Philanthropy beat: Record $33 billion raised for colleges

Charitable donations to U.S. colleges and universities hit a record high of $33.8 billion in fiscal year 2013, thanks largely to generous alumni and philanthropic foundations.

A new survey showed Stanford University was the nation’s top fundraiser, hauling in $931 million last year. Harvard University came in second at $792 million, followed by the University of Southern California with $674 million.

Inside the stratosphere, Minnesota colleges raised anywhere from $49,000 to $23 million last year, according to the annual Voluntary Support of Education survey of 1,048 institutions, conducted by the Council for Aid to Education in New York.

The stock market rebound is a big reason for the record donations, said Ann Kaplan, survey director. The previous record was $31.6 billion during the 2008 fiscal year. “The level of giving in 2013 was indeed impressive and will be challenging to exceed,” Kaplan said.

Foundations provided $10 billion of the nearly $34 billion raised. Alumni donated $9 billion, the general public gave $6.2 billion, and corporations spent $5.1 billion.

The report lists 45 Minnesota colleges. The University of Minnesota did not participate. The top five were:

Carleton College: $27.8 million

St. John’s University: $23.8 million

Luther Seminary: $15.9 million

St. Olaf College: $14.2 million

University of St. Thomas: $14.1 million

The survey showed a wide gulf between private schools and public institutions. State colleges and community colleges lagged far behind private schools. The Minnesota numbers illustrate the gap.

St. Cloud State University, for example, raised $3.4 million. Metro State University raised $516,000. Hibbing Community College raised $119,000. Vermilion Community College picked up the rear with $49,800.

Regardless of college size, the majority of colleges surveyed said their fundraising increased last year.

 

Jean Hopfensperger • 612 673-4511

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