The State of Philanthropic Giving in UK Higher Education

Yashraj Jain is research manager at CASE Europe.

Findings from the latest Ross-CASE Survey of Charitable Giving to Universities in the UK 2013-14 signify a positive trend in philanthropic support received by UK higher education institutions. New funds secured reached an all-time high of £807 million (£734 million in England, £54 million in Scotland, £13 million in Northern Ireland and £5 million in Wales) while cash income increased slightly to reach £658 million (£599 million in England, £39 million in Scotland, £16 million in Northern Ireland and £3 million in Wales) in 2013-14.

New funds secured includes new single cash gifts and the full value of up to five years of confirmed pledges and any gifts in kind. This amount secured per academic year is often regarded as the best measure of success for a fundraising department and its programmes. This is because it captures future cash expected to be received from pledges secured in the current year.

Cash income received includes the value of all cash received in a given period as a result of philanthropic giving. It does not take into account when the fundraising activity relating to the cash gift took place.

When analysing data submitted by those institutions who participated in each of the three survey years i.e. (2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14) we can see trend comparisons across the regions, as illustrated below.


Universities in Scotland performed above the national median new funds secured. Except for England, median new funds across the other regions increased in 2013-14 after dropping in 2012-13. Conversely for England, median new funds secured rose in 2012-13 from 2011-12 but dropped by 16% in 2013-14. There was not sufficient data for universities in Northern Ireland.


Cash income received increased across the UK, including increases in the regions. The biggest jumps were seen in Scotland and Wales, where cash income received went up significantly from 2012-13 while the national median cash income and median cash income in England are experiencing a gradual ascent.

The rate of change in philanthropic support shows that fundraising in Welsh and Scottish universities is more volatile compared to their counterparts in England.

To read the full report and to find out further information about the survey please visit the Ross-CASE survey website.

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