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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. 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.

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  • Jay Pearson gesturing in a class

    Exploring Race, Policy and Health

    Jay A. Pearson’s research examines how policy-sponsored structural inequality influences health. A native of Hertford County North Carolina, Pearson’s early experiences in the rural agricultural South shaped his academic interests and inform his research agenda. Pearson began his public health career as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras.

    In 2017 Pearson received the Richard Stubbing Award for excellence in teaching and mentoring graduate 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 ninth 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.

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.

A gift to the Sanford School of Public Policy can be part of a smart financial plan. Let the Sanford development staff and the Office of Gift Planning at Duke University help you and your financial advisors develop a gift plan that meets your financial and philanthropic goals. A properly planned gift may help you reduce or eliminate capital gains and gift and estate taxes. You may realize immediate tax savings as well. 

You can explore different gift plans in detail on Duke's Gift Planning website.

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