The Growing Importance of Philanthropy

Sources of revenue for the operating budget in 1989 and 2016

  Philanthropy over time

  • Over 6 in 10 budget dollars comes from our donors (Annual Fund, Endowment, Bequests).
  • Comprehensive fee, net of aid, now contributes 1 in 3 budget dollars.
  • Annual fund participation is one of the highest in higher education and has been between 50% and 65% every year since 1989.

How Your Gift Works for Amherst

Amherst's operating budget encompasses all areas of College expenses, including, but not limited to the salaries and benefits of faculty and staff, financial aid for students, teaching and research support, library resources, museums, living and learning facilities, and many student activities. The charts below provide a breakdown of the College’s revenues and expenses As you will see, endowment income, which results directly from donor giving and from the investment of the endowment, is the largest share of Amherst’s revenue.  Academic expenses—including instruction, academic support, research, and the library—are by far the largest part of our expenses. For more comprehensive information, you can view the College's 2015 Annual Financial Report.

Revenue sources by category for FY2015

budget revenue sources


Budget expenses by category for FY2015

budget expenditures

Financial Aid

For the academic years 2015-16, Amherst is awarding $56.4 million in financial aid. Today, 58 percent of all Amherst students receive need-based aid directly from the College. Endowment resources and gifts to the College provide nearly 90 percent of those funds, or $50.7 million. 

Sources of Financial Aid