$59.5 billion donated to US higher ed in FY22 (hits all-time high!)3 min read

March 27, 2023 2 min read


$59.5 billion donated to US higher ed in FY22 (hits all-time high!)3 min read

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Philanthropic gifts to American colleges and universities reached an all-time high in Fiscal Year 2022, according to the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s (CASE) Voluntary Support of Education survey. It totaled $59.5 billion in FY22, which is a 12.5% increase over the previous year. Donations from both individuals and organizations fueled the growth in charitable support. Organizations accounted for the largest share of the gifts (61%), followed by alumni (23%), and non-alumni individuals (16%). Most philanthropic support went to current operations (58%), with 42% given for capital purposes. The increase in gifts was concentrated in restricted endowments, followed by restricted gifts for current operations. Gifts to endowments primarily go toward student financial aid, which accounts for 40% of endowment giving. The research was the activity for which donors most often restricted their current operations gifts.

Seven gifts of $100 million or more were made to colleges and universities. Despite challenges from the pandemic and inflation, the strong stock market performance during a substantial portion of FY 2022 contributed to the increase in giving. CASE President and CEO Sue Cunningham wrote in the introduction to the survey that the results show the value placed on higher education institutions and their mission, adding that “The findings also show the commitment of institutional and academic leaders and advancement professionals to building relationships with constituents. Donors believe in the missions of the colleges and universities they support. Such institutions are seen as good stewards of these voluntary contributions.” Overall, the report’s findings demonstrate the tremendous support for American higher education institutions and their missions, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic and inflation.

The Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation’s gift was a recent example of significant philanthropic commitment in 2023. The generous gift of $50 million to Purdue University will name the undergraduate institute in the Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business, representing the lead donation in establishing the school and the largest monetary contribution ever made to Purdue’s School of Management. The institute will be named the Bruce White Undergraduate Institute in honor of Bruce White, founder and chairman of White Lodging, a former Purdue Board of Trustees member, and a longtime university benefactor who passed away in January 2023. The gift will help restructure and scale innovative degrees and provide transformational educational experiences for undergraduate students. In addition, to create a revised curriculum that equips graduates to lead at the intersection of business and technology, the Daniels School will identify the best aspects of its top existing programs and build on the success of new degree pilots launched between fall 2021 and fall 2022.

The foundation has been a prominent contributor to Purdue over the past three decades, including a combined gift of $30 million that helped transform the Union Club Hotel. The hotel serves as both the university’s boutique on-campus lodging option and a learning laboratory for students studying hospitality at Purdue. Alumni and friends of Purdue have rallied to support the Daniels School of Business, committing more than $127 million so far to increase the school’s capacity for excellence at scale. The Board of Trustees has committed funds for the initiative as well. An initial investment of $300 million will jump-start growth and establish Purdue’s program as the standard for an affordable, technology-focused, pro-business education. These philanthropic gifts will undoubtedly help to advance education and research and to make higher education accessible to more students.

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