Growth in philanthropic giving to U.K. and Irish universities slows yet holds steady in pandemic year
The CASE-Ross Support of Education report 2022, released today by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), announced the new funds secured by 95 higher education institutions in the United Kingdom and Ireland was £1.14billion in the fiscal year ending 31 July 2021. This states an average increase of 5%¹ on 2019-2020 figures.
Despite the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CASE-Ross report shows an increase in average investment on fundraising and alumni relations by 3% and 1% respectively over the previous year’s values. The average number of fundraising and alumni relations staff also increased by 5% and 7%, respectively over 2019-2020 values and these numbers have now returned to the levels last reported in 2018-2019.
Bruce Bernstein, CASE Executive Director for Global Engagement, emphasises: “An increase in the average new funds secured is no doubt a positive outcome from a reporting year during a global pandemic, and we are encouraged to see that investment in staff levels has returned to figures seen pre-COVID. As we move forward, heightened investment will become ever more important, not just in fundraising efforts, but in alumni programmes to build affinity and generate leads to support the fundraising pipeline.”
Total cash income received in 2020-2021 was £1.02billion, this corresponds to an average cash income decrease of 3% from the 2019-2020 reporting period. Organisations, including companies, trusts and foundations, and lottery, continue to be the leading source of average cash income for the sector, contributing 63% of cash income received, while individuals contributed the remaining 37%.
"The continued generosity during the most challenging period in generations demonstrates how strongly people value universities in the United Kingdom and Ireland," says Sue Cunningham, CASE President and CEO. "The work undertaken by institutional leaders working with advancement professionals to cultivate and steward donors, particularly during challenging times, provides a critical investment in the long-term success and well-being of the university sector. We know that this work to advance institutions is based on relationships built over time, the impact of which contribute significantly to advancing education to transform lives and society.”
Other findings from the 2020-2021 survey data include:
- Large gifts continued to contribute to the sector’s success. Amongst 75 institutions that provided the data, 179 donors made gifts or pledges of £500k or more as new funds during 2020-2021 (excludes Elite institutions).
- The average percentage change in the value of the largest new gifts/pledges and the value of the largest cash gifts received by institutions decreased by 2% and 19% respectively.
- Of the institutions that provided a breakdown, individuals accounted for 96% of total donors and trusts and foundations, companies, lotteries, or other organisations represent the remaining 4%.
- Staff costs accounted for 82% of average fundraising investment and 77% of average alumni relations investment.
- Total cash income from legacies amounted to £96million received from 1,053 legacy donations.
The CASE-Ross Support of Education Survey collects detailed information from institutions in the United Kingdom and Ireland about their fundraising, donors, and investments in fundraising and alumni relations, to measure and give insight into the impact of philanthropy on the higher education sector.
The CASE-Ross Survey is one of a portfolio of CASE surveys, providing a global resource for educational advancement-related metrics, benchmarks and analytics, highlighting trends across fundraising and alumni relations, and marketing and communications.
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.
We are 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 career and may be working in universities, schools, colleges, cultural institutions, or other not-for-profits. CASE uses the intellectual capital and professional talents of an army of volunteers to advance its work, and our membership includes many corporate partners in the education sector.
Headquartered in Washington DC, CASE works across all continents from its regional offices in London, Singapore, and Mexico City to achieve a seamless experience for all our stakeholders, particularly our members, volunteers, and staff.