Amid Growing Skepticism About Elite Universities, Alumni Dig Deep for Financial Aid

Amid Growing Skepticism About Elite Universities, Alumni Dig Deep for Financial Aid

There’s been growing criticism that donors exacerbate inequality by funneling billions to wealthy universities with a poor track record of boosting economic mobility. Two huge scholarship gifts show a different path forward.

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“Lifting up the Next Generation.” A Gift Underscores the Growing Footprint of Self-Made Female Donors

“Lifting up the Next Generation.” A Gift Underscores the Growing Footprint of Self-Made Female Donors

Self-made women are reshaping modern philanthropy. A good example is Elizabeth Elting, who, after escaping the “boys club” of finance, created a lucrative global company and now is giving for women’s empowerment and equity.

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A Blockbuster Gift From T. Denny Sanford Attacks the High Cost of College Education

A Blockbuster Gift From T. Denny Sanford Attacks the High Cost of College Education

While big campus donors tend to see more generous scholarships as the key to expanding access to higher education, a billionaire credit card mogul is putting up $350 million to help National University cut its tuition in half.

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“Creating the Best Doctors.” More Donors Make the Case for a Free Medical Education

“Creating the Best Doctors.” More Donors Make the Case for a Free Medical Education

Can free medical school education change who becomes a doctor or what kinds of jobs med school graduates take? Wealthy backers of NYU Langone Health and now Weill Cornell Medicine believe so. But are they right?

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How New IRS Rules Make it Harder to Navigate the World of Appraisals and Tax Deductions

How New IRS Rules Make it Harder to Navigate the World of Appraisals and Tax Deductions

Gifts of art and other non-cash contributions play pivotal roles in the building of collections for museums, archives and libraries. But a new and higher bar for appraisals has made such donations more complicated.

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In a Higher Ed Landscape Flush with Cash, Are More Big Gifts Starting to Reach HBCUs?

In a Higher Ed Landscape Flush with Cash, Are More Big Gifts Starting to Reach HBCUs?

Despite a growing focus on issues of equity and an avalanche of campus donations, historically black schools continue to struggle. But several big recent gifts, plus demographic trends, provide grounds for cautious optimism.

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New Koch Funding for Criminal Justice Reform Keep Keeps Coming

New Koch Funding for Criminal Justice Reform Keep Keeps Coming

The Charles Koch Foundation has quietly become one of the largest supporters of research on criminal justice reform. Most recently, it gave nearly $5 million to support a new center headed up by a leading legal scholar at Duke.

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From Adolescence through College: A Donor Keys in on Mental Health and More on Campus

From Adolescence through College: A Donor Keys in on Mental Health and More on Campus

As finance veteran Clifford Chiu has expanded his philanthropy, he and his wife Leigh have focused on the growing mental health crisis on campus—and especially how it affects students of color. We talk to Chiu about his evolving giving.

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Flash Points: How Gifts to Two Black Colleges Reflect the Volatile State of Higher Ed Fundraising

Flash Points: How Gifts to Two Black Colleges Reflect the Volatile State of Higher Ed Fundraising

News out of Kentucky provides yet another example of donors rehabilitating their brands through higher ed philanthropy. But this story also features corporate intrigue, disputed gifts, and the funding inequities facing black universities.

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“A Built-In Advantage.” Why U.S. Universities are Looking Across the Atlantic to British Foundations

“A Built-In Advantage.” Why U.S. Universities are Looking Across the Atlantic to British Foundations

British foundations gave approximately $125 million to North American universities between 2014-2018, far more than their publicly funded European counterparts. Is this a new and promising frontier for American higher ed fundraisers?

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With Donor Support, a Regional University Looks to be a Leader in Coastal Resiliency

With Donor Support, a Regional University Looks to be a Leader in Coastal Resiliency

While funders are giving to help communities adapt to climate change, support rarely flows to universities. A gift in Virginia shows that this may be starting to change as more coastal schools and their donors look to address growing threats.

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A Campus Gift to Boost Women in the Arts is a Big Deal for a Small School

A Campus Gift to Boost Women in the Arts is a Big Deal for a Small School

Universities haven’t done enough to recruit and support women with an interest in art and design, particularly those from modest economic backgrounds. With a major gift, a billionaire couple is helping a school in Philadelphia expand access.

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Epstein, Science, and the Power of Saying No to Money

Epstein, Science, and the Power of Saying No to Money

We often idealize science as insulated from matters of power and corruption. Jeffrey Epstein’s ties to research institutions and scientists are a reminder that the way we fund science holds meaning and consequences. 

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"Freeing Minds.” A Closer Look at St. John's Bid to Cut Tuition—and Why Donors Are All In

"Freeing Minds.” A Closer Look at St. John's Bid to Cut Tuition—and Why Donors Are All In

Starting this year, St. John’s College is  lowering tuition dramatically. The move is part of a carefully orchestrated campaign to buck prevailing trends and is made possible by some donors with deep pockets. Here’s the inside story.

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From the Courts to the Green: Why an NBA Star Brought Golf to Howard University

From the Courts to the Green: Why an NBA Star Brought Golf to Howard University

Warriors basketball superstar Stephen Curry’s growing philanthropy includes a seven-figure donation to launch a golf program at Howard University. The gift fits into his larger vision of using sports to advance equity and inclusion.

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No Metrics Needed: How a Classic Music Devotee’s Years of “Quiet Support” Led to a Huge Gift

No Metrics Needed: How a Classic Music Devotee’s Years of “Quiet Support” Led to a Huge Gift

While fundraisers are increasingly concentrating their efforts on younger and more impact-focused donors, they shouldn’t discount the emotional power of classical music and the giving power of “old world” patrons. For proof, we turn to a big recent gift.

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Far Too Few Rural Americans Attend College. These Funders Want to Change That

Far Too Few Rural Americans Attend College. These Funders Want to Change That

Despite higher ed funders’ surging interest in equity and access, rural students are often overlooked. But thanks to several factors, including engaged donors, universities are stepping up their efforts to recruit and support such students.

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