Duke Counts Nearly $543 Million in Private Donations

More than 90,000 Duke University alumni and friends gave nearly $543 million in fiscal year 2023 to support research, faculty, financial aid, patient care, campus transformations, and the student experience.

“I am deeply grateful to the alumni and friends worldwide who provide generous support to Duke,” said Duke University President Vincent E. Price. “As we look ahead to the university’s Centennial and second century, this support will help shape Duke’s incredibly bright future, as we continue to advance excellence in teaching, research, and patient care.”

Gifts and non-governmental grants for research totaled nearly $219 million, representing the largest funded area of private philanthropy. Donors also supported financial aid for undergraduate and graduate students ($114 million), faculty research and teaching ($32 million), and new construction and facility renovations ($8 million).

“Our community of committed Duke alumni and donors impresses me every year, and this fiscal year is no exception,” said David L. Kennedy, vice president for alumni affairs and development. “I am so appreciative of their generosity that set new records and make a true difference for Duke.”

The Duke Annual Fund received nearly $48 million from more than 49,000 alumni, parents, students, and friends—a new dollar record. The Annual Fund helps support students and faculty, financial aid and fellowships, and educational programs for all of Duke’s undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. It also supports Duke Chapel, Duke Libraries, Duke Marine Lab, Nasher Museum of Art, and the Sarah P. Duke Gardens.

See the impact of philanthropy at Duke in the 2023 Annual Impact Report.

Highlights include:

  • Do you know how many Blue Devils there are in the world? Find out—and what they’ve been up to this year—on our By the Numbers engagement and philanthropy pages.
  • Our nearly 15,000 volunteers gave back their time and talent through our dozens of programs—interviewing prospective students, coming alongside local communities through Duke Alums Engage, giving advice to current students and so much more.
  • Donors helped Duke complete a historic fundraising challenge to the tune of $100 million for undergraduate financial aid. For 44% of the donors, the challenge was their first endowed gift to financial aid.
  • Duke was all in for climate with the inaugural Duke Climate Commitment, a new university-wide initiative focused on addressing climate change. Among the university’s goals are to facilitate a clean energy transition, create more climate resilient communities, leverage strengths in data to address climate problems, infuse climate fluency into the student curriculum, and more.
  • Duke’s graduate students got a boost with $10 million from The Duke Endowment to support doctoral fellowships. The Graduate School supports more than 3,500 master’s and Ph.D. students in more than 80 graduate programs ranging across the biological, physical and social sciences, engineering, the humanities, and more.
  • A Duke alumni couple gave $10 million to support students and faculty pursuing the humanities in order to solve the most complex challenges of our times. Duke’s humanities departments represent some of the top-ranked programs in the U.S., using historical, philosophical and artistic approaches to study the human condition, advance knowledge, and better society.  
  • A unique initiative helping clergy navigate stress and mental health issues is making significant strides through an interdisciplinary collaboration between Duke Divinity School and the Duke Global Health Institute.
  • Computer science professor Bruce Donald is using AI to outsmart superbugs one germ at a time. His research is just one of the many contributions to Duke Science and Technology, the university’s highest effort to elevate the sciences that has raised $316 million to date.
  • Duke is finding solutions to the biggest challenges of our day through health policy with a $10 million gift from the Robert and Lisa Margolis Family Foundation to propel the work of the Margolis Center for Health Policy. The gift created a permanent, unrestricted endowment for the center that will support its efforts to educate the next generation of health care leaders, advance health care transformation, and further biomedical innovation.

Universities and colleges report cash totals to the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) for its Voluntary Support of Education survey. This reflects immediate cash flow derived from private support, including outright gifts, grants and payments on existing pledges, and best represents fundraising activity in fiscal year 2023.

TAGS: Gift Announcement