- University of California Los Angeles has met a $4.2 billion fundraising goal 18 months ahead of schedule, the Los Angeles Times reported, another example of a public university pumping up donations to meet budget shortfalls, largely from reduced state funding.
- UCLA said the contributions, coming from more than 460,000 donors and ranging from $1 to more than $100 million, will support a wide range of university initiatives, including scholarships and endowed faculty positions in children’s health, developmental disability studies, transplant surgery, mathematics and engineering.
- University officials reported that the effort, which began in 2012, was successful because the institution attracted a small group of large donors (117 gave more than $5 million, or nearly half the total) and a lot who made smaller contributions under $10,000, which made up 95% of those contributing. Four donors gave more than $100 million.
Among the 54 fundraising campaigns nationally trying to raise more than $1 billion, 20 are by public universities taking advantage of a strong economy and fueled by the need to find other sources of support. The newspaper reported that the California state universities have lately gotten more state funds after their budgets were trimmed by one third following the recession. It notes that state spending per pupil is still, however, half what it was in 2000.
An earlier report had projected about a 4% growth in fundraising for public institutions to help fill the $9 billion less that states are spending on higher education compared to a decade ago.
Meanwhile, the Chronicle of Philanthropy in February reported that in 2017 giving to colleges and universities generally rose 6% to $43.6 billion, the most ever recorded by an annual survey since it began in 1957. That survey showed most among the top 10 for fundraising were larger private colleges, with the top three being Harvard, raising $1.28 billion, Stanford, $1.13 billion, and Cornell, $743.50 million. The top 20 fundraising institutions raised more than a quarter of the money gathered by the some 3,700 surveyed.
Alumni giving was up in support of endowments and capital expenditures by about 17% and for current expenditures by about 9%, compared to alumni giving that was down overall about 9% in 2016, the survey found. Wellesley College got nearly half of its support from alumni, followed by Williams College, Amherst College and College of Holy Cross, all at about 45%.