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Donations to higher education up

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Donations to colleges and universities rose 3.4 percent last year, in part due to an increase in giving from non-alums, a new report says.

The report from Rand Corporation’s Council for Aid to Education surveyed 971 schools for the study, or almost half the four-year institutions in the U.S.

Almost half the $24.4 billion raised in 2004 came from individuals, up 9.7 percent over 2003, the report says, and while alumni support rose 2 percent, non-alumni supporters increased their giving by 21.5 percent.

The percentage of alumni making donations has dropped each year since 2001, and now stands at 12.8 percent.

Harvard University raised more funds from private donors than any other school for the second year in a row, with a total of $540.3 million, followed by Stanford University at $524.2 and Cornell University at $385.9.

Corporate giving increased by 3 percent, the report says, while foundation giving dropped 6.1 percent.

Donations for capital uses grew by less than 1 percent after dropping the two previous years, while giving for ongoing operations grew by 5.4 percent.

The value of endowments grew by an average of 18.7 percent, the report says, and the average stock gift was $36,660, compared to a high of $42,066 reported in 2000.

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