Voluntary Support of Education Key Findings, 2019-20
Read the press release on the VSE 2019-20 findings.
Based on responses to the annual Voluntary Support of Education survey, CASE estimates that colleges and universities in the U.S. raised $49.50 billion during the 2020 academic fiscal year, a slight decline from the $49.60 billion raised the year before.
Fiscal Year Straddled Distinct Economic Climates
The two most important periods of fundraising activity—calendar-yearend and fiscal-yearend—fell in markedly different economic and social atmospheres. The first half of the fiscal year was part of the longest expansion in U.S. history. In the second half of the fiscal year, the Covid-19 pandemic caused the nation to plunge into a recession. The combination of expansion and recession in one fiscal year underlies the lackluster results.
Giving from "Other Organizations" Surpasses Giving from Corporations for the First Time
The largest increase—7%—came from “other organizations.” This category of donors, while smaller than others, has grown the most in the past decade. Giving from other organizations rose 53.2% since 2011. In 2020, other organization giving surpassed corporate support for the first time.
Much of this funding is due to donor-advised funds (DAFs). A subset of 400 institutions reported on support from DAFs. Those entities represented 73.9% of the funds contributed from “other organizations” in that sample.