Data Collection Process
The Annual Report on Philanthropic Support to the California State University includes tables detailing “gift commitments.” 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 includes new gifts, new pledges up to five years in duration, and new documented testamentary provisions.
The data presented under “gift receipts” 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 typically completed by over 85 percent of all colleges and universities for comparative purposes. The VSE survey uses a cash-based methodology that includes new gifts and pledge payments (gift receipts), but does not include new pledges or revocable testamentary provisions. 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 Annual Report on Philanthropic Support will vary from the audited financial statements.