Spending at Independent Schools Impacted by COVID-19

March 24, 2021 |
1 minute read

The effects of COVID-19 have been felt across the entire nonprofit sector and the independent schools’ community is no different. For the Commonfund Benchmarks Study® of Independent Schools (CSIS) report we added a question asking respondents to indicate what changes in spending their school has made, if any, in response to this unpredictable pandemic.

Coronavirus Impacts Schools’ Spending in Late FY2020

In a special question probing response to the coronavirus, 27 percent of participating schools said they increased spending to address virus-related issues, while 17 percent said they decreased spending and 47 percent made no change (9 percent were uncertain or gave no answer). All of these decisions took place in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year.

By size of institution, responses were very similar: 28 percent of institutions with assets over $50 million increased spending to address virus-related issues, while 26 percent each of institutions with assets between $10 and $50 million and those with assets under $10 million increased spending. Nine percent of the largest participating schools decreased spending, whereas 22 percent of schools with assets between $10 and $50 million and 17 percent of those with assets under $10 million did so.

Figure 1:  COVID-Related Spending Changes for Fiscal Year 2020
  Total Schools Over $50 Million $10-$50 Million Under $10 Million
Number of schools 200 53 81 66
Decreased spending 17 9 22 17
Kept spending the same 47 58 42 44
Increased spending 27 28 26 26
Uncertain 9 5 10 13

Numbers in percent
Source:  2020 Commonfund Benchmarks Study® of Independent Schools (CSIS)


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