In 2011, colleges and universities saw an 8.2 percent spike in donations following past years of flat or declining giving. Throughout the year, schools were given over $30 billion in nonprofit fundraising contributions, according to the annual Voluntary Support of Education (VSE) survey released by the Council for Aid to Education (CAE).
Contributions for buildings and endowments rose by 13.6 percent, while giving to support current operations went up by only 4.7 percent.
Most of the contributions were made by foundations, which represented 28.6 percent of university donations. Alumni were the second largest donors, making up 25.7 percent of funding. The rest was a given from a combination of non-alumni, 8.6 percent; corporations, 16.6 percent; other organizations, 9.4 percent; and religious groups, 1 percent.
The study found that a small pool of universities and colleges experienced most of the contribution growth. Five schools that received the most funding dollars are Standford University, Harvard University, Yale University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Columbia University, according the CAE. Over 85 percent of the years’ charitable contributions – 8.25 billion – went to just 25 percent of schools that responded.