Endowed Gifts

Invest in Our Future

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)

Other Useful Forms

Endowment Gifts (PDF)
Endowed Faculty Positions (PDF)
TIAA Kaspick Overview-Get to Know Our Investment Managers (PDF)

Next Steps

  1. Contact Cal Poly's Office of Gift Planning at 805-756-7125 or plannedgiving@calpoly.edu 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


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How to Fund It

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You can create an endowed gift using the following assets:

Check Out This Potential Scenario

Family laughing

Longtime supporters Susan and Charlie want to make sure Cal Poly continues to flourish long after they're gone. They also want to memorialize Charlie's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jones. So they make a $25,000 donation to Cal Poly, which we invest. Each year, a portion of the income from the invested money will be used to support teaching, scholarship and service in honor of the Joneses. The rest of the income is reinvested in the fund; that's what allows it to support us indefinitely. Susan and Charlie qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction on their taxes.

Watch this video to see how it works

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Cal Poly a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Cal Poly, a nonprofit corporation currently located at Heron Hall, Building 117, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407-0444, or its successor thereto, ______________ [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Cal Poly or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Cal Poly as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Cal Poly as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Cal Poly where you agree to make a gift to Cal Poly and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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