Databank: Independent Schools Report Decline in Total Donations

October 10, 1984 2 min read

Overall giving to independent elementary and secondary schools decreased by 5.2 percent in 1982-83, according to a report from the Council for Financial Aid to Education.

But all types of annual giving, donations made by alumni and others to annual solicitations and usually applied to schools’ operating budgets, increased between 1981-82 and 1982-83, according to a review of the survey data by the National Association of Independent Schools.

The independent-schools group joined the cfae and the Council for ‘Advancement and Support of Education, a higher-education organization, in co-sponsoring the report.

According to the report--the 24th annual edition of the Survey of Voluntary Support of Education--giving to independent schools declined from a total of $295 million in 1981-82 to $276 million the next year.

The report was based on surveys of 480 schools in 1982-83 and 486 schools in 1981-82. The 390 schools that responded to both surveys reported a decline in overall gift support of 5.4 percent.

Capital Donations

A decrease in funds from “capital” gifts, usually one-time contributions that are used to build endowments or buildings, accounted for the overall decline in donations, according to the report. Such gifts amounted to $167.3 million at the 480 schools surveyed in 1982-83, down from $198.5 million at 486 schools in 1981-82.

The report attributed the decline in capital-gift totals to several unusually large gifts made during the 1981-82 school year. An official of the nais noted that Albuquerque Academy in New Mexico received a gift of approximately $25 million that year. In general, capital contributions have been rising in recent years, the official said.

Annual Giving

According to the nais, total annual-giving revenue at independent schools rose by 13 percent from the previous year, from $81.6 million to $92.5 million. The schools surveyed in 1982-83 received an average of $192,800 each in annual-giving donations, compared with an average of $167,900 the year before.

Among the other nais findings:

Giving by alumni increased by 11 percent from 1981-82 to 1982-83, to $33.5 million, and more alumni responded to annual-giving solicitations--28.1 percent responded in 1982-83 versus 26.7 percent in 1981-82. The average alumni gift rose 2.7 percent, from $118 to $121.

Giving by non-alumni parents rose from $25.2 million to $28.9 million; the number of donors rose from 107,395 to 116,743.

Donations from corporate sources rose to an all-time high of $12.5 million in 1982-83, an increase of 12.3 percent from the previous year. Corporate contributions totaled 4.5 percent of overall giving to independent schools.--tt

A version of this article appeared in the October 10, 1984 edition of Education Week as Databank: Independent Schools Report Decline in Total Donations