In 2016, U.S. college donations reached a record $41 billion. Those donations included gifts such as art, stocks and property, as well as cash. According to the the Council for Aid to Education’s annual Voluntary Support of Education survey, fundraising increased 1.7 percent in 2016, a relatively minor increase compared to previous years. In fact, when inflation is taken into account, that gain is practically eliminated.
Harvard University came first in the fundraising stakes, bringing in $1.19 billion. Stanford came second with $951 million while the University of Southern California rounded off the top three with $666.64 million. Less than 1 percent of U.S. colleges brought in 27.1 percent of all donations last year. Corporations and foundations accounted for 46.5 percent of all donations in dollar terms.