Gifts to America's private elementary and secondary independent schools during the academic year 1979-80 reached a new high of $184,700,000, according to an annual survey conducted by the Council for Financial Aid to Education and the National Association of Independent Schools.
The average total support of $482,206 received for annual and capital needs by each of the 383 participating schools represented a 12.6 percent increase over the 1978-79 average. Total support rose 8 percent, an increase somewhat lower than the rate of inflation.
The top contributing groups were alumni and nonalumni, whose support amounted to 75 percent of the total. Alumni increased their gifts by 10.4 percent and nonalumni by 8.3 percent.
Foundation gifts, representing 17.5 percent of the total, decreased 4.1 percent from the previous year. Additional support came from religious groups (1 .0 percent), other groups (1.4 percent), and such other sources as fund-raising events (1.7 percent).
Sixty percent of all giving was unrestricted, with a larger proportion in 1979-80 applied by the schools to endowment. Percentage of support for physical plant declined from 25 to 20 percent, while faculty compensation and student aid , together accounting for 15 percent of all contributions, remained constant. All three restricted categories approximated or bettered inflation.
Bequests and deferred gifts made up a smaller proporton of contributions from individuals and decreased from 9 to 8 percent of total support.
Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., led in the amount of voluntary support received in 1979-80, followed by Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire and the Culver Educational Foundation in Indiana. A list of the top 10 follow. Together they reported some $35 million in voluntary support. Andover $6,366,940 Exeter 3,861,060 Culver 3,505,180 St. Paul (NH) 3,488,493 Hotchkiss 3,381,143 Lick-Wilmerding 2,942,400 Deerfield 2,667,294 Punahou 2,524,269 Hill School 2,430,517 Choate Rosemary Hall 2,409,077