Gifts of at least $10 million to institutions of higher education totaled $2.9 billion in the first half of 2016, down 12 percent from $3.3 billion over the same period last year, a report from consulting firm Marts & Lundy finds.
The report, A Mid-Year Report on $10 Million+ Gifts and Commitments to Higher Education (10 pages, PDF), found that the number of $10 million-plus gifts to higher education fell marginally in the first half of the year, from ninety-seven over the same period in 2015 to ninety-six this year — including sixty-six gifts of between $10 million and $24.9 million, nineteen of between $25 million and 49.9 million, six of between $50 million and $99.9 million, and five gifts of $100 million or more. The report also found that the dollar share of $10 million-plus gifts to higher education as a percentage of all $10 million-plus gifts (excluding giving to foundations) fell from 66.4 percent to 56.4 percent. In terms of types of giving, gifts accounted for 95 percent of the dollars awarded, with the rest divided among challenge and matching funds, planned gifts, and non-cash giving.
To date in 2016, California leads the country in $10 million-plus gifts to higher education, with nineteen totaling $1.25 billion, followed by New York (eleven totaling $263 million) and Pennsylvania (eight totaling $173 million).
According to a Marts & Lundy blog post, the report "shows a continuation of a 'steady state' into a fourth year. With $10M+ gifts representing 14 percent of 2015 aggregated giving to higher ed, this statistic mirrors the top gift of a traditional giving pyramid....Steadily rising giving totals with a corresponding decline in participation since 1987 reinforce the importance of concentrating on larger gifts. For all institutions, it means adjusting to the realities of the accumulation of larger individual and family fortunes, even at the expense of chasing broad-based giving."