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Over the past four decades, Sanford has evolved from a small interdisciplinary institute into one of the nation’s most respected schools of public policy. Today, we continue to advance the major discussions of our time and to educate the next generation of ethical policy leaders.

The school relies on philanthropic donations to make possible the work of the faculty, centers and programs that contribute to the academic experiences of undergraduate, professional and graduate students.

Duke Forward, Duke University's comprehensive fundraising campaign, aims to raise $3.25 billion by June 30, 2017. As part of this effort, the Sanford School has a goal of $75 million. Through the Sanford Annual Fund, gifts of all sizes help meet the most pressing needs of the school. Endowment giving establishes permanent resources to support the school.

What Your Gift Supports

Scholarships that help attract the best and brightest students.

Annual Fund dollars underwrite Duke’s commitment to need-blind admissions. Many professional opportunities in public policy fields pay modestly, so reducing student debt upon graduation is critical for students who choose to pursue a life in public service.

Research and teaching by our world-class faculty.

Sanford is ranked fourth in public policy analysis among the nation’s graduate schools, according to U.S. News and World Report. We also boast the most popular undergraduate major at Duke. Your gift will help provide the robust academic and research opportunities that keep us competitive.

In addition, to hire and retain dedicated teachers and innovative scholars—particularly in emerging areas of study—the Sanford School needs endowment funds for named chairs and research.

Real-world policy experience through internships.

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  • Photo of Helen Ladd teaching

    Thinking Creatively about Education Challenges

    Education policy expert Helen “Sunny” Ladd researches how poverty impedes learning and how policy changes may help. In 2012, she earned Duke’s University Scholar/Teacher of the Year award. Trained as an economist, the Susan B. King Professor of Public Policy has explored the effects of school choice and giving schools broad autonomy in their governance in both New Zealand and the Netherlands. In the United States, she evaluates the efficacy of charter schools and policies related to school accountability and teacher performance. “One of the most valuable things we can do as scholars is to prepare the next generation of researchers and policymakers,” she says.

We don’t simply encourage our public policy students to work in the field, we require it. But many of the most dynamic and prestigious public policy internships are unpaid. Annual Fund gifts help provide internship stipends which allow students to focus on their passions and field of study rather than on how they’ll pay the bills.

When and How Can I Make a Gift?

Gifts are accepted year-round, and can be made with a credit card online, by telephone at 919.613.7325, or with a check mailed to:

Sanford Annual Fund, c/o Alumni & Development Records

Duke University, Box 90581

Durham, NC 27708-0581

Gifts may also be made with a transfer of stock. For information about making a gift of stock, please contact the University's Office of Gift Records via e-mail or call 919.684.2338.

For more information on financially supporting Sanford, please contact Durice Galloway, Associate Dean of Development and Alumni Relations. 

Sanford Annual Fund Story

The Annual Fund is helping Justin Bryant obtain his Duke degree. In addition to majoring in Public Policy Analysis, Justin interned at the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers' Union and for Microsoft in Beijing.