SF State finishes strong fundraising year

"Culture of giving" yields needed funding for academic programs


SAN FRANCISCO, August 2, 2012 -- Donors contributed $17 million to San Francisco State University during the 2011-12 fiscal year, reflecting a 19 percent increase over the previous year and a continued growth of the fundraising program.

"The strong fundraising year reflects the University’s expanding base of alumni and friends who invest in its academic program," said Vice President for University Advancement Robert J. Nava, who joined the University in 2010 with the goal of creating a culture of giving on campus. "There is a greater awareness that SF State needs private support to minimize the impact of reduced public funding."

The $17 million represents new gifts, pledges and grants, including donations from individuals, corporations and private institutions. The majority of donations came from friends, former faculty and alumni of the University, including a 31 percent increase in donations from parents of current students through the Annual Fund drive. Among the top donations for FY 2011-12:

  • A $1.5 million education grant from Howard Hughes Medical Institute to support the biology faculty as they refine their teaching skills and explore new resources and ways to assess their students’ learning. 
  • A $1 million donation to endow the Robert A. Corrigan Chair in American Studies from George (B.A. '65, economics) and Judy Marcus (B.A. '62, kinesiology/PE), supplemented with gifts of $200,000 from alumnus Kenneth Fong and $100,000 from Bettye Poetz Ferguson, a longtime friend of the University.

Corporate support continues to grow, Nava said, as the University seeks to expand its partnerships with the local business community. OPSWAT, Merritt Community Capital Corporation and Wells Fargo, among others, provided funding to support mentorship and scholarship programs for underrepresented groups and technical support.

"Financial support demonstrates that alumni, friends and the broader community understand and appreciate the value of an SF State education," said Nava. "Our San Francisco State University Foundation Board has and will continue to help us keep our momentum going in the right direction."

The San Francisco State University Foundation manages the University’s endowment -- focusing on determining acceptable risks in the portfolio, maximizing investment returns, minimizing investment expenses, and improving endowment reporting and stewardship. The Foundation Board works with the University to reach out to alumni, friends and businesses in the community to build commitment and funding for San Francisco State University. 




SF State is the only master's-level public university serving the counties of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin. The University enrolls nearly 30,000 students each year and offers nationally acclaimed programs in a range of fields -- from creative writing, cinema and biology to history, broadcast and electronic communication arts, theatre arts and ethnic studies. The University’s more than 212,000 graduates have contributed to the economic, cultural and civic fabric of San Francisco and beyond.