Even as the effects of climate change have become more visible and devastating, few higher ed donors prioritize this issue. Which is why a $50 million gift to Penn earmarked for research on energy is both anomalous and encouraging.
As rank-and-file alumni give at lower levels, and big gifts become more integral to university fundraising plans, we’re seeing an uptick in disputes between aggrieved donors and recipient schools. But these fights can play out in a very different ways.
It seems like every week brings news of a regional school meeting an ambitious fundraising goal months, if not years, ahead of schedule. This isn’t a coincidence. We dig into a textbook case from Houston, a city with a famously robust philanthropic culture.
Hampshire College was founded in the 1960s in an effort to reinvent higher education. Now, like other similar institutions, the school is facing a financial crisis that threatens its existence. So far, foundations have shown little interest in coming to its rescue.
Despite some recent progress, Hollywood has a long way to go on diversity. An expanded partnership between an L.A.-based art gallery and film school shows that funders aren’t waiting for the industry to take the lead in this area.
The tech sector is growing, but the diversity of its workforce has lagged behind. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has joined the growing ranks of funders taking on this challenge, with a big gift to change who’s in the talent pipeline for Silicon Valley jobs.
Warnings about the risks posed by technology have been growing louder and more urgent. But an initiative launched last month imagines a more hopeful future in which technologists advance the public interest. Who’s behind it, and what’s the plan?
The latest installment in the higher ed artificial intelligence gold rush finds a corporate funder backing new research on health and AI. Other campus donors will likely follow, even as some experts warn that this new technology could exacerbate health inequities.
Thanks in part to donor dollars, Los Angeles, according to the New York Times, now has America’s most exciting arts scene. One overlooked driver of the city’s arts boom is alumni support for the arts at universities across the region, including Pomona College.
Driven by a potent mix of nostalgia, market demand and the real value of an immersive education, some donors remain enamored with the residential college experience. We dig into the latest big gift to ensure that students can enjoy life on the quad
It may sound counter-intuitive at first, but some of the biggest patrons for university arts initiatives hail from the world of high finance. A closer look at a $100 million gift to Harvard reveals some conceptual and practical reasons for this.
While the impulse of funders to bankroll that next medical breakthrough is as strong as ever, growing health disparities help to explain a surge in giving for campus public health initiatives. We dig into the latest big gift in this burgeoning field.
The healthcare sector plays a huge role in local economies and American life broadly. Equipped with donor dollars, more universities are looking to get in on the action by creating or expanding health schools. A case in point is a recent big gift to Loyola in Chicago.
A trustee and major donor to Gettysburg College resigned after a 38-year-old photo emerged of him dressed as a television character sporting a Nazi armband. With donors facing new scrutiny on highly charged college campuses, should alumni think twice before cutting that next big check?
While donors are giving big to provide disadvantaged students access to elite colleges, the real work often begins once the student arrives on campus. A big gift to an Ivy League school will scale a successful initiative to help first-gen students adjust to college life.
Should a donor have a say in a university's hiring decisions and research priorities? While the answer to this question might seem obvious, St. Louis University has pushed aside criticisms of a $50 million strings-attached gift from a wealthy libertarian benefactor.
A gift to the University of Florida's law school encapsulates three of the big themes reshaping higher ed: increasingly specialized giving, ambitious multi-billion dollar fundraising campaigns, and the emergence of previously under-the-radar alumni mega-givers.
A recent $20 million gift from the Windgate Foundation to the University of Central Arkansas—the largest in the school’s 111-year history—is another reminder of the stronger philanthropic ecosystems that are emerging in the South.
The University of Virginia (UVA) recently netted a $120 million gift—the largest in its 200-year history—for a school of data science. What’s not to love? Quite a bit, it seems, judging by criticisms of the donation.
Fewer than half of all students who start community college finish. In Mississippi, the Woodward Hines Education Foundation sees honor societies as one key to changing that. It’s also connecting schools in the state to a national community college network.
A $20 million gift seeks to increase accessibility for underrepresented and first-generation students to Duke’s School of the Environment. It comes at a moment when there’s growing acknowledgement that green groups must do more to diversify their ranks in an era of rapid demographic change.
Community colleges serve almost half of the country's college students yet receive a shockingly small percentage of philanthropic support. A growing body of research on how these students can go on to succeed at elite institutions hopes to change the narrative.
Historic levels of donor support for higher education has included a surge in big gifts for the liberal arts. We dig into an instructive campaign from a mid-tier public university turning to private dollars as state support lags.
The University of Michigan is wrapping up a historic fundraising campaign that’s pulled in $5 billion and counting. Of the many mega-gifts it received, we dig into one that is solely earmarked for financial aid and reflects growing donor concern around issues of affordability.
With stresses and shocks to U.S. society growing, and government in retreat in many places, a growing range of funders is keen to bolster civil society’s role in promoting resilience. We look at a unique effort along these lines under way in Arizona.
A major donation to UT Austin’s business school provides an illuminating look into how donors hailing from the world of finance perceive ideas like “value” and “impact,” concepts which aren’t nearly as clear cut to these givers as you might think.
Another huge campus gift for artificial intelligence research leaves us wondering: Can donors concerned about the ethical, social and humanitarian consequences of the AI revolution keep pace with rapid technological change and the forces of private enterprise?
Micron Technology typically isn’t mentioned in the same breath as Google, Microsoft, or Intel, but when it comes to boosting gender parity and diversity in the STEM field, its giving arm punches well above its weight.
A big donation to Brown University combines three donor priorities that are currently shaping the higher ed giving space: support for capital projects, funding for the liberal arts, and eliminating student loans and debt.
The Abney Foundation is another funder chipping away at the tuition crisis through scholarship awards. We take a closer look at its local grantmaking in South Carolina, and how it aligns with the founder’s original youth-centric mission.