CSU and universities alike depend on donations from alumni and other private sectors to sponsor and support programs on campus.
This past year, CSU held more than 700 endowments, totaling almost $80 million. On average, between 4 percent and 5 percent of that is available for allocation.
Founded in 1970, the CSU Foundation is responsible for receiving, managing and investing endowments the university brings in. The foundation is legally separate from CSU because of Colorado laws that prohibit the state from investing in common stocks. The state usually invests in bonds instead.
“Endowments provide funding for critical programs at CSU,” said Kathleen Henry, president of the foundation.
Endowments differ from other donations to the university because the actual gift is never spent. Only the interest earned from the invested donation is allocated to the university.
Endowments may be funded with outright gifts of cash, stock or real estate. The minimum for endowment gifts is $20,000.
Donors decide how the money benefits the university.
Endowments can provide funds for university-endowed chair positions and student scholarships.
Student aid accounts totaled 53 percent of endowment dollars, while chair and professorship accounts equaled 25 percent. The other 22 percent went into other endowed accounts.
Seventy-three percent of the endowments last year went toward academics while athletics received 7 percent. The other 20 percent went to other areas of the university, including Morgan Library, Student Affairs and the University Fund.
For last year, the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences received the most in endowments at $17.2 million.
“Science medical schools often receive half the money raised by a university, they are usually a big drawing power,” said Jean Rahn, executive director for development for CSU. Rahn also said that people come from all over the world to have their animals treated at CSU and tend to like to contribute to the school to ensure that programs continue.
“(CSU) really promotes endowments. They are permanent gifts and that is something donors relate to,” Rahn said. “An endowment can carry a family name forever.”
The University of Colorado reported $207 million in donations and gifts including endowments for the financial 1999-2000 year. During that same period, CSU received $133 million.