Zachary Seward at the Wall Street Journal had a great article yesterday on what he sees as a growing trend by alumni of elite universities donating to needier colleges instead of their alma maters.
Turned off by massive endowments at the nation's top schools, they seek to make a greater impact at less-wealthy institutions. They are probably also aware of a fringe benefit: getting your name on a building is a cheaper proposition at schools not accustomed to seven-figure donations.Those ivy league kids sure know how to bargain shop.
Contributions to higher education by nonalumni rose 14% last year, to $5.7 billion, according to the Council for Aid to Education in New York. In comparison, alumni gave $8.4 billion to their own schools, the council says. A review of the council's data indicates that less-prosperous schools are more likely to rely on gifts from outside their alumni base than their own graduates.Not only is Havard aware of the trend, materials distributed to fund-raising volunteers include a response to the questions about whether the school needs more money given that it already has a large endowment.