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Philanthropic giving to UK & Irish universities reached £1.09bn in 2020


Philanthropic giving to UK and Irish universities reached £1.09 billion in 2019-2020, according to the CASE-Ross report, released today (30 April).

This is the third year running that new funds secured from philanthropic sources have remained higher than £1 billion. The total number of donors giving to institutions participating in the study was 214,115, up from 204,967 in the previous reporting year. Since 2018-19, the average number of donors to institutions has increased by 3.6% and the average amount of alumni donors increased by 5%.

Average new funds secured decreased 17% from 2018-19 figures however.

The CASE-Ross Support of Education Survey, United Kingdom and Ireland collects detailed information about fundraising and donors to measure the philanthropic performance of higher education institutions in the UK and Ireland. It also provides an estimate of the overall impact of philanthropy on the higher education sector, and is one of a portfolio of AMAtlas surveys undertaken by CASE worldwide, providing comparative data for fundraising and alumni relations.

Other key findings from the 2019-2020 survey data include:

Large gifts continued to contribute significantly to the sector’s success. Amongst 79 institutions that provided the data, 219 donors made gifts or pledges of £500k or more during 2019-2020.Overall, institutions sourced 66% of their new funds from organisations (including companies, trusts and foundations and lottery) and the remaining 34% from individuals.Of the institutions that provided the breakdown for total donor figures, 97% were individuals and 3% were trusts and foundations, companies, lotteries, or other organisations.149,715 of the reported 10.8m contactable alumni made contributions during the year.

CASE President and CEO Sue Cunningham commented:

“The CASE-Ross Survey results show how innovative and nimble educational leaders have proven themselves to be through unprecedented circumstances. Whether it was through creating online alumni programming, engaging new stakeholders, or fortifying already-established relationships and strategies, advancement professionals have continued to cement bonds for their institutions in a difficult time.”



CASE Executive Director for Global Engagement Bruce Bernstein also commented on the findings, adding:

“The commitment, fortitude and care shown by advancement professionals across the UK and Europe during a year thrown into uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic is admirable. The focus on relationship-building proved prescient and valuable as the CASE-Ross survey shows more than £1 billion of new funds secured for the third year in a row.”

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