Philanthropists in the Indian diaspora have made contributions totaling more than $1.2 billion in support of U.S. higher education since 2000, a report from Indiaspora, a nonprofit working to promote the visibility and effectiveness of giving by Indian-American philanthropists, finds.
The report, Indiaspora Monitor of University Giving 2018: Inaugural Study Findings (12 pages, PDF), found that fifty Indian Americans have made sixty-eight gifts of at least $1 million to thirty-seven U.S. colleges and universities. According to the Monitor of University Giving, Indiaspora's newly created database, 47 percent of those gifts were from repeat donors who had given $1 million or more to a university. The report also found that while the frequency of large donations has been fairly consistent, the average dollar amount of those gifts has increased since 2000.
Although the report found that private institutions received twice as many donations as public schools and secured $5 for every $2 donated to public schools, the University of California, Los Angeles received the largest number of donations, with Harvard University and Boston University tied for second, closely followed by the University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania. According to the report, many donations provided support for general student scholarships or campus facilities and buildings. Among donations directed toward specific academic fields of interest, the most common were in support of business (23.5 percent of gifts and 20.6 percent of dollars) and medicine (20.6 percent of gifts and of dollars).
"While Indian Americans continue to donate time and money towards causes in India, our community also believes that charity begins at home," said Indiaspora founder M.R. Rangaswami. "Indian Americans are acutely aware of the vital role played by American institutions of higher education in their professional success stories, and many of us consider it a moral obligation to give back and pay it forward for the next generation of Americans."