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Private Giving Up Again in 2005

March 2, 2006

Contributions to postsecondary institutions in the United States increased for the second consecutive year, growing by 4.9 percent to $25.6 billion from 2004 to 2005, according to the Voluntary Support of Education survey by the Council for Aid to Education. Gifts from individuals contributed nearly half of the $25.6 billion raised in 2005. Alumni giving drove a significant portion of the increase, as did support from foundations and other organizations.

The annual survey tracks giving to higher education and private K-12 education and includes data from 1,005 four-year institutions, capturing approximately 85 percent of the voluntary support raised by colleges and universities. Highlights of the survey:

  • The increase in giving to the top 10 fundraising universities accounted for half of the total growth in giving in 2005.

  • The top three fundraising universities for 2005 are Stanford ($603.59 million), the University of Wisconsin–Madison ($595.22 million), and Harvard ($589.86 million).

  • Although the total dollar amount of alumni giving increased in 2005, the percentage of alumni who donate decreased--as it has been since 2001.

 The full report will be available in May. To read the press release, go to the Council for Aid to Education’s Web site.