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February 08, 2018

6.3 Percent Increase in Charitable Giving for Colleges and Universities

6.3 Percent Increase in Charitable Giving for Colleges and Universities


According to the latest data from the Council for Aid to Education's (CAE) annual Voluntary Support of Education survey, charitable giving to American colleges and universities increased 6.3% in 2017, reaching a new record high of $43.6 billion.


Individual giving drove this increase; dollars contributed by alumni increased 14.5%, and non-alumni giving was up 4.5%. This is an encouraging reversal of the trends in 2016 when both of these groups saw decreases in giving. Giving from foundations also saw an increase of 5.5%, but giving from corporations was flat. Giving from other types of organizations increased 3.1%. Notably, the "other" category includes donor-advised funds, a vehicle for personal giving that has seen exceptional growth in recent years.


In the press release announcing this new data, CAE credits the strong stock market as the main factor for the increase in personal giving—noting that gifts made in the form of securities increased by a huge 26.6%.


The top 20 colleges and universities raised 28.1% of the 2017 total, $12.23 billion. Last year these same institutions raised $11.07 billion.


Top 20 colleges and universities by funds raised in 2017:


1 Harvard University $1.28 Billion
2 Stanford University $1.13 Billion
3 Cornell University $743.50 Million
4 Massachusetts Institute of Technology $672.94 Million
5 University of Southern California $668.33 Million
6 Johns Hopkins University $636.91 Million
7 University of Pennsylvania $626.49 Million
8 Columbia University $603.08 Million
9 Yale University $595.89 Million
10 Duke University $581.05 Million
11 New York University $567.12 Million
12 University of Washington $553.89 Million
13 University of California, Los Angeles $550.93 Million
14 University of Chicago $483.47 Million
15 University of Michigan $456.13 Million
16 University of Notre Dame $422.17 Million
17 University of California, San Francisco $422.17 Million
18 University of California, Berkeley $404.59 Million
19 The Ohio State University $401.85 Million
20 Indiana University $398.26 Million

The top 20 has not changed much since last year in terms of order. The biggest mover was the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which jumped from 16th place to 4th, seeing an increase in giving from $419.75 million to $672.94 million.


The full report on the Voluntary Support of Education survey will be published in Spring 2018 and will be available on CAE’s website.



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