By Sara Weissman
Historically Black colleges and universities received 178 times less funding from philanthropic foundations compared to Ivy League institutions on average in 2019, according to a new report by Candid, a philanthropy research group, and ABFE, an organization that advocates for investing in Black communities.
The report, released Tuesday, found that the Ivies received $5.5 billion in donations compared to $303 million at HBCUs between 2015 and 2019. HBCUs were also underfunded compared to institutions with similar characteristics, such as size and geographic region, over the same period. HBCUs received about two-thirds of the amount similar institutions received from foundations on average. Some HBCUs also got more philanthropic dollars than others, according to the report. The top 10 funded HBCUs received more than half, 52 percent, of all foundation donations to HBCUs. Meanwhile, large foundations in the U.S. decreased their funding for HBCUs 31 percent between 2002 and 2019, from $65 million to $45 million.
On a bright note, the report said a preliminary glimpse at 2020 grants data shows a marked increase in HBCU funding that year, a total of $249 million. All HBCU staff members interviewed for the report described increases in philanthropic funds to their institutions starting in 2020 after the killing of George Floyd and the national racial reckoning that followed.