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Alumni Giving To HBCUs Declined in 2007

Charitable contributions to colleges and universities increased in 2007, while alumni giving decreased, including a 6 percent drop at historically Black colleges and universities, according to a report released by the Council for Aid to Education (CAE).

The report, Voluntary Support of Education, revealed that while alumni giving declined, charitable donations for both traditionally White institutions (TWI) and historically Black colleges and universities both saw significant gains in private giving via foundations, corporations or religious organizations. Donations reached a record-breaking $29.75 billion.

The top 20 TWIs received $500 million more in 2007 than the previous year, according to a CAE survey. Stanford University accrued the most money from private donors, bringing in $832 million in donations, followed by Harvard University at $613 million and the University of Southern California at $469 million.

Sorted List Based on Grand Total

Top 10 Fundraising Universities in 2007 are:


Stanford University

$832.35 million


Harvard University

$613.99 million


University of Southern California

$469.65 million


Johns Hopkins University

$430.46 million


Columbia University

$432.85 million


Cornell University

$406.93 million


University of Pennsylvania

$392.42 million


Yale University

$391.32 million


Duke University

$372.33 million


University of California, Los Angeles

$325.34 million

The top 20 institutions raised 25 percent of all the 2007 contributions to higher education institutions, yet they only represent 2 percent of the 1,000 survey respondents.

“Many of the larger historically Black institutions that raise a lot of money and drive trends did not participate in the survey,” says Ann Kaplan, director of the survey. But among those that did, they collectively saw a 12 percent jump in charitable donations in 2007, increasing from $4.7 million to $5.4 million.

Sorted List Based on Grand Total

Historically Black Colleges and Universities / Highest 1500 / FY2007


Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA)

$34.62 million


Univ. of Texas at El Paso (El Paso, TX)

$16.73 million


Cuyahoga Community College (Cleveland, OH)

$9.95 million


North Carolina A & T State University (Greensboro, NC)

$9.05 million


Morehouse School of Medicine (Atlanta, GA)

$6.52 million


Meharry Medical College (Nashville, TN)

$6.45 million


Winston-Salem State University (Winston-Salem, NC)

$3.86 million


Fisk University (Nashville, TN)

$3.10 million


North Carolina Central University (Durham, NC)

$1.88 million


Prairie View A&M University (Prairie View, TX)

$1.79 million

Alumni giving nationally declined 1.5 percent in 2007. Experts say an atypical surge in donations in 2006 set the stage for this year’s decline. Among HBCUs, donations provided by alumni decreased by 6 percent. Kaplan says alumni giving among HBCUs is less important than it was for majority institutions. “HBCUs tend to rely on more institutionalized giving,” Kaplan says.

The report also found that the number of alumni donors is decreasing. Nationally, alumni participation declined from 11.9 percent to 11.7 percent. The average alumni donation for TWI graduate was $1,195 compared with $475 for HBCU graduates.

According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, enrollment for the nation’s colleges and universities has increased considerably. The NCES reports that enrollment increased 21 percent between 1994 and 2004. Enrollment patterns affect the age characteristics of college alumni.

“Younger individuals tend to give less frequently and make smaller contributions. As alumni age, they have the capacity and inclination to make more frequent and larger charitable contributions,” Kaplan adds.

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