Donor Watch analysis of Wealthiest College Graduates identifies high potential targets for fundraisers


October 13th, 2010
US Executives significantly cashed out of their stock holdings during the third quarter of 2010. According to a recent Donor Watch report, a selection of wealthy college graduates accounted for more than $5 billion of selling activity during the quarter.

The top sellers that were reviewed in the analysis all graduated from major US colleges and universities. Topping the list were Princeton University and the University of Chicago, both of which have alums that sold more than $200 million in stock during the quarter. A significant portion of Princeton’s selling activity was made by’s (AMZN) founder and CEO Jeffrey Bezos who sold over 1 million shares of AMZN over the quarter. University of Chicago graduate and Oracle Corp (ORCL) founder, Larry Ellison accounted for the majority of his alma-mater’s selling activity. Mr. Ellison, who sold 8,000 shares of ORCL, made all of his transactions during the month of September

Other schools whose alumni surpassed the $100 million mark are the University of Michigan, the University of Southern California (USC), the University of Maryland, Boston College, the U.S. Naval Academy and the University of Minnesota. USC’s alumni sales were led by Marc Benioff, another tech industry success story, who is the founder, CEO and Chairman of (CRM). Mr. Benioff sold a series of 10,000 share lots of CRM throughout the quarter, which together raised more than $60 million in cash.

According to Donor Watch, many small schools also made the list, including Amherst College, Rice University, Union College, Bowdoin College, Wesleyan University, Lehigh University, Colgate University, and the College of the Holy Cross, among others.

The top school on the list was not even an undergraduate institution; instead it was a graduate school. Combined, the Harvard Business School’s MBA graduates sold almost $300 million in stock over the third quarter. HBS’s list of sellers was led by William McKiernan who recently oversaw the sale of the company he founded, CyberSource Corp, to credit card giant Visa (V). Another HBS top seller is Google (GOOG) board member John Doerr who reported selling 132,215 shares of Google on September 24, 2010. Vivek Ranadiv, who is the founder and CEO of TIBCO (TIBX), netted more than $37 million by selling off shares of TIBX.

Other graduate business schools with significant selling activity were the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Columbia Business School, Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon, Xavier University, George Washington University and Dartmouth’s Tuck School.

J3 Donor Watch provides its reports and analyses to the development offices and prospect research teams at many leading colleges, universities and non-profits. Donor Watch’s unique and robust set of research tools empower fund raisers to manage their relationships with top and high potential donors. Donor Watch monitors the stock holdings of top donors and alums by using SEC filings and provides its users with best-in-class analyses, filters and alerts, empowering fundraisers to focus on the big picture.


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