VSE Survey – Giving To Higher Education In America

The annual Voluntary Support to Education (VSE) survey results were released recently, and the annual publication hit my desk this week. Finally, some good news for higher education:

Contributions rose nine percent to $33.8 billion.  “The total is the highest recorded in the history of the survey.  In 2009, voluntary support fell from $31.6 billion, which was then the historical high, to $27.85 billion.”

As is consistent across all sectors, individuals remain the greatest source of contributions at 44.9% of total.

Foundation support was 29.6% of the total, but this figure includes family foundations, a growing source of funding in higher education.

Corporate giving continued its steady decline percentagewise from 22% in 1983 to 15.1% in 2013. 

However, this figure does not include corporate support of contracted-sponsored research, clinical trials, pouring rights, sponsorships, and software partnerships, which is not counted in the VSE survey.

More than $9 billion in funds was contributed by alumni donors, or 26.6% of the total.

What is especially interesting is the significant support from individuals who are not alumni of the institution they are supporting. Just under $5 billion was contributed by non-alumni representing 17.3% of the total.

What does this mean for your organization?  Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.