Stanford releases 2018–19 fundraising results

In 2018–19, gifts to Stanford provided $1.1 billion for financial aid, research, patient care and other university priorities.

Stanford University reported $1.1 billion in gifts during the fiscal year that ended Aug. 31, 2019, reflecting the philanthropic support of more than 55,000 donor households. The fundraising total comprises gifts and pledge payments received from Sept. 1, 2018, through Aug. 31, 2019, including funds raised for Stanford’s adult and children’s hospitals; it does not include pledges of future support or government grants.

Gifts to the university included support for the new Stanford Hospital, which opened to patients in November. (Image credit: Paul Keitz)

Support from alumni, parents and other philanthropists is critical to advancing Stanford’s education, research and health care missions. For example, with donor support, the university is building the new Escondido Village Graduate Residences to provide on-campus housing for more than 2,400 graduate students. Donors also made gifts to help launch the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, which aims to advance AI research, education, policy and practice. Other gifts supported the Stanford Microbiome Therapies Initiative, a major new effort to develop therapies for debilitating diseases.

Financial aid is another priority, with almost half of all Stanford undergraduates relying on need-based scholarship aid directly from the university. In December, Stanford announced a further expansion of its financial aid program, offering tuition-free access to U.S. families with annual incomes below $150,000, up from the current $125,000. Stanford spent more than $322 million on undergraduate and graduate student financial aid in 2018–19 and continues to rely on philanthropic support to meet student needs.

“At a time when Stanford is working to accelerate our purposeful impact in the world, our alumni, parents and friends give us reason for great optimism,” said Marc Tessier-Lavigne, Stanford president. “Their gifts fuel all aspects of the university’s work today while enabling us to look ahead to future possibilities.”

Funds were raised for key priorities across the university:

  • $86.9 million for graduate student fellowships and undergraduate financial aid
  • $53.9 million to attract and support faculty
  • $425.1 million for research and programs
  • $110.9 million for buildings and facilities
  • $390.3 million for Stanford Medicine, which comprises the Stanford School of Medicine, Stanford Health Care and Stanford Children’s Health

The majority of donors contributed to the university through annual funds, which raised more than $67 million. Annual gifts may be used in the year they are received to meet areas of greatest need. For example, The Stanford Fund for Undergraduate Education raised $26 million toward financial aid, academic programs and student-led organizations. Most gifts made to the university were under $1,000, with nearly half of individuals making gifts of $100 or less.

Funds raised added $234.7 million to the university’s endowment, which is invested to support the university’s work in perpetuity.

“Many people don’t realize that the endowment covers just 22 percent of the university’s annual operating expenses,” said Jon Denney, vice president for development. “Stanford simply could not pursue its mission without the generosity and loyalty of alumni, parents and friends. I am deeply grateful for their investments and dedication to the university.”

Gifts were raised by Stanford’s Office of Development and the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health.