U.S. Colleges Raised $40.3 Billion in 2015!

Top University Gift Recipients (2015)

University Philanthropy 2015


Dear Commons Community,

A new study has found that U.S. colleges raised $40.3 billion in 2015, an increase of 7.6 percent over the previous year.  This is the third consecutive year charitable fund-raising by institutions of higher education has grown. The Voluntary Support of Education survey, conducted by the Council for Aid to Education (CAE), collected fund-raising information from nearly 1,000 colleges and universities. CAE has conducted the survey since 1957. As reported by The Chronicle of Philanthropy:

“Nearly 29 percent of all money raised in 2015 — $11.56 billion — went to just 20 colleges. Stanford University raised the most, $1.63 billion. Strong support for Stanford’s medical center plus a major art donation helped it secure the top spot, said Martin Shell, the university’s vice president for development. Stanford has led the pack for 10 out of the last 11 years.

Stanford was followed by Harvard University, which raised $1.05 billion, and the University of Southern California, at $653.03 million.

The University of California at San Francisco and Cornell University rounded out the top five, raising $608.58 million and $590.64 million, respectively. UCSF jumped in the rankings from 12th in 2014 to fourth in 2015 thanks to one of the largest gifts made by an individual donor last year: a $177-million grant from Charles F. Feeney’s Atlantic Philanthropies to establish the Global Brain Health Institute, which will be run in partnership with Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.

The data is likely to fuel a growing chorus of criticism about wealthy donors pouring cash into elite universities that already enjoy enormous endowments, rather than spreading their giving to more needy institutions. The proportion of donations going to the top fund-raising colleges has slowly increased over the past decade, said Ann E. Kaplan, survey director for CAE. She attributes that trend to the fact that those colleges have an array of prestigious programs that attract donors.”

American higher education surely appreciates the support from its alumni and others but as the article indicates there is a growing chasm in the resources available to top-tier institutions and other public and non-profit, tuition-driven colleges and universities.




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