Higher education fundraising rebounds

Fundraising by colleges and universities appears to have rebounded, growing 4.9 percent to $25.6 billion in 2005, a new survey says.

Conducted by the Council for Aid to Education, the annual study surveyed 1,005 four-year institutions across the U.S.

Stanford University topped the list, with $603.59 million raised, followed by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which raised $595.22 million, more than half of which came from the conversion of a Blue Cross Blue Shield nonprofit to for-profit status.

Harvard ranked third, raising $589.86 million, the survey says.

Almost half the $25.6 billion raised by all survey respondents combined came from individuals, with alumni contributions up 6 percent to $7.1 billion, and non-alumni giving down almost 4 percent to $5 billion.

While the amount donated by alumni grew, the percentage of alumni contributing fell to 12.4 percent, marking four straight years of decline.

Foundations contributed $7 billion, accounting for more than one in four dollars raised, the survey says, with family foundations donating one in three of those dollars.

Corporations gave $1.73 billion, or fewer than one in 10 dollars raised, but the survey does not include corporate sponsorships, partnerships or clinical trials, the survey says.

Gifts for capital grew 5.6 percent in 2005 and gifts for current operations grew 4.4 percent.

While the number of gifts consisting of securities remained flat during 2005, the value of the gifts increased 9.1 percent, indicating that the number of people giving has dropped, while the average gift size has increased, the study says.

The average value of gifts of securities reached $45,000 last year, the survey says, up from $23,000 in 1993.

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