The Voluntary Support of Education (VSE) 2014 Report is now available. This year’s report provides an in-depth look at giving to education in America.
As has been previously reported, charitable contributions to colleges and universities increased 10.8 percent over 2013. This is the best single-year gain since 2000, and the $37.5 billion total is the highest recorded since the CAE/VSE survey’s inception in 1957.
Individual giving led the way, followed by foundations, many of which were initially created by charitable bequests from individuals. Corporations and other organizations rounded out the giving totals.
The average number of realized bequests of 452 responding institutions was 20, and new bequest intentions averaged 25. The average value of the realized bequests was $3.25 million per reporting institution.
The significance of larger bequests was also evident. The three largest bequests from each institution represented almost 12 percent of all individual/personal giving and just over 60 percent of all bequest dollars, leaving the remaining 40 percent to be divided from all of the rest of the smaller estates. Further research would probably discover the 80/20 or 90/10 rule at work.
The report also studied the impact of the economy, recessions, the stock market and gross domestic product on voluntary support of education. As one might expect, an expanding economy, increasing stock market valuations and GDP growth have a positive impact on giving.
Charitable gifts of securities continued to rebound after the Great Recession and financial crisis, increasing from $2.24 billion in 2013 to $2.35 billion in 2014. The average contribution in the form of securities to higher education that year was $53,646.
All in all, the latest VSE survey bodes well for philanthropy in America for 2015. You can purchase the complete report by clicking here. ■