Public Affairs, The California State University

CSU Fundraising off to Strong Start in 2014

Bolstered by notable gifts at Sonoma and Northridge, California State University fundraising efforts are off to a strong start in 2014.

In January, Sonoma State announced a $1 million personal gift from Gary Heck, president and owner of Korbel on behalf of Korbel to seed the renovation of the former University Commons building to house the university’s Wine Business Institute.

“The wine industry needs leaders with solid business skills and a deep knowledge of the industry if we are all to be successful. The Wine Business Institute has delivered on this for more than 15 years and this building is the next step. It will provide a visible home that will be a place of learning and gathering for everyone: students, faculty, industry professionals, and not just from our own area but from around the world,” said Heck.

David NazarianMore recently, CSUN announced a $10 million cash gift commitment from alumnus David Nazarian who is leading a $25 million fundraising drive for the university.  In recognition of his gift, the CSU Board of Trustees announced the approval of CSUN naming its college of business, the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics at their March board meeting.

“While investing in companies can change lives and improve our economy, nothing is more impactful and important than access to quality education and mentoring. That is why I consider this to be the most significant investment of my career,” Nazarian said. “I’m encouraging my business associates, friends, family and anyone who wants to positively impact the lives of talented young people in our region to join me in supporting CSUN and the amazing work being done there.”

2012-13 marked a banner year for the CSU as the 23 campuses and Chancellor’s Office garnered $338 million in gift commitments.  The CSU’s philanthropic efforts raise funds for scholarships, research, public service and additional university priorities.  Funds raised go to support the educational mission of the university and provide a tremendous return on investment.  For every $1 invested in fundraising, the CSU sees a return of $6.30, almost $1 greater than the national average return for master’s universities.

Fresno StateWhile fundraising is a critical endeavor that results in additional resources for the university, it cannot replace revenue lost to state funding cuts.  The great majority of donations are targeted to particular interests.  In 2012-13, 96 percent of all charitable gifts were designated to specific interests identified by the donor.  While that leaves only a small portion of the funding to be directed for the university’s most pressing needs, gifts do have a direct impact on students.

One example of many is the CSU Trustees Award for Outstanding Achievement – a systemwide representation of gift giving and its immediate benefit to students.

Each year, the California State University honors 23 students who have each demonstrated superior academic performance, personal accomplishments, community service and financial need – with the CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement. The CSU Trustees’ Awards are among the highest student distinctions within the university and are accompanied by scholarships of $3,000 to $10,000.

Click here to learn more about the CSU’s philanthropic efforts.

Click here to give to the CSU.

In 2012-13, Sacramento State awarded 795 privately-funded scholarships totaling $937,486. In this same period, the number of donors to annual scholarships increased nearly 40 percent. Additionally, 95 percent of the University Foundation’s endowment holdings are earmarked for scholarships.