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Private Giving Continues to Rise in 2006

February 26, 2007

Contributions to postsecondary institutions in the United States increased for the third consecutive year, growing by 9.4 percent to $28 billion from 2005 to 2006, according to the Voluntary Support of Education survey by the Council for Aid to Education. The increase can be attributed primarily to alumni and other individuals, whose combined contributions amounted to slightly more than half of the $28 billion given in 2006.

The annual survey tracks all sources of giving to higher education and includes data from 1,014 four-year institutions, capturing approximately 85 percent of the voluntary support raised by colleges and universities. Highlights of the survey include the following:

  • Although the total dollar amount of alumni giving increased in 2006, the percentage of alumni who donate decreased from 12.4 percent in 2005 to 11.8 percent in 2006. This has been a continuing trend since 2001.

  • The top three fundraising universities for 2006 are Stanford University ($911.2 million), Harvard University ($594.9 million), and Yale University ($433.5 million).

  • The average value of individual gifts to institutions made in the form of securities was $47,806--the highest on record.

  • Alumni are more likely to support the institution that granted them an undergraduate degree than they are to support an institution from which they received a graduate degree.

The results of the survey along with a full analysis of the trends will be published in the spring of 2007 and made available through the Council for Aid to Education’s Web site.