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Seven Reasons Why Giving Matters

Can my gift really make a difference? Gifts of all sizes play an essential role at Stanford. Here are seven reasons why.

Stanford students in a pyramid

1. Stanford’s endowment covers only about 20 percent of the university’s budget.

Stanford’s endowment provides a steady stream of income, but only if spending is held to about 5.5 percent each year. The university must fund more than three-quarters of its operating expenses every year from other sources.

2. 87 percent of undergrads leave Stanford with zero student debt.

Stanford is one of the few institutions that commits to meeting the demonstrated need of students through scholarships—not loans. Donor support makes that possible.

3. Stanford's faculty, researchers, and students are working urgently to address humanity's biggest challenges and improve the health and wellbeing of people around the world.

Your support can help to sustain life on earth, accelerate solutions for humanity, catalyze discoveries, and prepare citizens and leaders who will carry on the work of building fair and prosperous societies.

4. Annual gifts provide vital flexibility.

The majority of gifts to Stanford—and 75 percent of endowment funds—are restricted. Funds given for research, for example, cannot be used for financial aid. Annual gifts can be used to address the areas of greatest need or to meet unexpected expenses.

5. Federal funding has declined.

Federal support for university research is significant, but its been declining for years in real dollars. The current budget environment makes such funding even more precarious.

6. Stanford’s mission is global.

Stanford is one of the few institutions in the world with the depth and breadth to help address complex, global problems. Big ideas can be expensive. Making a difference is worth it.

7. Every gift makes a difference!

Most gifts made to Stanford are under $1,000. But together they add up to millions for financial aid, academics, research, and other programs.