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Giving to Education Causes Expected to Grow More Slowly

(Aug. 11, 2008) Giving to education in the United States is expected to grow in the coming year, but at a much slower rate, according to the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

According to the CASE Fundraising Index (CFI), which predicts philanthropic support for schools, colleges and universities, giving will grow by 5.3 percent for the academic year that began on July 1. In contrast, the average annual rate of growth for giving to education over the past two decades has been 7 percent.

“The initial CFI results suggest that the weak U.S. economy will slow the rate of growth in educational fundraising in the coming year, but the results also suggest that giving will continue to grow,” said John Lippincott, president of CASE, in a press release. “For the previous twelve-month period, the CFI indicates that the effects of the economic downturn had not yet impacted giving to education.”

CASE will conduct the CFI twice a year—once at the end of the academic year and once at the end of the calendar year. With each survey, CASE will report an estimate of the results for the previous year and a prediction for the year ahead.

Lippincott said that “over time, CASE will refine and calibrate the CFI so that institutions can use it to benchmark their own year-end estimates and to forecast the fundraising climate as they plan for the coming year.”

About the Index

The CFI is based on an electronic survey of senior fundraising professionals at 2,320 CASE-member institutions in the United States conducted between July 1 and July 9, 2008. With 239 completed surveys, the inaugural CFI had a response rate of 10.3 percent.

The survey instrument asks senior fundraisers to estimate their year-end results and predict their year-ahead performance using a scale made up of three-point ranges spanning the historic highs and lows. The average annual rate of growth used as the norm for the CFI is based on the 20-year mean for results reported in the Voluntary Support of Education survey issued by the Council for Aid to Education.

CASE is an association of educational institutions, serving nearly 3.400 universities, colleges, schools, and related organizations in 61 countries.

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