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Reunion Campaigns: Frequently Asked Questions

Reunion campaigns are a long-standing tradition at Stanford. They offer a meaningful way for alumni to give back and make a difference, while celebrating a milestone year. The generosity of alumni helps to support programs, departments, and new initiatives across the university—including patient care, research, faculty support, undergraduate education, and financial aid.

Reunion campaigns also fuel unrestricted annual giving, which can be used to address the university’s areas of greatest need. And most importantly, reunion giving helps Stanford maintain the promise of financial aid for all U.S. students who qualify, no matter their background.

  • Gifts made through The Stanford Fund go to work right away to support areas of the greatest need for undergraduates. In recent years, the university has increasingly relied on those gifts to help meet the financial needs of U.S. undergraduates. In 2020, half of all students received aid, and nearly 30 percent qualified for a full-tuition scholarship.

    Even with Stanford Fund gifts and endowed scholarships combined, the university has needed to draw a larger share from its general funds to cover undergraduate aid—redirecting resources away from other educational and research priorities. Reunion campaigns focus on The Stanford Fund to help offset these costs, as well as to support innovative academic programs, student groups, and other important parts of the undergraduate experience.

    Learn more about The Stanford Fund.

  • Almost 80 percent of funds in the university’s endowment are restricted for certain purposes, and must be used as the donors intended. For example, funds given for research cannot be used for financial aid, or be transferred from one academic school to another.

    Every year, the university spends the maximum from the endowment that is sustainable over time. In a normal year, the endowment payout covers 22 percent of Stanford $6 billion operating expense—thus the university must fund more than three-quarters of its annual operating expenses from other sources.

  • There are many worthy giving opportunities, and classmates who are passionate about a particular program or research can find an area to match their philanthropic goals. No matter what you choose to support, your gift has a positive impact.

    Learn more about areas to support.

  • Whether it’s through an annual gift, a multiyear pledge, or an endowed gift such as a named-scholarship, giving at the highest levels makes it possible for the university to remain innovative and accessible. Leadership-level support enables the university to meet its historic pledge of access for all qualified students despite increased need.

    Leadership donors who give generously through The Stanford Fund are recognized starting at the $1,000 Leadership Circle level. Learn more about leadership giving.

    Gifts of endowment, such as an undergraduate scholarship, start at $250,000—with lower minimum contributions for recent undergraduate alums*. Learn more about endowed gift opportunities (including a match).

    Learn more about the Stanford endowment.

    *In this context, a recent undergraduate alum is defined as someone who is 0 to 15 years post-graduation.

  • Yes! Most gifts made to Stanford are less than $1,000—but together they add up to millions. In fact, $10,000 of annual funding exceeds the yearly payout of a $175,000 endowed fund. Annual gifts through The Stanford Fund are used immediately to help students, which makes them especially valuable. Such funding is vital for creating a rich and vibrant learning environment that benefits all students.

  • Learn more about all the ways to make a gift.

  • Reunion campaigns are critically important to the success of the university, and help to ensure current students thrive. Consider making your reunion campaign gift or pledge today. Or get in touch with your class giving officer to discuss other ways to get involved. Together, your class can make a difference on the Farm!

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Gifts through The Stanford Fund help create a vibrant educational environment by sustaining scholarships, undergrad research opportunities, clubs, activities, and mental health resources that promote student well-being.