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Harvard is funded, in part, by an endowment. The endowment includes thousands of philanthropic gifts donated since Harvard’s early history, many of which were given to support specific aspects of Harvard’s teaching and research work. Together, these gifts form a permanent source of funding that connects scholars and learners from many diverse backgrounds with opportunities at Harvard, now and into the future.

Learn about Harvard’s endowment

A future trust

Harvard’s endowment has existed for nearly four centuries and belongs to current and future generations of Harvard students, faculty, and researchers. It supports almost every aspect of the University’s work.

Read Harvard’s 2021 Annual Financial Report

Three young women walking up the stairs, indoors, of a spacious white marble building.
  • $5 billion

    the University’s annual operating expenses in the 2021 fiscal year.

  • 14,000+

    different funds make up Harvard’s endowment.

  • $597 million

    granted in financial aid and scholarships in the 2021 fiscal year.

  • 70%

    of the endowment’s annual distribution is restricted to specific programs, departments, or purposes.

  • $53.2 billion

    the size of Harvard University’s endowment in the 2021 fiscal year.

Endowment FAQs

“Harvard’s endowment should be a leader in shaping pathways to a sustainable future. It will require us to work with experts in economics and finance, investment managers, and other willing partners to develop tools to monitor the carbon footprint associated with Harvard’s varied portfolio of externally managed investments.”

Lawrence Bacow, President, Harvard University

Centuries of giving hard at work

Our endowment belongs to current and future generations of students and scholars whose curiosity and leadership are shaping our world. These stories are just a few examples of how endowed gifts support their work.


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