Press Release Philanthropy

Academic Achievement and Student Success at the CSU Continue to Benefit from Philanthropic Support 



Donor support has a transformative impact on the CSU including the donation of 300 acres of land in Placer County, which will become Sacramento State University's​ Placer Center, serving one of the state's fastest growing regions.  (Rendering courtesy of Placer Ranch, Inc.)


​​​Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic recession, the educational mission and work of the California State University (CSU) continues to resonate with donors, supporters and other friends of the university whose generosity supports programmatic excellence throughout the CSU.  

“In a year unlike any other, the unwavering support of our generous and forward-thinking donors has set records for fundraising across the California State University," said CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro. “This is truly a remarkable achievement, especially considering the unique challenges we continue to face as a university, state and nation as we navigate a global health crisis, social unrest and economic distress. But through it all, the CSU family continues to serve as a vital and essential wellspring of the powerful forces that hold our society together – and move us toward a brighter future."  

CSU gift commitments in 2019-20 totaled more than $641 million. That total was driven in part by multi-year campus comprehensive campaigns closing in the last fiscal year – Cal State East Bay, San Francisco State and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo all concluded their respective campaigns and surpassed ambitious goals. While private funds cannot adequately replace funding from the state, private support bolsters the excellence of programs by providing students with tools and resources that lead to transformative educational experiences.  

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, generous donors have pledged to support programs specifically aimed at helping CSU students navigate financial challenges while continuing to pursue their education.    

For example, a crowdfunding campaign for the Student Crisis Support Fund at ​San José State University raised more than $139,000 from over 650 donors, and two generous donors matched funds resulting in more than $150,000 supporting immediate assistance for SJSU students facing unforeseen economic crises.​

Similarly, the Cal State Long Beach Student Emergency Fund received more than $161,000 from fundraising and those funds were matched by a donor, resulting in more than $260,000 in funds raised for the program. Since March 2020, the emergency fund has provided hundreds of grants to students in need.  

And at Cal Poly Pomona (CPP), the Collins College of Hospitality Management's board of advisors donated $60,000 in emergency aid for its students. In addition, current CPP faculty, emeritus faculty and staff gave more than $78,000 to the Broncos Care Basic Needs Program, which provides support and resources for housing, food and financial needs.    

Campuses also benefitted from exceptional one-time gifts. CSU Monterey Bay received its largest single gift ever when author and long-time Monterey Bay resident Robert Darwin pledged his multi-million-dollar estate to provide scholarships for deserving students with the greatest financial need. The gift will provide and estimated $1 million annually for scholarships.    

Sacramento State received a donation of 300 acres of land in Placer County which will become the campus's Placer Center, serving one of the state's fastest growing regions.    

Philanthropic gifts also support programs that align with the CSU's larger strategic effort of Graduation Initiative 2025, which continues to demonstrate improved success measures for all students.  

To learn more about donating to CSU programs and services supporting students' basic needs, visit the CSU Cares website. Learn more about how supporters and friends of the CSU contribute to the university mission at the CSU's Donor Support website.   

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About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 53,000 faculty and staff and 486,000 students. Half of the CSU's students transfer from California community colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity, and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards nearly 129,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 3.8 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.