Colleges, Universities Net $31 Billion in 2012
America’s colleges and universities continue to pull in donations, receiving about $31 billion in 2012 according to a report released by the Council for Aid to Education on Wednesday. That amount falls $600 million short of the record amount donated in 2008, but is up by 2.3 percent over 2011. Giving fell sharply beginning in 2009 as the affects of the Great Recession weighed in.
Adjusted for inflation, the increase for 2012 is just 0.2 percent while alumni participation fell by 1.2 percent. Alumni participation is one of the biggest contributions to institutional giving.
Leading all education institutions was Stanford University. The California school pulled in $1.03 billion in 2012, the first college or university to crack the $1 billion threshold. Last year was the eighth consecutive year that Stanford has received the most money and it was also the 14th time in the past 30 years that its donations were the highest. In 15 of those years Harvard University finished first with UCLA topping the list in 2002.
The Voluntary Support of Education (VSE) survey revealed that 52.8 percent of reporting institutions raised at least the same money that they did in 2011. The other 47.2 percent reported a decline over 2011.
Endowments, representing the pots of money colleges and universities have on hand to tap as needed, showed no gain or a decrease for most reporting institutions in 2012. Some 55.7 reported declines with the remaining 44.3 reporting no change or an increase last year. Stock market values slid in 2012, often an indicator of donation trends.
While alumni giving slipped last year, reporting institutions found that contributions from other sources increased. Non-alumni individual contributions rose by 3.1 percent in 2012. Gifts from corporations increased by 4.6 percent, while gifts from foundations increased by 5.5 percent.
The giving trend looks positive for 2013 as the stock market continues to surge. One of the most significant contributions announced in 2012 may be credited in 2013, and that is Michael R. Bloomberg’s $350 million gift to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University. It isn’t known when those funds will arrive or whether it will be fully credited by the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2013.
The Council for Aid to Education (CAE) is a national nonprofit organization based in New York City. It represents American’s only source of empirical data on private giving to education, through the annual Voluntary Support of Education (VSE) survey and its Data Miner interactive database. The CAE also produces the Collegiate Learning Assessment, a measurement of student learning outcomes designed to monitor the quality of and access to higher education.