Education fundraisers’ outlook brightens

Coming off a recession that battered the development efforts and endowments of schools and universities across the U.S., education fundraisers are becoming more optimistic, a new survey says.

Fundraisers estimate giving to their organizations grew an average of 3.7 percent in 2010, and are predicting additional growth of 5.6 percent this year, says the CASE Fundraising Index, published every six months by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.

The growth prediction for 2011 is close to the 5.7 percent rise fundraisers predicted six months ago, indicating a more stable funding environment, John Lippincott, president of CASE, says in a statement.

“Clearly they are becoming more confident about the capacity and willingness of donors to support education,” he says of fundraisers. “It is also very reassuring to see predicted growth rates that approach the average for the past 20 years.”

Development officers for independent K-12 schools are the most optimistic, expecting donations to increase an average of 6.2 percent this year, while public universities are more reserved, anticipating growth of 4.8 percent.

The index is based on an online survey of fundraising professionals working for more than 2,000 institutions that are members of CASE.

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