Development officers and fundraisers at U.S. schools, colleges, and universities estimate that giving to their institutions grew 6.9 percent in 2014, the highest estimated year-over-year increase since the year prior to the economic downturn in 2008, a survey from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education finds.
In its twice-yearly CASE Fundraising Index, the research organization found that fundraisers at two-year institutions of higher education estimated the growth in giving for 2014 at 11.3 percent, while fundraisers at four-year public and private colleges and universities estimated increases of 7.3 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively, and independent private high schools estimated growth at 7.4 percent.
Based on an online survey of senior-level fundraising professionals at more than sixteen hundred CASE-member institutions conducted between January 6 and February 4, the latest CFI estimate is significantly higher than the 5.2 percent growth predicted by fundraisers at the beginning of 2014. Indeed, it is higher than the twenty-year average in actual giving (5.9 percent).
Looking forward, fundraisers predicated an increase in giving of 5.5 percent in 2015. Private higher education institutions and independent schools were the most optimistic, predicting year-over-year growth of 6.2 percent and 6 percent, respectively.
"While fundraisers may remain cautiously optimistic with their predictions, donors seem to be sending a clear message that supporting education is important to them," said CASE president John Lippincott, "and that they are better able to do so now as the economy continues to improve and become more robust."