With COVID-19 driving down giving to American colleges, many operating either remotely or with strict health measures in place affecting students too, endowments are taking a beating, even for many top-flight schools.
The colleges in 2020 took in $49.5 billion in their most recent fiscal year, said the
Council for Advancement & Support of Education, as reported by Crain’s Cleveland Business, in line with previous years, but not showing an increase.
“Without the pandemic, giving probably would have been up and been a very good year,” Ann Kaplan, who directs the survey, told the site but the Stavros Niarchos Foundation’s generosity is helping the biggest fundraiser, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, which led the nation again, with $1.5 billion.
The foundation has a history of helping, in 2018 donating $150 million
to create the SNF Agora Institute to find ways to address the deterioration of civic engagement worldwide and help restore open and inclusive discourse.
Drawing inspiration from the Agora of ancient Athens, the gift established the institute as an academic and public forum bringing together experts from fields such as political science, psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, ethics, sociology, and history.