2018 VSE Survey Results
WASHINGTON, D.C. —The Council for Advancement and Support of Education is pleased to announce the results of the 2018 Voluntary Support of Education annual survey, which CASE acquired in July 2018 as part of its larger mission to build its research capacity and benchmarking services for advancement professionals worldwide.
Considered the definitive source of information on fundraising outcomes in higher education institutions in the United States, the VSE survey continues that tradition in its latest edition which was conducted with the same rigor, protocol and staff as in years past.
Another continuing trend? Charitable giving to higher education institutions is up.
According to the most recent VSE survey data, U.S. colleges and universities raised $46.73 billion in the 2017-2018 academic fiscal year, 7.2 percent more than the previous period and the highest amount ever raised by higher education institutions in the U.S.
"This year's VSE again illustrates the value placed in higher education institutions by their donors, alumni and communities. These constituents understand the important research, teaching and service provided by colleges and universities, and the results indicate unwavering commitment to the vital role these institutions play in transforming lives and society," CASE Chief Executive Officer and President Sue Cunningham said.
Among other key findings from the 2018 survey data:
- Gifts from every type of donor increased. Notably, gifts from the category "other organizations" increased 13.5 percent, nearly double the increase from any other type of donor. This category includes fundraising consortia, religious organizations, and, significantly, donor-advised funds (DAFs).
- A sample of 404 institutions reported on receipts from DAFs. They reported a 65.8 percent increase in amounts received from DAFs, which suggests that such increases contributed to the substantial increase in gifts from the broader category called "other organizations."
- Giving to current operations rose 6.2 percent while giving for capital purposes rose 8.6 percent, both represent sizable increases over the previous survey period
- Seven different institutions received gifts of $100 million or more. While several gifts were payments on previous multi-year commitments, such nine-digit gifts are rare and noteworthy.
This year's VSE encompassed the period during which the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act went into effect, U.S. tax reform legislation adopted in December 2017. Donors, wanting to take advantage of the old tax law, may have accelerated their giving to institutions as well as to DAFs in calendar-year 2017.
"For decades, the VSE has helped inform budgets, determine priorities and offer comparative metrics for institutions large and small across the United States. Acquiring the instrument and its historical data, puts CASE in a strong position to support the advancement practice and higher education's increased focus on data-driven decision-making," said Fred B. Weiss, who joined CASE as its first-ever chief research and data officer to lead AMAtlas, a global resource for educational advancement metrics, benchmarks and analytics.
Throughout the year, AMAtlas will be releasing research briefs that take a deeper dive into one facet of the VSE survey data or another. The first in this series can be accessed here.
CASE—the Council for Advancement and Support of Education—is a global, not-for-profit membership association with a vision to advance education to transform lives and society.
CASE is the home for advancement professionals, inspiring, challenging, and equipping them to act effectively and with integrity to champion the success of their institutions. CASE defines the competencies and standards for the profession of advancement, leading, and championing their dissemination and application with more than 97,000 advancement professionals at 3,100 member institutions in 80 countries.
Broad and growing communities of professionals gather under the global CASE umbrella. Currently these include alumni relations, development services, communications, fundraising, government relations, and marketing. These professionals are at all stages of their careers and may be working in universities, schools, colleges, cultural institutions, or other not-for-profits. CASE uses the intellectual capital and professional talents of a community of international volunteers to advance its work, and its membership includes many educational partners who work closely with the educational sector.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., CASE works across all continents from its regional offices in London, Singapore, and Mexico City to achieve a seamless experience for all its stakeholders, particularly its members, volunteers, and staff.
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