This Primary and Secondary Schools Spotlight is adapted from the CCS Fundraising 2023 Philanthropy Pulse report to provide an in-depth look at nonprofits in this sector.

Explore the 2023 Philanthropy Pulse report in its entirety.

Among 189 primary and secondary school survey respondents, 55% use an advancement model of fundraising over a development model, indicating a move toward fundraising operations integrated with admissions, marketing, and events.

33% of schools are were in the planning stages of their campaign in the fall of 2022.

83% of primary and secondary schools saw an increase or sustained revenue throughout FY21 compared to the prior fiscal year. Many schools (65%) achieved or surpassed their 2021 annual fund goal, making it a healthy year of giving to pre-pandemic levels.

55% of respondents noted retention of 50% or less of the donors they gained in 2021. Schools committed to donor retention indicate that they plan on inviting donors to regular events (79%), arranging individual or small group meetings (76%), and sending targeted mailings or emails (75%) to build donor relationships.

Donor retention and stewardship were cited as the top challenge at schools, followed by donor acquisition.

Over 90% of primary and secondary schools indicated that diversity, equity, and/or inclusion (DEI) are important in the development of their strategic plans for future fundraising priorities, which distinguishes the sector as a leader in DEI strategy.

Three quarters of schools receive 40% or less of their overall giving from noncash assets, which is expected to grow by 26% in 2023. However, only 5% of respondents indicated that their fundraising staff is completely knowledgeable about gift planning. We recommend investing in staff to develop gift planning expertise to support these exciting goals.

64% of all schools met or exceeded their annual fund goal for fiscal year 2021.

The majority (34%) of school annual fund support comes from parents.

58% of schools have not increased their fundraising staff but plan to do so in 2023.

The data on this page was curated from a questionnaire taken by nearly 1,200 organizations during the fall of 2022 reporting on FY21 results.