How big is your university’s endowment? See here.

Donor funding matters, so pay attention

Western University students exit the new Ivey Building on campus (Jessica Darmanin)

Western University students exit the Ivey Building on campus (Jessica Darmanin)

A couple recently donated $55,000 to Wilfrid Laurier University to fund scholarships for Aboriginal students. Thousands of others before them made similar gifts. Taken together, it all adds up to an $80-million “endowment fund.” That money can’t be touched, but it earns income most years, that is then spent making life better on campus, whether it’s restricted to certain students like that recent donation, earmarked for a certain type of professor, or can be spent however Laurier pleases.

Endowments matter—and they vary greatly in size. The Canadian Association of University Business Officers provided Maclean’s with data on the sizes of the school’s entrusted funds. We’ve placed it in a chart below that shows the annual totals for 2010 and 2012 along with endowments per full-time student, which range from $635 at the Université du Québec à Montréal to $114,420 per student at Victoria University, a 178-year-old college of the University of Toronto.

Laurier, a mid-sized school in Waterloo, Ont., had merely $10 million in 1998. But like many universities in Canada, it has enjoyed substantial growth in recent years, thanks in part to a big push to encourage alumni to give back. Of course, Laurier’s is still small compared to the University of Toronto’s: $2 billion, when its colleges are added in. Compare that to York University, which is nearly two-thirds as populous as U of T but had $351 million endowed. The main reason for the difference is age. The University of Toronto has had since 1827 to build its savings; York was founded in 1959.

Even U of T might look enviously at American schools. In 2012, Harvard had $31 billion, Yale had $20 billion, the University of Texas system had $18 billion and MIT had $10 billion. Gillian Morrison, assistant VP of university advancement at U of T, explains why the totals are so much greater there. “Philanthropy has played a bigger role in the U.S. for a longer period of time,” she says. “In Canada, while it’s always been important—Convocation Hall was put up by alumni—it’s only in the last 25 years that it’s become a very significant part of what we do.”

In other words: we’ve got some catching up to do.


University Endowment at end of 2012 (millions) Endowment at end of 2010 (millions) Two-year change (2010 to 2012) Endowment per full-time student Full-time undergraduate students Full-time graduate students
Toronto (not including Victoria or Trinity) $1,628 $1,539 5.79% $21,478 61,000 14,800
UBC $1,107 $1,046 5.79% $25,722 33,950 9,070
McGill $1,016 $941 7.96% $34,183 22,780 6,940
Alberta $833 $767 8.60% $23,379 29,500 6,130
Queen's $657 $610 7.70% $30,276 17,800 3,900
Calgary $538 $475 13.26% $18,139 23,390 6,270
McMaster $456 $429 6.29% $17,306 22,800 3,550
Manitoba $431 $374 15.24% $17,613 21,500 2,970
Dalhousie $397 $363 9.37% $24,193 13,190 3,220
Western (not including Huron) $390 $348 12.07% $14,079 22,700 5,000
Victoria (U of T) $365 $267 36.70% $114,420 3,140 50
York $351 $320 9.69% $7,817 40,900 4,000
Victoria (B.C.) $308 $285 8.07% $18,966 13,250 2,990
Simon Fraser $278 $243 14.40% $16,191 13,520 3,650
Waterloo (not including St. Jerome's) $268 $236 13.56% $8,097 29,100 4,000
Guelph $246 $207 18.84% $10,165 21,900 2,300
Saskatchewan $232 $194 19.59% $12,636 15,650 2,710
Carleton $214 $275 -22.18% $9,224 20,200 3,000
Montréal (not including HEC) $204 $169 20.71% $5,934 25,310 9,070
Ottawa (not including Saint-Paul) $193 $179 7.82% $5,486 29,980 5,200
Laval $138 $127 8.66% $4,203 24,820 8,010
New Brunswick $123 $172 -28.49% $13,805 7,970 940
Mount Allison $123 $111 10.81% $50,204 2,430 20
Ryerson $102 $93 9.68% $4,275 21,800 2,060
St. Francis Xavier $91 $77 18.18% $22,469 3,960 90
Concordia $88 $82 7.32% $3,489 20,720 4,500
Wilfrid Laurier $76 $48 58.33% $4,634 15,400 1,000
Trinity (U of T) $73 $70 4.29% $41,243 1,710 60
Memorial $72 $66 9.09% $4,832 12,590 2,310
Windsor $70 $65 7.69% $4,965 11,800 2,300
Moncton $65 $55 18.18% $13,514 4,440 370
Lakehead $65 $80 -18.75% $9,168 6,300 790
Acadia $59 $60 -1.67% $15,445 3,600 220
Brock $58 $43 34.88% $3,602 14,800 1,300
Northern B.C. $53 $52 1.92% $21,545 1,950 510
HEC Montréal $50 $43 16.28% $7,776 4,740 1,690
Mount Royal $44 $41 7.32% $4,656 9,450 0
Lethbridge $42 $37 13.51% $5,630 7,030 430
Brandon $42 $38 10.53% $19,905 1,990 120
Trent $41 $37 10.81% $5,925 6,500 420
Winnipeg $41 $37 10.81% $6,755 5,970 100
Laurentian (including Sudbury and Thornloe) $59 $55 7.27% $8,613 6,400 450
King's (Halifax) $33 $34 -2.94% $28,448 1,130 30
Regina $32 $34 -5.88% $2,982 9,900 830
Bishop's $32 $32 0.00% $13,008 2,440 20
Sherbrooke $30 $28 7.14% $1,928 10,830 4,730
Saint-Paul $28 N/A N/A $53,846 220 300
PEI $26 $21 23.81% $6,650 3,590 320
Saint Mary's $25 $21 19.05% $3,759 6,280 370
Cape Breton $23 $15 53.33% $8,582 2,460 220
Mount Saint Vincent $21 $20 5.00% $8,714 2,290 120
UQAM $16 N/A N/A $635 21,160 4,030
Huron $15 N/A N/A $11,811 1,260 10
Vancouver Island $14 N/A N/A $2,509 5,320 260
Trinity Western $12 $10 20.00% $5,333 1,650 600
Saint-Boniface $12 $10 20.00% $23,529 510 0
OCAD $11 N/A N/A $3,090 3,400 160
UQAT $10 N/A N/A $1,203 6,940 1,370
ETS $9 $8 12.50% $1,852 3,950 910
Fraser Valley $8 $8 0.00% $1,356 5,860 40
St. Jerome's $8 N/A N/A $12,500 640 0
Emily Carr $5 N/A N/A $2,941 1,670 30
Redeemer $4 N/A N/A $4,878 820 0
Algoma $3 N/A N/A $2,542 1,180 0
Sainte Anne $2 N/A N/A $5,556 360 0



Browse

How big is your university’s endowment? See here.

  1. Its like politics too.

    Both US presidential cadidates were from Harvard, and Sunni Saudi donates big time to Harvard.

Sign in to comment.