Giving to U.S. colleges and universities rose 9 percent on a year-over-year basis in 2013, reaching a record $33.8 billion, the survey finds.
Conducted by the , the annual VSE survey found that 59.5 percent of colleges and universities reported higher fundraising revenue in 2013 than in 2012, with , for the ninth consecutive year, topping the list ($931.57 million, including a gift of from alumnus John Arrillaga), followed by ($792.26 million), the ($674.51 million), and ($646.66 million).
As in 2012, foundation giving accounted for the largest share of contributions (29.6 percent), followed by alumni (18.3 percent) and corporations (15.1 percent). While giving from alumni increased 16.9 percent on a year-over-year basis — more than any other source of support — and the average alumni gift increased 18.1 percent, alumni participation rates continued to decline, to 8.7 percent from 9.2 percent in 2012. In addition, corporate giving was the only category to register a decline, to $5.1 billion from $5.25 billion in 2012. The survey also found that contributions to fund current operations increased 6.9 percent, while gifts for capital campaigns rose 12.4 percent and the value of endowments increased 9.8 percent, thanks in large part to the run-up in the stock market.
"The 2014 fiscal year is not over, but the bellwethers for giving to education are positive at the time of this release," said survey director Ann E. Kaplan. "Bear in mind that the significant increase seen in 2013 represents a challenging benchmark. The 2013 increase came on the heels of a lackluster year. The level of giving in 2013 was indeed impressive and will be challenging to exceed."