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It Was Nice While It Lasted: 2021 Million Dollar HBCU Donations Drop By 73 Percent

The results of philanthropy are beyond calculation, but they are calculated. – William A. Foster, IV

After 2020 gave us unprecedented major giving to HBCUs, the fairy dust wore off just as quickly come 2021. Had this year been not followed by 2020, then arguably it would be a good year by normal standards. Instead, it is a harsh reminder that HBCUs rarely on any level receive an equitable share of funding both by state and federal governments and private giving to colleges and universities. 2020’s giving it could be argued was a response to the protests and social unrest that spilled over from the death of George Floyd. However, as we stated previously that is neither sustainable and questionably moral. This year’s list while significantly smaller looks much the same as last year in that it is buoyance is upheld by donors outside of the African American community.

HBCUs were able to pull in three percent of the million plus donations to all colleges and universities, which constitutes their makeup in the overall landscape of the higher education system. However, the value of those donations amounted to less than one percent of the overall donation value to colleges and universities. A significant drop off from 2020’s astounding 15 percent of donation value. Very interested to note that PWIs saw donations of $100 million plus double from 2020 to 2021 going from seven to fourteen. No HBCU has ever seen a nine-figure donation and there are only a handful of African Americans capable of doing so. This once again leaves the fate of African American NPOs in the hands of other community’s wealth and generosity. It also begs the question for the survival of HBCUs in particular long-term. Despite 2020’s gifts, we would be remiss to act as if one year of donations can rectify over one hundred plus years of negligence and fiscal hostility.

MacKenzie Scott continued to be HBCUs’ best friend with two of the ten donations on the list coming from her philanthropy. Mr. and Mrs. Tyler’s donation is one of the largest alumni gifts (if not the largest) ever to an HBCU. Worthy of a conversation itself is that HBCUs are still not producing a pipeline of wealthy alumni. Something critical to increasing the probability of transformative donors into HBCU coffers. With only two known HBCU billionaires among all of its alumni, the question of “Can HBCUs Produce Billionaires?” remains not only a relevant question, but an absolutely necessary conversation that must be had between HBCU alumni and administrations.

$1 Million Plus Donations To All Colleges: 316

$100 Million Plus Donations To All Colleges: 14

$1 Million Plus Donations Value To All Colleges: $8.1 Billion

$1 Million Plus Median Donation To All Colleges: $11.1 Million

$1 Million Plus Average Donation To All Colleges: $25.5 Million

$1 Million Plus Donations To HBCUs: 10

$100 Million Plus Donations To HBCUs: 0

$1 Million Plus Donations Value To HBCUs: $66.7 Million

$1 Million Plus Median Donation To HBCUs: $4.0 Million

$1 Million Plus Average Donation To HBCUs: $6.7 Million

HBCU Percentage of Donations To All Colleges: 3.2%

HBCU Percentage of Donation Value To All Colleges: 0.8%

1. MacKenzie Scott  – $20 million
Recipient: Charles R. Drew Medicine
Source of Wealth: Technology, Retail

2. Calvin E. Tyler and Tina Tyler (pictured bottom right) – $20 million
Recipient: Morgan State University
Source of Wealth: N/A

3. S. Donald Sussman  – $6 million
Recipient: University of the Virgin Islands
Source of Wealth: Finance

4. Eddie Brown and Sylvia Brown (pictured bottom left) – $5 million
Recipient: Howard University
Source of Wealth: Investments

5. Anonymous Donor – $5 million
Recipient: Howard University
Source of Wealth: N/A

6. Shervin Pishevar and Sarah Pishevar Haynes – $3 million
Recipient: Howard University
Source of Wealth: Technology, Finance, Transportation

7. Frank Garrison and Amy Garrison – $2.5 million
Recipient: Fisk University
Source of Wealth: Finance, Real Estate, Law

8. Anonymous Donor – $2.2 million
Recipient: Alabama A&M University
Source of Wealth: N/A

9. MacKenzie Scott – $2 million
Recipient: Meharry Medical College
Source of Wealth: Technology, Retail

10. Mark Malveaux and Dawn Malveaux (pictured top) – $1 million
Recipient: Southern University System
Source of Wealth: Law

Source: Chronicle of Philanthropy