giving to the California State University declined 7.6 percent
in 2002-2003, the university’s first decline in more
than a decade. The reduction reflects a national trend in
charitable giving—and in giving to higher education
specifically—due largely to donor uncertainty in a period
of slow economic recovery.
What is important to note, however, is that although current
year gift receipts dropped to $237.83 million, many donors
expressed their strong commitment to the CSU’s mission
of providing high-quality teaching and learning through multiyear
pledges and testamentary commitments.
When these contributions are considered, philanthropic support
grew to $302.15 million. Additionally, $538.83 million was
received in special revenue that includes sponsored grants
Alumni and friends also realized the importance of supporting
the CSU’s mission to provide access to all qualified
students: of support to current operations, $10.5 million
went directly to student aid and more than $14 million was
received to build scholarship endowments.
As the CSU continues to face financial challenges from larger-than-expected
enrollment increases and diminishing state resources, the
need for external support becomes more prevalent. Record enrollment
of 409,000 students increased the need to expand the physical
capacity of our universities. Friends of the CSU took notice
and responded generously: Campus capital improvements to buildings
and equipment were enhanced by gifts totaling $36.62 million.
Libraries and physical plant operations also each received
$11 million in restricted support. While these contributions
have helped the CSU significantly, they do not fulfill the
funding gaps created by severe state budget cuts and the continuing
need for state bond support.
As the demands for the CSU’s programs and services have
increased, so have the needs of our institutions. To provide
authentic access to the classes students need to graduate
and to maintain the integrity and quality of our academic
programs, the California State University must succeed in
acquiring more financial resources. We are grateful for the
support of individuals, corporations and foundations that
recognize our success in preparing a well-educated workforce
and the impact higher education has on California’s
economic prosperity. This support provides a margin of excellence
that will allow us to enhance our programs, serve more students,
and encourage new donors and friends to invest in the CSU.