Your Gift Can Last Forever

Each year we rely on your generous support, along with the gifts of many others, to help us carry out our work. Endowment funds not only make a lasting impact at Cal Poly, they also offer the opportunity to honor your family name or pay tribute to a loved one. You can establish an endowment with a contribution of cash, securities, real estate or a planned gift.

How It Works

When you make an endowed gift, your contribution is invested with and becomes part of our endowment. An annual distribution is made for the purpose you designate. Because the principal remains intact the fund will generate support in perpetuity.

Did you know?

You can set up an honorary endowment in your will so that your name, or the name of someone special, can live on forever.

Endowments provide a consistent flow of support to students and allow the university to plan into the future. Minimum gift levels to create various types of endowments have been set to guarantee that income will be adequate to achieve the benefactor's vision, both now and in the future. Gifts of any size may be added later to enlarge the endowment over time. Gifts at the following levels can create permanent named endowments at Cal Poly:

Endowment Types and Thresholds
Type of Endowment Threshold for Initial Gift
Chair $3,000,000
Professorship $1,000,000
Project-Learning Laboratory/Shop $750,000
Visiting Faculty $500,000
Graduate Fellowship $250,000
Lecture Series $100,000
Senior Project/Research Fund $50,000
Undergraduate Scholarship $25,000

Based on the Cal Poly Foundation's spending policy, the Foundation currently distributes 4.00 percent of the three-year rolling average in the fund. Any additional returns above this amount are reinvested into the fund to allow the fund to defeat inflation over time.

In order to have a full year of earnings available, endowments at required threshold must be invested no less than twelve consecutive months prior to the first distribution of earnings. Some donors choose to also contribute a direct cash gift to cover scholarships or award until the endowment is fully funded and distributing proceeds.

Learn about our current endowment investment policy (PDF)

An Example of How It Works

Couple Smiling Longtime Cal Poly supporters Charlie and Susan have two goals: First, they want to make sure Cal Poly continues to receive support after they are gone. Second, they want to create a lasting legacy for Charlie’s parents.

Charlie and Susan make a $25,000 donation to Cal Poly, which we invest, and each year, a portion of the income from the invested money will be used to support our mission in honor of Charlie’s parents. Plus, Charlie and Susan qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction on their taxes.

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Next Steps

  1. Contact Cal Poly's Office of Gift Planning at 805-756-7125 or to discuss endowed gifts.
  2. Seek the advice of your financial or legal advisor.
  3. If you include Cal Poly in your plans, please use our legal name and federal tax ID.

Legal name: California Polytechnic State University Foundation
Address: Heron Hall, Building 117, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407-0444
Federal tax ID number: 20-4927897

Start Paying It Forward

View and download your FREE copy of Endowments: A Never-Ending Legacy.

Personal Estate Planning Kit

Our Top Free Resource

This comprehensive estate planning kit helps you protect your family and establish your legacy. FREE!

Download My Kit