The California State University continues to enhance the teaching and
learning experience through the generosity of private donors. Donors
committed over $283 million in new gifts, new pledges and testamentary
provisions in fiscal year 2003-2004. These supporters followed a trend
of stretching commitments over multiyear pledges during the state’s weak
economic recovery. The $283 million in philanthropic productivity
represents the work accomplished by presidents and their staff in
attracting support to the university during the fiscal year. This
achievement compares to $302 million in philanthropic productivity
achieved in 2002-2003.
Charitable gift receipts, a combination of new gift receivables and
pledge payments, totaled over $227 million. Gift receipts represent the
ongoing work of advancement programs that result in cash and in-kind
gifts received during the fiscal year. Charitable gift receipts declined
4.4 percent in 2003-2004 compared to the prior year. The Giving USA Foundation
recently reported that, nationally, gifts to education dropped 3 percent
in 2003 and 2 percent in 2002.
Of all charitable gifts received, donors designated 97 percent for
specific purposes. Recognizing the needs of a growing student population,
alumni and friends provided more than $13 million for student aid and
over $51 million toward building projects. Additionally, nearly $39
million was contributed toward university endowments.
The number of individuals giving to the CSU grew by 12,000 supporters
in 2003-2004, reaching a total of 212,000 individual donors. The number
of donors is a key indicator of success in attracting private support to
the university. In 2003-2004, San Diego State received contributions from
over 60,000 alumni, faculty, staff and other friends. The average number
of individual donors among CSU institutions was 9,000.
Efforts to enhance relationships withgraduates through alumni
membership programs continue to pay dividends to the university. Alumni
membership for 2003-2004 reached 113,000 and provided $1.9 million in
membership dues. Additionally, these members contributed $8.2 million in
charitable gifts, representing 40 percent of all alumni gifts to the university.
For the fourth consecutive year, giving from alumni declined. The
generosity of the 1990s during the stock market bubble has given way to
a more cautious donor base. Although consumer confidence and the stock market
have shown some signs of improvement, it generally has not been enough
to encourage donors to be more optimistic about their discretionary dollars.
Nationally, a study of alumni from public universities concluded that
giving priorities in times of economic stress tend to favor local charities
— church and social service agencies.* Contributing to an alma mater
In 2003-2004, the average gift from an alumni donor declined from
$298 to $278.
* The Impact of the Economic Uncertainty on Giving by
Public University Alumni” by Bentz Whaley Flessner (2002).