Despite Reaching Record Levels, CSU Fund Raising Suffered in 2002

(Jan. 24, 2003) -- The economic downturn provided a tough environment for the California State University's fund-raising effort. Although fund raising increased 3.8 percent to a record $257.2 million during the 2001-02 fiscal year, more than half of the campuses raised less money than the previous year, according to a report to be presented to the Board of Trustees Jan. 28.

"Although the CSU increased its systemwide non-state revenue and exceeded last year's figures, fund raising university-wide showed mixed results," said Louis Caldera, CSU's vice chancellor of university advancement.

Total external support (non-state revenue) grew 7.9 percent at the university's 23 campuses to $995.8 million, however the increases were not across the board but occurred only at a few campuses. Four campuses led the system in fund raising, bringing in 56 percent of the new funding. They were: San Diego State ($52.7 million), Cal Poly San Luis Obispo ($44.3 million), Cal State Long Beach ($24.2 million) and Fresno State ($23 million).

While more than two-thirds of voluntary support donations were in cash, 22 percent was in-kind (equipment, books, software), and another substantial portion was designated for endowments. This shortens campuses' spendable income at the very time the university system is enduring significant budget cuts from the state.

The CSU fund raising-program has raised nearly $2 billion in voluntary support and $4.6 billion in special revenue since its creation in 1992-93. Fund raising has become an institutional priority for the university system to supplement state support and other sources of revenue.

More than half of the funds raised in 2002 were used for campus programs and operations, including scholarships, research and academic initiatives to enhance students' campus experiences. Nearly a quarter of the funds raised this year went to support capital projects, including construction and equipment purchases.

Corporations gave $102 million, a 31 percent increase—exceeding donations from individuals for the first time since 1995. Foundation giving rose 7 percent.

Total cash from individuals, which historically has been the highest giving category, declined 15 percent, consistent with a nationwide drop in individual donations to universities and other nonprofits. "Many individuals gave less because of the economic downturn, halting the robust growth in individual giving to the CSU of the two previous years," said Caldera.

Although alumni giving declined 21 percent, with the average gift decreasing from $357 to $325, the number of alumni donors, pledges and gift expectancies increased, a positive reflection on the work of campus advancement staffs, and an indication of continued confidence by our alumni, Caldera said.

Gifts designated for endowment amounted to $44 million, helping to offset declines in endowment value due to the downturn in the stock market.

CSU's external support represents non-state revenue generated by the 23 campuses and the CSU Foundation and is the sum of voluntary support derived from fund raising and special revenue. Voluntary support represents gifts of cash, securities, in-kind donations, real property donations, outright gifts and private grants. Special revenue includes contracts for services, government grants, sponsorships, multi-year pledges, property transfers, endowment distributions, bequests expectancies and revocable trusts.

This year's voluntary support amounted to $257.2 million, and special revenue totaled $738 million. Three quarters of special revenue came from grants and contracts for services by campuses.

The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 406,000 students and 44,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded about 2 million degrees. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. Its mission is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. See

Contact: Clara Potes-Fellow, (562) 951-4806,

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Last Updated: 24 January 2003

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