Grants for colleges and universities

1,349 colleges, universities, and technical schools received at least $4.4 billion in grants for the most recent fiscal year. This includes 11,509 grants made from 5,212 grantmaking organizations, with a median grant amount of $1,900. Of these 5,212 foundations, 66% made just a single grant to higher ed schools, and 9% made grants to four or more higher ed schools. This analysis is based on grantmakers that e-file their Form 990s, and likely is an undercount of grants.
$4,365,972,229
Total grant dollars given to colleges and universities
11,509
Number of grants made annually to colleges and universities
5,212
Number of grantmakers funding colleges and universities
$1,900
Median grant size to colleges and universities

Foundations that support colleges, universities, and technical schools

Out of all grants made to colleges and universities, 82% came from small foundations with less than $10 million in assets. The top 10 grantmakers accounted for 58% of the dollar-value of grants to higher ed schools. Foundations funding higher ed schools also made grants to universities, colleges, educational institutions, trade / professional associations, and religious organizations.

Foundation size

Foundation sizeNumber of grantmakers
Small
 
4,274
Medium
 
484
Large
 
451
Small foundations have <$10M in assets. Medium foundations have $10M to $50M in assets. Large foundations have >$50M in assets.

Foundation type

Foundation typeNumber of grantmakers
Community
 
113
Private
 
4,454
Corporate
 
185
Other
 
460

Grants made

Grants made to higher ed schoolsNumber of grantmakers
1
 
3,471
2-3
 
1,261
4-10
 
383
11+
 
97

Top 10 foundations supporting colleges, universities, and technical schools

GrantmakerStateGeographic focusPercent of grant dollars to higher ed schoolsNumber of grants made to higher ed schoolsMedian grant size
Fidelity FoundationMANational9.7%198$1,000
Chubb Charitable FoundationPANational2.3%195$250
Shell Oil Company FoundationTXNational1.3%173$950
Community Foundation of Greater Des MoinesIAState0.6%161$1,500
Abbvie FoundationILNational0.6%150$350
Baird FoundationWINational2.5%119$500
Tulsa Community FoundationOKNational0.3%92$5,000
Johnson Controls FoundationWINational1.4%88$1,000
The Richard M Schulze Family FoundationMNMetro0.8%84$5,000
Seattle FoundationWAState0.1%69$1,200

Colleges, universities, and technical schools grantees

Colleges and universities with more than $5 million in total revenues received 99% of all grant dollars. These larger organizations accounted for 98% of all higher ed schools.

Grant amounts

Size of grantNumber of grants
<$10k
 
11,187
$10k-$25k
 
0
$25k-$100k
 
0
$100k+
 
322

Grant amount by grantee size

Grantee annual revenueMedian grant size
<$100k
 
$2,000
$100k-$500k
 
$1,000
$500k-$1M
 
$2,500
$1M-$5M
 
$1,450
>$5M
 
$1,800

Grantee states

State of granteeNumber of grants
New York
 
1,318
Pennsylvania
 
1,186
Massachusetts
 
1,050
Illinois
 
675
Other
 
7,280

Grantee metros

Metro area of granteeNumber of grants
Boston
 
713
New York City
 
600
Chicago
 
593
Philadelphia
 
565
Other
 
7,598

Top 25 grants made to colleges and universities

GranteeGrant sizePurposeGrantmaker
New York University (NYU)$882,312,690Support Clinical, Educational, and Research Activities of Nyu School of Medicine.Nyu Langone Hospitals
Regents of the University of Colorado$180,789,283See Part IvUniversity of Colorado Foundation
Stanford University$121,264,579BookStanford Health Care
Stanford University$113,641,277Children's HealthLucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health
Harvard University$100,000,000Support for Education and ResearchBlavatnik Family Foundation
Stanford University$77,672,477Access To Care and Research SupportStanford Health Care
Washington University in St. Louis (Wash. U)$54,451,315Research, Patient Support, Education, MD RecruitmentThe Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital
Ohio State University$54,297,781CashBig Ten Conference (B1G)
Ohio State University$54,297,781To Support the Missions of Member InstitutionsBig Ten Conference (B1G)
The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois$54,285,219CashBig Ten Conference (B1G)
The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois$54,285,219To Support the Missions of Member InstitutionsBig Ten Conference (B1G)
Michigan State University$54,280,781CashBig Ten Conference (B1G)
Michigan State University$54,280,781To Support the Missions of Member InstitutionsBig Ten Conference (B1G)
Northwestern University$54,276,781CashBig Ten Conference (B1G)
Northwestern University$54,276,781To Support the Missions of Member InstitutionsBig Ten Conference (B1G)
Stanford University$48,010,136BookStanford Health Care
Baylor University (BU)$39,942,188CashBig Twelve Conference
Baylor University (BU)$39,942,188Annual DistributionBig Twelve Conference
Texas Christian University (TCU)$37,093,936CashBig Twelve Conference
Texas Christian University (TCU)$37,093,936Annual DistributionBig Twelve Conference
Stanford University$33,856,623Annual Distribution To Support Member InstitutionsPAC-12 Conference
University of Southern California (USC)$33,601,641Annual Distribution To Support Member InstitutionsPAC-12 Conference
Washington State University$33,428,809Annual Distribution To Support Member InstitutionsPAC-12 Conference
Regents of the University of Colorado$33,378,364Annual Distribution To Support Member InstitutionsPAC-12 Conference
Boston College$32,408,502Allocation of General SupportAtlantic Coast Conference
Methodology: To determine grants and grantees, Cause IQ analyzes electronically-filed Form 990, Form 990-EZ, and Form 990-PF financial disclosure documents, matching grantees to specific organizations using EINs and fuzzy matching logic. The "Colleges and universities" category for this page is determined by the "B40: Higher Education Institutions" National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (NTEE) code. Cause IQ determines NTEEs for organizations by its own internally-developed secret-sauce algorithms.