With the academic year wrapping up June 30, giving to colleges and universities is expected to have dropped an average 3.9 percent during the 2008-09 year, a new study says.
That compares to average annual growth of seven percent over the past two decades, says a survey conducted by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
“That steep decline confirms that we are in uncharted economic territory that may be having an equally uncharted impact in private philanthropy to education,” John Lippincott, president of the council, says in a statement.
During early July, the council contacted fundraisers at more than 2,100 institutions across the U.S. to gage estimated fundraising totals for the year and to predict totals for the coming year.
Fundraisers are feeling more optimistic about the 2009-10 academic year, predicting modest but positive growth in donations averaging 2.5 percent.
Private colleges and universities are more optimistic about the coming year than their public peers and independent schools.