The research was conducted by Inyathelo, the South African Institute for Advancement and included 12 of South Africa's 26 universities.
The institutions were the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, UCT, Durban University of Technology, University of the Free State, University of Johannesburg, University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of Pretoria, University of Stellenbosch, Tshwane University of Technology, University of the Western Cape, University of the Witwatersrand, and University of Zululand .
They reported a philanthropic income of R1.63billion in 2016 - a massive boost of almost R1bn (R970million) over a four-year period.
The overall amount of R1.63bn was attributed to a total of 9448 donors across the 12 institutions. South Africans contributed 56% of the total funding and made up 90% of all donors.