Stanford Challenge raises $6,2 billion

Nieuws | de redactie
9 februari 2012 | Stanford’s targeted fundraising campaign collected $6,2 billion within the last 5 years. The lion share of these funds are designated to finance research initiatives responding to global key challenges regarding health, education, sustainability.

To universities, gathering donations is an art. Ivy leagueuniversities are especially adept at convincing their alumni andother stakeholders to contribute money to their cause. StanfordUniversity now showed that a targeted campaign can in fact raise asmuch as $6,2 billion (€4,7 billion) within five years.

Back in 2006, Stanford’s President John L. Hennessy announced a program called “The Stanford Challenge” which was meant tochannel university endowments into projects answering pressingglobal issues related to areas like health, sustainability, artsand education. The plan was initially to collect:

  • $1.4 billion for multidisciplinary initiatives. Among themthree transformative initiatives designed to make groundbreakingadvances in human health, environmental sustainability andinternational peace and security
  • $1.175 billion for initiatives to improve K-12 education,strengthen Stanford’s undergraduate programs, reinvent and enhancegraduate programs and engage all students in the arts and thecreative process through exhibitions, performances andresearch
  • $1.725 billion in core support and annual giving to sustainStanford’s breadth of excellence in teaching and research

Ultimately, the campaign organizers exceeded their $4,3 billiontarget by $1,9 billion. $250 million (€188 million) of these fundsare now designated to flow into scholarship financing. Creating acampaign on this scale appears hardly possible at a Europeanuniversity.

In the U.S., it is rather common for alumni and otherstakeholders to donate money to universities. Nevertheless, thisinitiative remains interesting from the point of view that itbundled Stanford’s fundraising effort into one program with acommon vision and strategy. Accordingly the campaign’s co-chaircommented that “a core strength of Stanford is its ability tofunction as one university and not just a collection of separateschools and institutes.”


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