Two new studies reveal that university endowments, battered by the recent economic crisis, have begun to grow again, adding fresh resources to the pool of funds they can commit to private equity and other investments.
Endowments grew on average by 11.9 percent in fiscal year 2010, which ended June 30th, according to a study released by the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) and Commonfund, a big investor for non-profit institutions. That gain is a stark reversal from FY2009, when the average endowment lost 18.7 percent.
Adding to the improving picture, universities had a slightly easier time raising new funds in 2010. They received about $7 billion in gifts destined specifically for their endowments, representing about a quarter of the $28 billion in overall donations that universities took in last year, according to Ann Kaplan, author of a separate study from the Council for Aid to Education, or CAE. Giving was up 0.5 percent during 2010, a stark change from the previous year when donations slipped by 11.9 percent.