Every year, America's top academic institutions receive billions of dollars in donations every year
. The most recent edition of the Voluntary Support for Education survey
(published by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education), found that $46.73 billion was donated to U.S. colleges and universities in the academic year ending in June 2018. The 20 colleges that received the most money accounted for 28 percent of total donations. That's despite the fact that they only serve 1.6 percent of the U.S. student population - 19.9 million undergraduates.
Harvard's impressive haul came at the end of a five-year capital campaign that broke records for fundraising in higher education. The university had a goal of $6.5 billion and by the end of the campaign, it raised $9.6 billion. Stanford came second to Harvard in 2018, raising $1.1 billion. Columbia was close behind with $1.0 billion. The survey shows how several elite and wealthy colleges are attracting the lion's share of financial resources even though they account for a small portion of the student population.
As well as supporting education, donations to universities
also help fund campus hospitals, museums and research facilities, among other institutions. When it comes to the origin of funding in 2018, $14 billion (30 percent ) was from foundations, $12.15 billion (26 percent) came from alumni, $8.57 billion (18.3 percent) was from nonalumni and the remaining $5.27 billion (11.3 percent) came from other organizations.