Data Collection Process

Data Collection ProcessThe Annual Report on External Support to the California State University includes, for the first time, tables detailing philanthropic support. Using a reporting convention that is a variation of the accrual system, these tables present what is thought to be the best perspective on the level of current philanthropic productivity. The methodology subtracts prior-year pledge payments from gift receipts; and includes new pledges up to five years in duration, plus new documented testamentary provisions from individuals over 62 years of age. The philanthropic support total is presented to highlight the results of current year fundraising efforts.

The data presented under “charitable gifts” conforms to reporting standards employed by the national Voluntary Support of Education (VSE) survey conducted by the Council for Aid to Education. This survey is completed by over 80 percent of all colleges and universities for comparative purposes. The VSE survey uses a cash-based methodology that includes outright gifts and pledge payments (gift receipts), but does not include new pledges or revocable testamentary commitments. This reporting convention is thought to present the best cash flow perspective. The charitable gift source and purpose detail presented in this report utilizes data submitted through the VSE survey.

For the purposes of this report, deferred gifts, pledges and testamentary commitments are recorded at face value. This differs from accounting standards used to produce the annual audited financial statements. In audited financial statements, the gift asset is recorded at the discounted present value. Also, based on an accrual method, financial statements record unconditional pledges on the revenue side at the time they are promised, and balance the asset with receivable accounts that are reduced as pledge payments are recorded. Due to the difference in reporting conventions, data presented in this External Resources report will vary from the audited financial statements.

Finally, in addition to philanthropic support, the California State University tracks revenue derived from other external sources. Defined as special revenue, the data indicates investments from commercial sponsorships, contracts, government and proprietary grants, government property transfers, and endowment distribution. This data, as well as alumni membership data, is collected based on guidelines established by the Office of the Chancellor.

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Last Updated: January 26, 2004