SDSU takes in $23

by Staff

million in donations

In the 1996-97 fiscal year, San Diego State University raised about $23 million in donations, making it the second-highest fund-raiser in the 23-campus California State University system.

This total consists of donations for academics, athletics and KPBS, said Tom Gutenberger, SDSU’s director of major gifts.

About $173 million was donated to the CSU during the same year, according to an annual report for the CSU.

Alumni, foundations, corporations and organizations contributed 16.4 percent more than in the previous year, said Ken Swisher, director of CSU media relations.

“This has become a priority for our system,” he said. “You can see how well we’ve done since the early part of this decade.”

About $27,000 was donated to the Alumni Association.

“We do take donations, but it’s a very small amount compared to University Advancement,” said Francis Meda, an executive assistant of the Alumni Association.

University Advancement divides the donations into areas of recognition depending on the amounts individuals give to the school.

“We really count on gifts at all levels ? $100,000, $50,000, $1,000 and $100,” Gutenberger said.

Individuals and organizations who have donated $100,000 or more throughout their lives are acknowledged into the Tower Society.

“We picked $100,000 because of the Centennial,” Gutenberger said.

The President’s Association distinguishes those individuals who give $1,000 or more yearly.

A lot of the funding comes from restricted donations, Swisher said. Restricted donations are when someone gives gifts for specific purposes, he said.

For example, Swisher said, some donors give money to be spent on a certain college or program, such as for a scholarship fund or a new building.

“Unrestricted funds are under the discretion of the individual campuses,” he said.

This is when the university decides to put the money into the programs with the greatest need, Gutenberger said.

Academics is not the only area that receives contributions.

The Aztec Athletic Foundation helps with expenses for the 17 intercollegiate teams on campus.

Donors to this organization acquire seating at athletic events such as basketball and football.

Through the Matching Gift Program, companies will match the donations of their employees.

According to the Fourth Quarter Report at SDSU, 12,138 donors contributed to the CSU campuses in 1996-97.

Long Beach State University received the most donations in the CSU system, beating SDSU by about $2 million.