Stanford University last year became the nation's first university to raise more than $1 billion in a single year, according to a report released this week.
Stanford's 2012 total of $1 billion -- assisted by two major fundraising campaigns -- was well ahead of second-place finisher and perennial rival Harvard University, which last year raised $650 million, according to the New York-based Council for Aid to Education, which tracks charitable contributions to colleges and universities.
Stanford "has raised more than any other university in each of the past eight years," the council said.
Over the past 30 years, Stanford was the top fundraising institution 14 times and Harvard 15 times. In one of those years -- 2002 -- UCLA topped the list.
Stanford also was among the top ten institutions in per-student fundraising -- a list that included four specialized health institutions, including UCSF.
Stanford was fifth in per-student fundraising, at $55,745 per student, the council said.
The per-student list was topped by the University of Texas's M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, which raised $590,719 per student. Also on the top ten per-student fundraising list were Deep Springs College, Yale University, Caltech, Hillsdale College and Amherst College, which was tenth at $36,399 per student.
Stanford said last year its 2011-12 boost in fundraising at least partly reflected the final months of the major, five-year university-wide Stanford Challenge, which raised $6.2 billion, as well as the early months of a new $1 billion Campaign for Stanford Medicine.
Overall, U.S. colleges and universities raised $31 billion last year -- up 2.3 percent from 2011 but still below the historic high of $31.6 billion in 2008, the council said.
Adjusting for inflation, last year's giving was virtually unchanged, inching up just 0.2 percent.
Nationwide, about 25 percent of the contributions came from alumni and 30 percent came from foundations, the council said. Nineteen percent came from "non-alumni individuals" and 17 percent from corporations.