The five weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day are the equivalent of "Black Friday" for charities, which receive nearly half of their annual donations during the holiday season, according to a Charity Navigator survey.
Colleges and universities are no exception.
Higher education institutions always have been among America's most successful fundraisers. In fact, of the 400 nonprofit organizations that raised the most money last year, nearly a third were colleges and universities, the Chronicle of Philanthropy found. Collectively, colleges and universities brought in $28 billion in donations in 2010, according to the Council for Aid to Education.
Baltimore's Johns Hopkins University was one of the top higher education fundraisers, collecting a reported $428 million in donations last year. Only two schools raised more: Stanford and Harvard.