Elite dominate UK donations

Donations to universities in the UK are even more skewed towards the elite than in the US, according to a new report

November 3, 2013

The credit rating agency Moody’s predicts an “increasing disparity of wealth” as philanthropy is concentrated at the top.

Harvard and Stanford universities won around 15 per cent of all philanthropic income that went to private US institutions in 2012, it explains, while the biggest public beneficiaries, the universities of California and Texas, received 18 per cent.

By comparison, the universities of Oxford and Cambridge received around 45 per cent of all UK philanthropic income, says the report, ‘UK Universities Increasingly Tapping Fundraising’.

“An increasing disparity of wealth will occur in the [UK] sector as donations are concentrated among the elite universities, as is the case in the United States,” it says.

“Philanthropic support is concentrated among the top-tier universities with global brand recognition in both countries, with a higher degree of concentration in the UK,” the report continues.

The most recent Ross-Case survey of philanthropy in the sector found that while the overall amount of money raised went up in 2011-12, two-thirds of institutions saw their income from donations decline, pointing to a growing gulf between universities.

The Moody’s report also finds that philanthropic income has grown much faster in the UK since 2005 than in the US, albeit from a much lower base.

From 2005 to 2012, the amount raised by UK institutions more than doubled, whereas in the US it grew by less than 40 per cent.

david.matthews@tsleducation.com

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