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Seven Reasons Why Giving Matters

Stanford students in a pyramid

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

1. Stanford’s endowment covers only about 22 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. 84 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. Philanthropy is vital for students affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

Even before the pandemic, the need for financial aid was growing. Now, with students and families impacted by the economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis, the need is greater than ever.

4. Stanford’s faculty, researchers, and students are working urgently to address the COVID-19 crisis and improve the health and well-being of people around the world.

Stanford is treating patients, conducting vital research, supporting our community, and advancing all fronts of the global response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Philanthropy helps fuel transformations in human health.

5. Annual gifts provide vital flexibility.

The majority of gifts to Stanford—and almost 80 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.