Donations to Higher Ed Had Biggest Boost in 20 Years


Foundation: Gates Foundation

"It's incredibly good news, the impact these philanthropic resources flowing into institutions will have at a time when other revenue streams are being squeezed more and more."

That's the takeaway from a new survey from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, which found that US philanthropists gave $59.5 billion to higher education in the fiscal year that ended in June.

That's up 14.5% over the previous year and the highest total since 2000, the Washington Post reports.

Of that, 61% came from nonprofit philanthropic foundations, 22% from alumni, and 16% from individuals who aren't alums.

The biggest chunk of that money, $27.5 billion, went to restricted endowments to fund scholarships and research projects, while the remainder went to other types of institutions, such as the National Institutes of Health and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The dean of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University tells the Post that the "double-digit growth is not the norm, so this is a really strong year for giving."

He adds that the trend may be due to a new generation of alumni aging into cohorts with more disposable income, and thus they're more likely to donate.

"I heard someone say the other day that we're no longer in the album...

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