A little item I picked up regarding Harvard. We are talking about the richest University in the world, value of its investment bursary for financial year end 2017 was a whopping $37 Billion. These funds are managed through a Harvard investment group and the value of the bursary is now slightly higher than it was before the 2008 crash, so they have recovered well.
About 2 years ago Harvard launched a fund raising drive, quite separate to the activities of the management of their $37 Billion, a drive to raise additional funds. That drive is just about concluded and to date you may be surprised to learn, or even astonished as I was, that the total value of “gifts”[Harvards term] contributed by 155,000 wealthy families came to $9.4 Billion! I believe being charitable is a good thing Period.
I think its fair to refer to these families as wealthy, the average gift was just north of $60,000. These gifts are tax deductible, both at state and federal level, for these families, that’s the law. Depending on what level of state and federal taxes one counts, the taxes saved equal between $2.5 and $3 Billion. As I’ve often said, where movement of funds is concerned always ask, Who are the winners and Who are the losers.
The Winners in this case are quite clear, firstly the richest University in the world,and one of the most exclusive, picks up $9.4 Billion. Secondly the 155,000 wealthy families save billions in taxes.
The Losers are the state and federal governments who will now have between $2.5 & $3 Billion less to spend on provision of services, educational facilities, infrastructure and various public works.
It is very much an individual value judgement as to whether it’s better for these families to save on average at least $15,000 each while helping Harvard or whether the state and federal authorities could have made better use of these funds.