Grants for colleges

418 undergraduate colleges received at least $171.8 million in grants for the most recent fiscal year. This includes 2,938 grants made from 1,774 grantmaking organizations, with a median grant amount of $1,500. Of these 1,774 foundations, 77% made just a single grant to colleges, and 4% made grants to four or more colleges. This analysis is based on grantmakers that e-file their Form 990s, and likely is an undercount of grants.
$171,757,818
Total grant dollars given to colleges
2,938
Number of grants made annually to colleges
1,774
Number of grantmakers funding colleges
$1,500
Median grant size to colleges

Foundations that support undergraduate colleges

Out of all grants made to colleges, 82% came from small foundations with less than $10 million in assets. The top 10 grantmakers accounted for 72% of the dollar-value of grants to colleges. Foundations funding colleges also made grants to universities, religious organizations, historical societies, elementary schools, and high schools.

Foundation size

Foundation sizeNumber of grantmakers
Small
 
1,456
Medium
 
158
Large
 
160
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
 
46
Private
 
1,549
Corporate
 
84
Other
 
95

Grants made

Grants made to collegesNumber of grantmakers
1
 
1,373
2-3
 
318
4-10
 
65
11+
 
18

Top 10 foundations supporting undergraduate colleges

GrantmakerStateGeographic focusPercent of grant dollars to collegesNumber of grants made to collegesMedian grant size
Fidelity FoundationMANational0.2%66$1,050
Shell Oil Company FoundationTXNational0.5%66$850
Chubb Charitable FoundationPANational0.5%50$225
Abbvie FoundationILNational0.2%48$380
Community Foundation of Greater Des MoinesIAState0.2%45$2,000
Baird FoundationWINational0.5%29$500
Johnson Controls FoundationWINational0.5%28$838
The Columbus FoundationOHState0.1%24$5,000
Tulsa Community FoundationOKNational0.1%19$5,000
The Richard M Schulze Family FoundationMNMetro0.2%18$5,000

Undergraduate colleges grantees

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

Grant amounts

Size of grantNumber of grants
<$10k
 
2,913
$10k-$25k
 
0
$25k-$100k
 
0
$100k+
 
25

Grant amount by grantee size

Grantee annual revenueMedian grant size
<$100k
 
$150
$100k-$500k
 
$1,000
$500k-$1M
 
$2,500
$1M-$5M
 
$1,000
>$5M
 
$1,500

Grantee states

State of granteeNumber of grants
New York
 
343
Pennsylvania
 
295
Massachusetts
 
282
Michigan
 
257
Other
 
1,761

Grantee metros

Metro area of granteeNumber of grants
New York City
 
99
Boston
 
92
Albany, NY
 
70
Charlotte
 
64
Other
 
1,841

Top 25 grants made to colleges

GranteeGrant sizePurposeGrantmaker
University of Vermont and State Agricultural College$24,130,462See Part IvUniversity of Vermont And State Agricultural College FOUNDATION
Berry College$20,924,016General SupportLettie Pate Evans Foundation
Washington and Lee University$15,693,012General SupportLettie Pate Evans Foundation
Gustavus Adolphus College$10,283,587General SupportThrivent Financial for Lutherans
President and Trustees of Colby College$10,000,000Athletics CenterHarold Alfond Foundation
Grinnell College$7,964,606Cash ContributionDonald C Rockola Charitable Trust
College of the Ozarks$6,363,474General PurposesLewis W Hyer Trust
Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI)$6,226,471EducationGreater Kansas City Community Foundation
Bowdoin College$5,752,000EducationCalifornia Community Foundation
Berea College$5,280,000To Support Economic MobilityBlue Meridian Partners
Barnard College$5,213,275Tow Foundation Public Service Internship and Research Fellows ProgramThe Tow Foundation
Pomona College$5,200,000Family Interest GrantmakingBill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Claremont McKenna College (CMC)$5,048,563UnrestrictedRobert Day Foundation
Marywood University$4,878,000To Expand the Higher Education for Sisters in Africa (Hesa) Initiative Through Which 858 Sisters in 10 Countries Will Receive Support To Acquire Higher Education Credentials, Both Through Online Distance Learning and Onsite in Africa, Through 23 Partners.Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
San Diego Christian College (SDC)$3,515,000General SupportWaterStone
University of the Ozarks$3,375,910Int'l ScholarshipsWalton Family Charitable Support Foundation
University of the Ozarks$3,375,910Board DecisionWalton Family Charitable Support Foundation
Spelman College$3,100,000Daf - EducationCombined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston
Bennington College Corporation$3,000,000All Contributions Made for the Intent Established By the Various CharitiesScanlan Family Foundation
Hillsdale College$3,000,000EducationSteve and Amy Van Andel Foundation
Bethany Lutheran College & Seminary (BLC)$2,872,500Religious Land and BuildingsMarvin M. Schwan Charitable Foundation
Davidson College$2,836,811General Charitable PurposeImpetus Foundation
Hillsdale College$2,679,600GeneralDorothy D. & Joseph A. Moller Foundation
Marywood University$2,500,000To Expand the Sisters Leadership Development Initiative (Sldi) Current Work in the Ten Focus Countries in Africa.Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
President and Trustees of Colby College$2,500,000Main Street Hotel Development ProjectHarold Alfond Foundation
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" category for this page is determined by the "B42: Undergraduate College (4-year)" National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (NTEE) code. Cause IQ determines NTEEs for organizations by its own internally-developed secret-sauce algorithms.