The Sanford Annual Fund: Policy Powered by Philanthropy

The Sanford Annual Fund, which raised $1,551,230 last year, provides the necessary resources to move Sanford forward.  Gifts to the Annual Fund enable us to respond quickly to emerging needs and opportunities within the School.  Supporting the Annual Fund gives us the ability to award scholarships and fellowships to deserving students; attract and maintain an outstanding faculty by supporting their teaching and research efforts; and enrich our academic and service-learning programming.

Join Sanford in the pursuit of #PolicyPoweredbyPhilanthropy - thank you for your support!


At Sanford, one of the most important lessons students earn is how to demonstrate leadership in all areas of their lives, both personal and professional. Leadership through philanthropy is a natural extension of this lesson.

Leadership support by alumni and friends of the school is a public affirmation of confidence in the school and raises our reputation in the marketplace. Your participation as a leader strengthens our momentum and encourages fellow alumni to step up and support the school.

Gifts of all sizes are important and appreciated. However, leadership donations can help us reach or goals more quickly and better prepare for the future. In 2021-22, 21 percent of Annual Fund gifts benefiting Sanford were at the leadership level of $1,000 or more. These gifts accounted for 91 percent of the $1,551,230 raised in support of Sanford.

What your gift supports

students hugging

Scholarships that help attract the best and brightest students. 

Annual Fund dollars underwrite Duke’s commitment to need-blind admissions and support both our undergraduate and graduate public policy students. 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.

professor teaching with whiteboard

Research and teaching by our world class faculty

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

students in suits smiling

Real-world policy experience through internships. 

We don’t just encourage our public policy students to get out 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.


The Sanford Annual Fund operates on a fiscal year that begins on July 1 and ends on June 30. Making a gift early in the fiscal year relieves the need, and cost, of sending reminders throughout the year and saves you from being solicited multiple times. Many alumni prefer to make their gift at the end of the calendar year to take advantage of the IRS tax benefit. Donors who make a gift each fiscal year are recognized for consistent giving.

Gifts are accepted year-round, and can be made with a credit card onlineby 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 at 919.684.2338 or