Gifts from private college alumni rebound
Charitable contributions to Minnesota colleges and universities, which declined significantly during the recession, grew for both Minnesota Private College Council (MPCC) member institutions and the University of Minnesota (U of M) in 2011. Total annual contributions (used for capital expenditures, financial aid, endowments, etc.) at MPCC institutions have recovered to the 2008 level. Much of the rebound can be attributed to the generosity of alumni.
Contributions to the 14 MPCC institutions that responded to a voluntary survey totaled $179 million in 2011, while the U of M received $273 million. However, giving to these MPCC colleges has rebounded faster than at the U of M. Charitable contributions peaked in 2008 for both MPCC colleges and the U of M and both experienced a decline in 2009. MPCC contributions are back to 2008 levels, while U of M contributions lag by about $35 million.
Sources of gifts differ
The contributions to MPCC colleges and the U of M break down very differently. MPCC alumni gave $75 million in 2011, accounting for 42% of total MPCC giving. This grows to 50% when parent contributions of $14 million are included. The U of M received $35 million from alumni in 2011, accounting for 13% of its contributions — less than half of the total for MPCC. The share of MPCC alumni who gave was 20% — more than twice the U of M’s rate of 8%.
As a large research university, the U of M does very well in securing donations from corporations and foundations — $130 million in 2011 or 48% of total contributions. MPCC member institutions received $34 million from corporations and foundations or 19% of total contributions.
What you can do
The rise of charitable contributions, for both MPCC members and the U of M, is a positive sign of the economic recovery that has a big impact on higher education. As the economy continues to recover, consider what more you can do for your own alma mater. Whether it is public or private, your institution will welcome increased support. And if you are looking for an efficient way to make a donation to all 17 member institutions of Minnesota’s Private Colleges, consider contacting the Minnesota Private College Fund.