Cardinal Tops Crimson in Fundraising

Harvard’s efforts bring in $5 million more than previous fiscal year


Benefiting from the launch of a massive capital campaign, Stanford ranked as the nation’s top fundraising university in fiscal year 2006, taking in almost as much in donations as Harvard and Yale combined.

Stanford raised over $911 million and Harvard received nearly $600 million—the second-highest amount in the country—as total charitable giving to U.S. universities rose by 9.4 percent to $28 billion.

Yale ranked third in fundraising with just over $433 million, while fellow Ivy Leaguers including the University of Pennsylvania ($409 million) and Cornell ($406 million) filled out the top five, according to the results of the Voluntary Support of Education survey, issued annually by the Council for Aid to Education.

But Donella M. Rapier, Harvard’s vice president for alumni affairs and development, said Harvard is not disappointed by its second-place finish.

“We were very pleased with the fundraising results from last year, which showed an increase over the previous year,” Rapier wrote in an e-mail.

The University received donations from more than 89,000 donors, up from 88,000 in 2005, when gifts totaled $590 million.

While Harvard’s donations remain high, the school—unlike Stanford—is not in the midst of a multi-billion-dollar capital campaign.

The University’s most recent high-profile drive ended in 1999 and reaped $2.6 billion.

Harvard officials had indicated the school would publicly launch a massive capital campaign once a permanent president took office, but Rapier declined to comment on any time frame.

In contrast, the “Stanford Challenge”—a five-year, $4.3 billion fundraising campaign—publicly launched last October.

And Stanford concluded its Campaign for Undergraduate Education, which raised over $1 billion in total, during fiscal year 2006.

“They have done a great job,” Rapier said in a phone interview. “They were in a year where they ended a campaign and commenced a new campaign. I think that had a very positive effect on their donations.”

Representing a 51 percent increase over the previous year, the $911 million that Stanford received included gifts from more than 72,000 donors.

Yale is also in the midst of a public fundraising drive.

Inge T. Reichenbach, Yale’s vice president for development, wrote in an e-mail that she was “very pleased” with Yale’s performance in fiscal year 2006.

“It represents a strong increase for Yale. It’s been our best year ever,” she said. “We are in the first year of our public phase of a $3 billion campaign.”

Yale’s five-year drive was launched last September and Reichenbach said the university has already raised 48 percent of its goal amount.

Harvard’s best historical fundraising year was 2001, when the University received $658 million in gifts.

Interim President Derek C. Bok said last fall that the vacant presidency would dampen donations in fiscal year 2007, but Rapier wrote that “fundraising for this year looks very solid and we expect that that will continue into the next year.” She declined to release any numbers for fiscal year 2007.

She also predicted that Drew G. Faust’s appointment as the 28th president will have a positive effect on future giving.

“Since she’s been with the University, she already knows a lot of our most active alumni and supporters, and I think that should all play out very positively,” Rapier said. “Her appointment has been greeted with a lot of enthusiasm.”

—Staff writer Nathan C. Strauss can be reached at

Due to an editing error, a sub-headline in the print and original online editions of the Feb. 23 news article "Cardinal Tops Crimson in Fundraising" misrepresented Harvard's fundraising efforts. The headline incorrectly stated that Harvard had raised $10 million more in fiscal year 2006 than in fiscal year 2005. In fact, the figure increased by $5 million.