University fundraising tops $1 billion — again

Feb. 5, 2020, 11:06 p.m.

Stanford released its most recent fundraising results on Wednesday, with philanthropic gifts totaling $1.1 billion from Sept. 1, 2018 to Aug. 31, 2019. The donations come from more than 55,000 donors and will go to support a variety of academic and research activities, as well as new construction projects and financial aid.

The University has received similar amounts in past years. Stanford reported $1.1 billion in gifts in fiscal year 2017-2018 and $1.13 billion in 2016-2017. It remains one of the nation’s largest recipients of donor dollars among universities, surpassed only by Harvard.

Of the new funds, $425.1 million will go to research and programs, Stanford News reported. Other major gift recipients include Stanford Medicine — which received just over one-third of the total donations — as well as buildings and facilities, and financial aid.

Donor support helped build the new Escondido Village Graduate Residences, which will soon accommodate more than 2,400 graduate students on campus. Past monetary gifts allowed Stanford to launch the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence and the Stanford Microbiome Therapies Initiative.

Donations also power the financial-aid program. Stanford spent more than $322 million on financial aid last year; nearly half of Stanford undergraduate students receive need-based aid from the University.

Most of this year’s gifts were under $1,000, and nearly half of donors gave $100 or less, according to Stanford News. The majority of donors contributed through annual funds.

The fundraising also added $234.7 million to Stanford’s endowment, much of which is invested each year in an effort to create a steady source of funding for the University. Stanford, however, relies on additional donations every year to keep all of its programs running.

“Many people don’t realize that the endowment covers just 22% of the University’s annual operating expenses,” said Jon Denney, vice president for development, in an interview with Stanford News. “Stanford simply could not pursue its mission without the generosity and loyalty of alumni, parents and friends. I am deeply grateful for their investments and dedication to the University.”

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