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Harvard's Record-Breaking Fundraising Total Trails Only That of Stanford

By Amna H. Hashmi, Crimson Staff Writer

Harvard raised more than $792 million during fiscal year 2013, a 21 percent increase from its 2012 charitable contributions of $650 million and more than any other American university but Stanford, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Council for Aid to Education.

The total was largest the University has ever received in a single fiscal year, easily surpassing the previous record of $658 million raised in fiscal year 2001. According to the University’s FY 2013 annual financial report, Harvard raised $339 million in current use gifts—funds immediately available for application.

Still, the University trailed Stanford for the ninth consecutive year—Harvard has not been ranked the top institutional fundraiser since 2004. In recent years, Stanford benefited from a massive 5-year capital campaign that concluded at the end of 2011 and ultimately raised more than $6.2 billion.

Despite the conclusion of the “Stanford Challenge” and the launch of the public phases of Harvard’s own fundraising effort, “The Harvard Campaign,” in September 2013, Stanford still brought in more than $100 million more than Harvard in financial contributions.

Harvard’s $6.5 billion campaign goal is the largest in the history of higher education. The campaign had been in a quiet phase for about two years prior to the launch, silently raising more than $2 billion. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the School of Public Health, and the Radcliffe Institute launched their individual campaigns last October.

The Divinity School, School of Dental Medicine, and Business School will launch their unique campaign efforts in April, the Kennedy School in May, the Graduate School of Education in October, and the Medical School in November.

The Harvard Alumni Affairs and Development Office declined to comment for this story.

The survey also showed that American colleges and universities received a record high of $33.8 billion in donations in 2013. The council is an organization that has benchmarked fundraising in American colleges and universities since 1957, and the total fundraising amount for all institutions reflects the highest recorded monetary giving in the history of the survey.

These charitable contributions represent a 9 percent increase compared to last year and are a part of the ongoing recovery from the recent recession, which caused donations to fall more than $3 billion for a total of $27.85 billion in 2009.

In fact, alumni giving increased more than any other source of support, by 16.9 percent, and the average gift per contributing alumnus increased 18.1 percent. However, alumni participation declined to 8.7 percent overall.

The University of Southern California followed Harvard in the rankings, raising more than $674 million, and Columbia University stood as the fourth highest fundraiser at about $646.6 million. Out of the top four institutional fundraisers, Harvard was the only one to not receive a nine-figure gift. Columbia recently concluded a $6.1 billion campaign effort, which launched in 2006. USC’s ongoing campaign aims to raise $6 billion.

—Staff Writer Amna H. Hashmi can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @amna_hashmi.

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