CSU has many non-alumni donors who are committed to the institution’s programs and students.
“Last year, we had approximately 15,400 donors who were not alumni,” said Jean Rahn, executive director of development. “We’re getting more large gifts over $1 million. Last year we had four gifts in excess millions who weren’t alums. One of our largest gifts was from real estate.”
Last year and the year before CSU has raised the most money in its history.
“We feel very good,” Rahn said. “To this point in time (the economic downturn) has not hurt us deeply. The Monford family has been generously supportive for many years. Almost all of our money goes to very specific projects.”
Donations aren’t always made in cash money, but in the form of equipment too. Over the past few years, Hewlett Packard and IBM have given equipment to CSU’s programs. Many are business stock gifts.
Scott Webb, director of corporation and foundation, directly works with about 45 to 50 companies along the Front Range including Denver. Indirectly, Webb has responsibilities to corporations focused in one college.
However, a majority of businesses do have interests in more than one college. When Webb sets up an account with a corporation, he strives to fill five basic areas: research, volunteerism, philanthropy, recruiting and continuing education in professional development. To get a company to commit could take up to four to six months.
“My focus is to develop as many relationships in those five areas as possible,” Webb said. “It’s been my experience that if they’ve been doing this for quite some time the resources will flow (smoothly).”
Yet, due to the country’s economic disposition the amount of cash flow companies were able to give in the past has decreased.
“Where you use to see $100,000 now you see $30,000 to $40,000 on the corporate side,” Webb said.
The good news is that a lot of these companies that cut workforce have equipment to give such as HP, IMB, Sun Microsystems, Agilent Technologies and StorageTek. IBM recently donated a $9.4 million dollar gift for a linux hub project. The investment involved curriculum, research and recruiting in the College of Business.
There are colleges that bring in more corporate money than the rest such as the College of Natural Sciences and College of Engineering.
Webb is currently working on new business relationships with Raytheon Technologies, Cisco Systems and Frontier Airlines.
Beside corporate gifts, CSU operates with many foundations as well.
CSU has a strong relationship with Colorado foundations. One is the Monford foundation, which gave $5 million this year,” said Chrissie Snow, assistant to President Al Yates.
Yates has made it a personal priority to develop and maintain relationships with the 10 to 12 foundations.
“We make sure that we (make proposals) in the institution’s highest priority,” said Snow. “We earn their support by being careful with what we submit. We’re evermore careful because of the economic climate.”
The work is a collaborative effort. Snow researches the required programs that match the foundations’ top interests. CSU has just secured the W.M. Keck Foundation which funds research at top universities throughout the country.
“It’s very hard do secure funds for that foundation. The more you work with entities the more your credibility is enhanced,” Snow said. “Luckily, were able to find matches with foundations. The university receives millions of dollars each year from private foundations.”
The economy has affected Colorado foundations too. The interest on their endowment, which was invested in equities, has been reduced because the stock market went down.
But that’s not stopping donors from giving to CSU. The 1870s dinner will be tonight and 34 donors, who gave $100,000 dollars last year, will be honored. This will be the 15th dinner.
Edited by Shandra Jordan and Josh Hardin