California State University Donations Hit Record High Figures
Feb. 11, 2009, The State Hornet — Despite the tight economy, donations to the California State Universities were $442 million for 2007-08, a 35 percent increase from the previous academic year.
Associate Vice President for University Development Rebecca Thompson said that last year Sacramento State received $17,987,769 in donations.
"Bequests are a very steady part of gifting at Sac State," Thompson said. She said that Many alumni defer their money and want their legacy to live on."
Public affairs representative for the CSU Erik Fallis said that the system is not expecting the same amount of donations as last year because the economy is not as strong and the wealth of donors, such as business owners and non-profit organizations has lessened.
Thompson said Sac State started off 2009 well, with donations reaching the halfway mark of the expected dollar amount.
"Given that people understand the value of higher education, we still have the best case to support students with their education. It helps the economy," she said.
Non-profit organizations and charities are nervous in this economy, Thompson said. People and businesses are waiting longer to make the decision of where and how much money will be donated.
Fallis said the donations are broken down into three areas.
"Nineteen million went to student scholarships, $24 million went to public service programs and $92.5 million went to academic initiatives, applied research, athletics and other current university objectives," Fallis said.
Several factors could have attributed to the increase in donation for the last year, Fallis said. The CSU believes one of the reasons is how the schools involved their local communities with the studies on campus.
A water resources department at CSU San Bernardino is one example of where the community needs a workforce that understands how to conserve water. Studies on water conservation help students who will join the farming workforce in the area.