Philanthropic Giving to Australian and New Zealand Universities Shows Mixed Trends
The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) released findings from an annual survey measuring philanthropic support for the higher education sector, based on data from 34 universities in Australia and New Zealand. The CASE Support of Education Survey, Australia and New Zealand 2022 report shows new funds secured and cash income received totalled AUD792 million and AUD671 million respectively. Compared with the previous year, new funds secured increased by 2% but cash income received dropped by 13%. The total number of AUD1 million gifts also declined.
Research programmes and partnerships were the most popular purpose to which gifts were made, accounting for more than half of the value of new funds secured (52%) and cash income received (57%). Trusts and foundations remained the biggest source of both mean new funds secured and mean cash income received in 2021, contributing 36% and 44% respectively. While total donor numbers increased by 1%, the number of alumni donors fell by 8% from 2020.
In 2021, the 34 participating institutions employed a combined total of 610 full-time equivalent (FTE) fundraising staff and 278 FTE alumni relations staff. Investment in staff decreased between 2020 and 2021, with FTE staff falling by 9% in fundraising and by 27% in alumni relations.
“Despite the challenging environment, advancement professionals and institutional leaders continue to show their dedication and find creative ways to connect with key stakeholders, who remain committed to supporting education, recognising the vital role it plays in transforming lives and society,” says CASE President and CEO Sue Cunningham. “The work to advance education through the important work of schools, colleges, and universities is a long game. Continuity and investment in advancement staffing is a key success factor in sustaining engagement and stewardship of alumni and donors, which will be crucial in the years ahead.”
Other key findings from the 2021 survey data include:
- A total of 111 non-bequest gifts of AUD1 million or above were received as new funds. The number of gifts of this size decreased by 11% from 2020.
- Total cash income from bequests was AUD83 million. Compared with 2020, there was a 7% decline.
- A total of 100 cash gifts of AUD1 million and above were received by participating institutions. Compared with 2020, there was a 17% drop.
- The amount of new funds secured from bequests increased by 13%, while the amount of cash income realised from bequests fell by 7% from 2020.
- New bequest intentions increased by 20% from 2020 to 2021, following a decrease the previous year.
- The number of non-alumni donors increased by 10% between 2020 and 2021.
- Overall, total fundraising costs decreased by 8% from 2020 to 2021. Staff costs decreased by 10% across all institutions between 2020 and 2021, and non-staff costs rose by 3% for this same period.
- Total alumni relations costs decreased by 9% over the last year, with alumni relations staff costs decreasing by 14% and non-staff costs increasing by 11%.
Next year’s CASE Support of Education Survey, Australia and New Zealand will be administered in the first half of 2023. Ongoing analysis of philanthropic trends will be critical in assessing the extent to which the pandemic continues to impact fundraising, and if these impacts are short term or if new patterns emerge in the way fundraising and alumni engagement operate.
 Year-on-year trends were calculated for a consistent cohort of institutions that provided a key set of variables for all three years.
About the Survey
The CASE Support of Education Survey, Australia and New Zealand, now in its tenth edition, is part of AMAtlas, CASE’s global resource for educational advancement-related metrics, benchmarks, and analytics that provides a range of other data and resources for schools, universities, and colleges.
This research provides data on charitable giving, donors, and investments in fundraising and alumni relations for universities in Australia and New Zealand and complements similar surveys conducted in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
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.