Once again, donors have demonstrated steady philanthropic support of the CSU and its 23 member universities. With their gifts, our donors underscore their trust in the university system to create long-lasting success for our students, their families and communities across the state and the nation.

In fiscal year 2021-22, the CSU received more than $567 million in gift commitments and over $473 million in gift receipts. The CSU’s cumulative endowment market value remains strong, at over $2.3 billion. This generosity resonates throughout the 23 universities, powering key initiatives, bolstering campus communities and fostering student engagement and success.

This success is fueled by comprehensive fundraising campaigns across the CSU that benefit our campus communities in countless ways. As one example, California State University, Los Angeles’ multiyear We Are LA campaign closed at the end of the fiscal year and raised over $101 million, far surpassing its $75 million goal. This includes a $10 million gift from Mary Levin that established Cal State LA’s Mary Levin School of the Arts and supports academic programs ranging from music to media studies.

The 2021-22 fiscal year saw philanthropy touch many facets of the CSU. It enriched our academic programs with donations such as $5 million from Snap Inc. to California State University, Dominguez Hills, which established a new institute focused on addressing equity gaps in computing education. Generous donations allowed for the preservation of campus spaces that surrounding communities can enjoy, such as Ben and Nikki Clay’s gift to San Diego State University Mission Valley, which will maintain a 34-acre River Park. And they supported student success, such as the gift from Apple that brought to fruition the Global Hispanic Serving Institution Equity Innovation Hub, located on the California State University, Northridge campus, which will increase student success and equip Latinx and other historically underserved students with skills for high-demand careers in STEM.

Charitable investments by donors allow for the continuing success of the CSU system and advances its mission to educate the leaders of the future. This report explores the scope of our donors’ support and provides additional stories from our universities that demonstrate the impact of donors' generosity on so many lives and communities.

Gifts Received

The California State University system quantifies philanthropic productivity with two concurrent measures: gift commitments and charitable gift receipts.

Gift commitments are an accrual measure that represents new gifts, as well as commitments through multiyear pledges and support promised from testamentary provisions in wills, trusts and beneficiary designations.

Charitable gift receipts are a cash measure that represents all gift income received in the form of cash, securities, in-kind contributions, irrevocable future commitments and private charitable grants.

Donors’ generosity in the 2021-22 fiscal year resulted in more than $473 million in gift receipts. Of that, 97 percent was designated by donors toward specific programs or areas, with only 3 percent—about $16.2 million—being unrestricted.

Donor-designated support of $260.4 million for current programs included:

  • $85.3 million for faculty support and academic enrichment;
  • $38.7 million for student scholarships;
  • $18 million for academic research;
  • $13.2 million for athletics;
  • 5.2 million for student affairs and student life, supporting cocurricular programming that promotes community service, student leadership and career development, among other areas; and
  • $100 million for additional university priorities.

For long-term and capital projects, the CSU received $83.6 million that supplements other funding for building projects and enhances educational spaces with elements such as cutting-edge technology, lab equipment and studios.

CSU endowments, which provide support in perpetuity, grew by $108.2 million in new contributions. In 2021-22, endowments distributed over $76 million across the university system.

Donors committed an additional $4.6 million in irrevocable deferred gifts, through vehicles such as charitable gift annuities and charitable remainder trusts.

The categories for gifts received are mutually exclusive and represent in general terms the many programs, projects and initiatives that our donors’ generosity—often concurrently—support.