College Fundraising Outlook Darkens After Surge
For the fourth straight year, Stanford University, which has long benefited from its ties to Silicon Valley, topped the annual fund-raising list, receiving $785 million in its 2008 fiscal year, ended in August. Stanford was followed by Harvard's nearly $651 million, Columbia's $495 million and Yale's $487 million.
Lisa Lapin, a Stanford spokeswoman, said the university is in the midst of a five-year, $4.3 billion fund-raising campaign, which ends in 2011. The Palo Alto, Calif., institution's big haul represents a decline from 2007 and from 2006, when it raised $911.6 million, a record for any college in a single year. Ms. Lapin said the school has "seen some slowdown in philanthropic support during the past several months, possibly due to the constraints on the economy and the current level of financial uncertainty."
In line with other wealthy schools, Stanford has said its endowment, which stood at $17.2 billion on Aug. 31, is expected to decline 20% to 30% this year. The university is planning steep cuts to its $3.5 billion budget over the next two years and has already had scattered layoffs and suspended some major capital projects. Ms. Lapin said income from the endowment makes up 28% of Stanford's budget, while annual donations comprise only 5%, so "any changes in giving would have little impact on the university's operating budget."