A lot to give

Giving to education

John Ketchum Dec 8, 2013

Compared to other charity sectors, donating to education appears to be on the rise. From 2010 to 2012, giving to education grew by 10.7 percent. According to Giving USA’s annual report, donors gave $41.3 billion to education organizations in 2012.

Donors gave to the obvious: public and charter schools, nonprofit and public colleges and universities, and vocational and technical schools. But this category also includes the less obvious: Libraries, education research, adult education, tutoring and various student services organizations.

Higher education institutions tend to receive the largest amounts of education donations. According to the Council for Aid to Education’s annual survey, giving to higher education increased to $31 billion in 2011-12, up 2.3 percent from the year prior. 

The top 20 fundraising institutions were medical schools, schools of theology, private research universities, private two-year colleges and private liberal arts colleges.

Overall, most higher education donations come from foundations, followed by alumni. 

How do you give?

As part of our special series on philanthropy and charitable giving in the United States we’re taking a look at a few things: Where did our strong history of philanthropy come from? What are the economic ramifications of how Americans give? 

As part of the reporting we’re looking back at the history of some of the biggest philanthropists in U.S. history. John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffett.

In gauging how important those folks are we would also like to know how the average person gives.

 What inspires you to give money to your local charity? Do you see philanthropy as time spent on a cause or money spent supporting it? We want to know!

 We’ll use your answers to support future reporting on how people give.

Click here to get started!


There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.