Gifts of at least $10 million to institutions of higher education were up 6 percent in number and 25 percent in total value in 2017, a report from Marts & Lundy finds.
Based on data from the Chronicle of Philanthropy's online database of large gifts as well as gift announcements on Twitter, the report, $10M+ Gifts to Higher Education (8 pages, PDF), found that Americans made 204 gifts of at least $10 million totaling $7.72 billion in 2017, up from 194 gifts totaling $6.16 billion in 2016. According to the analysis, the increase is due entirely to a jump in gifts of at least $50 million, which increased 70 percent in number, 47 percent in total value, and accounted for 19 percent of gifts of $10 million or more but 60 percent of the total value of those gifts.
The report also found that 74 percent of all gifts of at least $10 million in 2017 went to higher education, up from 66 percent in each of the previous three years and matching the level recorded in 2013. The share of $10 million-plus gifts for arts, culture, and the environment (which are treated as a single category in the report) held steady at 10 percent, down from 19 percent in 2015, while gifts to health organizations fell from 15 percent in 2016 to 9 percent. For the fourth consecutive year, just 1 percent of gifts of at least $10 million went to K-12 schools.