Fundraising more important than ever for financial sustainability of universities
Universities have claimed that fundraising will play a more important role than ever as the sector looks to navigate a number of financial challenges over the coming 12 months.
The annual report on the state of university fundraising has revealed that universities have raised more than £1bn following a slight dip in donations last year (up 11 percent £979m to £1.08bn).
The report also hails a significant increase in fundraising levels by ‘Developing’ institutions1, which have seen a 51 percent increase on the previous year. Meanwhile, ‘Emerging’ institutions have seen a 15% increase. The number of universities other than Oxbridge now raising £5m a year has also nearly doubled over the past ten years – from 17 to 31.
“I am pleased for CASE to release this important snapshot into philanthropy across higher education in the UK and Ireland," said Sue Cunningham, the president and CEO at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. "Philanthropy represents an increasingly vital resource for higher education, particularly in uncertain times. This philanthropic support translates into scholarships for students, investment in research, and thoughtful engagement with communities across all institutions in the survey.”
“The increase in fundraising levels is a vote of confidence by donors that our sector can change the world for the better," said Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, the vice-chancellor at the University of Glasgow and chair of the CASE Europe Board of Trustees. "Donating to universities supports life changing research and transformational education opportunities for those who might not otherwise have such access.”
Other highlights from the 2019 Ross-CASE survey and report include:
- Reported levels of fundraising have increased from £350m secured by 75 universities in 2004/05 to £1.08bn secured by 100 universities in 2017/18
- The average value of an institutions largest pledge was £2.39m (up from £1.89m in 2016-17)
- Of the £1.08bn, total new funds from top three largest pledges contributed to £353m (£311m in 2016-17 of £979m)
- Cash income from legacies has increased by 19 percent (following a decrease of 11 percent from 2015-16 to 2016-17)
The report also reveals that despite significant increases in fundraising levels over the past 10 years, the number of people who donate to their university remains fairly static (currently at 1.3 percent).
“As funding sources for higher education are increasingly under pressure, engagement with donors has become fundamental to the success of universities," said Cunningham. "Creating a culture of philanthropy with current students and alumni helps ensure new students are able to experience the opportunities that others before them enjoyed.”
Notes to editors
1 The report uses cluster analysis based on three-year average figures for key variables related to income, donors, costs and staffing. Based on this analysis, the participating institutions are grouped into six clusters: 1) Fragile 2) Emerging 3) Developing 4) Moderate 5) Established and 6) Elite.
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, advancement services, communications, fundraising, government relations, marketing and student recruitment. 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 3,600 colleges and universities, primary and secondary independent and international schools, and nonprofit organizations in 81 countries. CASE serves more than 90,000 practitioners. For more information about CASE, please visit www.case.org.
Contact Paula O'Neill for media information.