Market value of university endowments reaches all-time high

A rise in individual donations from alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students and friends sustained level year-to year giving to the California State University, according to the Philanthropic Annual Report prepared for the CSU Board of Trustees.

In 2011-2012, gift receipts from new gifts and pledge payments totaled more than $240 million for a second year. Sustaining this level of support was an increase in gift receipts from individuals of $7.9 million, or eight percent, to $107 million.

In total, 224,194 donors committed $297 million in 2011-2012 – the greatest number of donors since 1999. Adjusting for the extraordinary pledge of $42 million from the Kellogg Foundation to Cal Poly Pomona in the previous year, the total value of gift commitments to the university was relatively level.

“All giving is welcome, but individual donors share a connection to the university that makes their gifts particularly unique and meaningful,” said Garrett P. Ashley, CSU vice chancellor for university relations and advancement. “Their support sustains excellence in programs they deeply care about in areas that span innovation, teaching, research, athletics and arts.”

As a strong example of individual giving, longtime San Diego State donors Larry and Madeline Petersen decided to bequeath $2 million of their estate to the school’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence program. Petersen, founder and president of LP Marketing, is an alumnus of SDSU who celebrates and supports the university’s focus on innovative and entrepreneurial thinking.

The CSU celebrated another milestone in 2011-2012, as systemwide endowments reached a record high. The peak market value of more than $1.02 billion solidifies the philanthropic leadership of retired Chancellor Charles B. Reed, who oversaw a tripling of CSU endowments during his 15 years as head of the system. Reed’s legacy lives on with the Chancellor Charles B. Reed Endowed Scholarship, which recognizes an exemplary Hearst/CSU Trustees’ recipient.

Fundraising is critical to maintaining excellence in difficult times, but cannot replace revenue lost to state funding cuts. A major reason fundraising cannot replace other sources of revenue is because donations are nearly always targeted to particular interests. Donors identified interests for 97 percent of charitable gifts received in 2011-2012.

Below are the many areas that received philanthropic support to preserve excellence and advance the university’s mission.

Gift Receipts (by designation)

  • Endowments (primarily for student scholarships) – $45.5 million
  • Academic enrichment – $43.1 million
  • Public service programs – $29.6 million
  • Irrevocable deferred gifts – $22.3 million
  • Facilities (libraries, laboratories, arts centers and athletics) – $20.8 million
  • Student scholarships (not through endowments) – $16.1 million
  • Athletics – $15 million
  • Applied research -$7.8 million
  • Unrestricted – $7.7 million
  • Facility improvements – $2.1 million
  • Faculty support – $1.8 million
  • Library resources – $1.4 million
  • Designations for other university needs – $26.6 million

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About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 427,000 students and 44,000 faculty and staff. The CSU awards about 99,000 degrees annually and since its creation in 1961 has conferred nearly 2.8 million. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. The mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. Connect with and learn more about the CSU at CSU Social Media. Show how the CSU matters to you and take action.