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Friday, February 27, 2009

Survey: U.C. San Francisco Raked In $366 Million in Fiscal '08

Posted By on Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 8:35 AM

click to enlarge Show your support with a shirt -- or, say, $366 million
  • Show your support with a shirt -- or, say, $366 million
The best way to get rich: Be rich. A survey released this week by the Council for Aid to Education ranked the Top-20 fund-raising universities in the realm, and our local schools did us proud. Stanford and U.C. Berkeley bookended the list: The Palo Alto school came first with  $785 million and U.C. Berkeley rounded things out at $285 million. And, coming in at No. 14 was one of the more anomalous schools, U.C. San Francisco, with $366 million.

None of these schools is a stranger to this list, and the Top-20 was chocked with large, powerful, and wealthy institutions (see the list here). "Give to the rich" may be an ill-fitting slogan for a street-corner raiser of alms, but it seems to work fantastically for fund-raisers at major universities. In fact, if you eliminated the fund-raising totals from the Top-20 schools, overall contributions dropped 4.2 percent in fiscal 2008. Throw them in the mix and giving jumped 6.2 percent -- to $31.6 billion.

Much of that giving came from increased alumni donations, especially undergraduate alumni. And this is where UCSF is an outlier -- all of its undergraduates could probably fit into a Muni bus and its alumni hardly gave at all. Data provided by the survey's research director, Ann E. Kaplan, revealed that UCSF alums kicked down just $3 million of the school's charitable haul -- well under 1 percent.

Universities with medical schools dominate the Top-20 list, but UCSF is, in essence, a medical school with a university. "Other individuals" -- that is, non-alumni -- showered the school with nearly $74 million while foundations donated $226 million, and corporations gave $22 million more. For donors with an eye on  combating specific diseases -- and the San Francisco school is a national leader in stem cell technology -- UCSF was the way to go. You can view UCSF's data here: University of California, San Francisco.pdf

So, that's the good news. Here's the bad: Kaplan points out that, the last time the U.S. economy dipped so precipitously was the period of 1973 to 1975. Charitable giving to universities dipped as well, by 3.5 percent (though we suffered rampant inflation then, which we do not as of late).

And, here's the worse news. Since this data reflects fund-raising in fiscal 2008, the last donations made were in June of last year. Considering the hit many schools' endowments took in the market, much of this money has likely disappeared -- like stem cells in the wind.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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