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Private Gifts Boost Impact of Public Support

by Andrea Taylor - Vice President University Relations and Development - May 2015

Headshot of CSULB Vice President Andrea Taylor

Fundraising and fundraising campaigns have long played an important role at our nation’s private colleges and universities. Today, raising money through private channels is a strategy that is embraced by public colleges and universities, as well, complementing traditional efforts to secure additional public funding through government appropriations and grants.

Recognizing that CSULB, too, must expand its public and private revenue streams if it is to maintain its distinctive blend of quality and affordability over the long term, last fall, the university launched the public phase its first major fundraising campaign, DECLARE: The Campaign for CSULB. This historic endeavor aims to raise $225 million in private gifts by the end of 2015, and we are very close to reaching that ambitious goal. Our campaign priorities, also known as “pillars,” fall broadly into three main categories:

A screenshot of the Declare homepage asking what you will declare for Long Beach State
  • Transformation — includes curricular innovations, endowed faculty positions and centers, and research-infused and cross-disciplinary instruction
  • Unequaled Access — includes scholarships and programs that ensure access and timely progress toward degree completion
  • A Greater Community — includes community-outreach initiatives, as well as capital projects such as the new Alumni Center and the renovations at Blair Field

These three priorities reflect the values and focus of the university as a whole and were recently adopted as part of the university-wide strategic priorities and goals.

Because our university can no longer look to the state of California to meet all of its needs—CSULB now receives less than 25 percent of its overall budget from state appropriations—we must do everything possible to increase public and private investments at The Beach. Private support supplements and reinforces public support, and vice versa: it is a synergistic approach.

For instance, when a state or federal grant is supplemented with private funds, this diversification of funding increases a project’s viability over the long run and instills confidence in prospective donors who prefer to invest in projects that can demonstrate broad community support and a forward-looking sustainability plan. As “giving back” to The Beach becomes an established part of our campus culture and traditions, this too will help us build the kind of fiscal continuity that signals to the world our institutional strength and character.

The Pillars of the Declare Campaign - Transformation, Unequaled Access and a Greater Community

I should note that dollars raised is just one measure of campaign success. DECLARE: The Campaign for CSULB also provides a platform for telling our amazing story and for increasing our visibility in a crowded higher-education marketplace. When we declare for CSULB by displaying our Beach Pride, by actively participating in campus life, or by making investments, whether large and small, in our students and programs, we help others, including influential policymakers, better understand the university’s vital role in our community and, ultimately, we create a stronger, more sustainable Beach for everyone.

DECLARE: The Campaign for CSULB | Research @ the Beach | Administrator Messages