, staff turnover, donor fatigue, and potential changes to the tax code.

Learn more about the CASE Fundraising Index and view past results.


Online Giving: Key Insights from Around the Globe

Donors from around the world are increasingly embracing online fundraising—but there are key regional differences in how individuals engage online, a new study reveals.

To determine the impact of technology on giving, Nonprofit Tech for Good and the Public Interest Registry explored data from more than 4,000 donors in 95 countries across six continents. The inaugural Global Trends in Giving Report, released in September 2017, indicates that 61 percent of donors worldwide prefer to give online (versus through direct mail, events, mobile giving, or workplace giving).

Social media emerged in the report as a force for global giving. Social media and fundraising events, respondents reported, motivate them to give more than r media like email, websites, television, or radio. Facebook is key: 62 percent of donors say Facebook is the platform that most inspires them to give, followed by Twitter (15 percent), Instagram (10 percent), YouTube (6 percent), and LinkedIn (3 percent).

Data for each region tells a more nuanced story, though, about global online giving.

The donor community in Africa, survey authors write, is small but growing. According to the 2017 Global NGO Technology Report, fewer than half of the organizations in Africa with websites also have the capability to accept online donations. Engaging on mobile devices is a trend here: 16 percent of donors in Africa prefer to give through mobile, which is the highest of any region. WhatsApp is more popular in Africa in terms of fundraising than in other regions, inspiring 20 percent of giving from this survey's donors.

Giving is "an integral part of cultural norms and religious practice throughout Asia," according to the survey. Seventy-six percent of Asian donors donate volunteer time. Fewer than half of surveyed donors in Asia prefer to give online, but social media and mobile technology are paving the way for Asia to be the world's most tech-savvy donor community in the future.

Australia & Oceana
Donors in Australia and Oceania are unique, write survey authors. They tend to be younger than those in other regions, and they are less ideologically polarized. (Thirty-nine percent define themselves as politically moderate.) Donors in Australia and Oceania attend fundraising events the most often: 70 percent report doing so. Facebook influences their giving more than it does other donors worldwide.

Europe's donor community is the "most internationally generous in the world," according to the survey. Some 62 percent of European donors surveyed give to NPOs and NGOs located outside their country. Compared to donors in other regions, donors in Europe are the least likely to attend fundraising events. Fifty-seven percent of them prefer to give online.

North America
Donors in North America have had the most time over the last two decades to acclimate themselves to giving online, write the survey authors. Sixty-two percent prefer to give online-the highest rate in the world. Respondents reported that events, email, and social media equally inspire them to give.

South America
Donors in South America are concentrated in Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, write the survey authors, "but throughout the continent there is a concerted effort being made by civil society to organize and empower the charitable sector." Thirty-eight percent of South America donors are inspired to give by social media. Though Facebook is most dominant, WhatsApp is also popular here.


Asia-Pacific Institutions Report Record Growth in Donors, Giving

Colleges and universities in Australia and New Zealand are investing more in fundraising and alumni engagement operations, according to the results of a CASE survey.

The Charitable Giving to Universities in Australia and New Zealand Survey report reveals that surveyed institutions increased their overall investment in fundraising and alumni relations by 11 percent and 15 percent, respectively, in 2016 over 2015.

These institutions also increased fundraising staff from 418 in 2015 to 450 in 2016, an increase of 8 percent. Alumni relations staff numbers grew slightly, from 247 in 2015 to 252 in 2016.

Sue Cunningham, president and CEO of CASE, says the report is a testament to the good work of those working to advance education and to the donors whose support is making possible educational opportunities that transform lives.

"Philanthropic engagement and support offer significant opportunities for the sector to develop and strengthen university teaching and research," says Cunningham. "It is critical that we can track and analyze the outcomes in order to celebrate success, acknowledge the remarkable generosity of those who have invested, and transform insights and learning into best practices for the broader educational community."

The full report is now available for review.


APAC: 3 Future-Focused Takeaways—Plus Setting the Stage for 2018

How can higher education prepare for the future?

Leaders from more than 23 countries grappled with that question earlier this year at the 2017 CASE Asia-Pacific Advancement Conference. Over four days, 400-plus delegates explored key topics from alumni engagement to crisis communications to transformational gifts. Here are three big future-focused takeaways—plus an exclusive preview of APAC 2018, shaping up now.

1. Shape a new higher ed narrative.
Communicating impact—both at an institution-level and beyond—was a central thread throughout APAC 2017.

"University leaders at APAC are engaging with the importance of building the powerful narrative of the value of higher education," tweeted Sue Cunningham, CASE president and CEO.

During the closing plenary session, which explored 10 big ideas for higher education, Angina Parekh, deputy vice-chancellor: academic at the University of Johannesburg, explained that university rankings are narrow and unhelpful. Instead, institutions have to prove the good they do.

2. Align and integrate.
Advancement functions should be better integrated, pointed out leaders in during the closing plenary.

"Whatever you're doing in advancement, it's critical we align our messages and we work together," said Tricia King, CASE's vice president of global engagement. "Statements should be consistent, no matter who they hear it from."

3. Harness the power of supporters.
Many APAC sessions explored various facets alumni engagement—from mentoring programs to volunteer appreciation. Beyond alumni and donors, though, it's important to engage all stakeholders.

"Advancement is a team sport. We need to grow our teams to be effective," said James H. Moore Jr., president and CEO of the University of Illinois Foundation. "[Consider] faculty and staff. They need a common and deep understanding of what our institutions stand for... We need to develop strategies to inform, educate and mobilize faculty and students."

Preview of APAC 2018: More Experiential Learning, Two New Tracks

This spring (16-19 April 2018), APAC will head to Hong Kong SAR with a fresh line-up of workshops and networking opportunities, including the themes of inspiration, insight, and innovation. Based on attendee feedback, the planning committee is taking APAC to a new level with a restructured program that will include more experiential and active learning.

In addition to the main conference program, schools program, leadership forum, and deep dive sessions, APAC will feature two new programs: the Advancement Forum, which will be offered in Mandarin, and the new Road Map to Advancement program, catering to newcomers to advancement.

Super early bird registration savings end 14 December 2017.