Frequently Asked Questions

University Comparisons

How does Cal Poly compare to other universities and nonprofits in terms of what it costs to raise money?

Cal Poly has a solid track record in making the best use of its advancement resources and private support. Cal Poly leads the California State University System in charitable gifts from both alumni and parents. Moreover, in the most recent year reported, it cost Cal Poly only 10 cents to raise each dollar. The 23-campus CSU system's average cost to raise a dollar is 21 cents.

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Tax Information

Are My Gifts Deductible — and What Is Cal Poly's Tax ID Number?

The California Polytechnic State University Foundation qualifies as a public charitable organization and meets the requirements of Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). Gifts to Cal Poly are deductible at the highest limits allowed for federal income or estate tax purposes.

Its federal tax identification number is 20-4927897. Download a copy of Cal Poly's IRS determination letter (PDF) .

Will I receive a tax receipt letter for my gift?

Online gifts are emailed an immediate e-receipt when the gift is made.  In addition, a receipt is displayed on your screen that can be printed or saved.  Receipts for online gifts are not sent in the mail.

Can Cal Poly give me tax advice?

Cal Poly is always willing to provide information about the various gift vehicles that may be appropriate for you, including tax benefits they may offer. However, that should never be construed as specific legal or tax advice. We recommend that you have your own advisors and tax professionals, who know your circumstances, answer your tax questions. Cal Poly staff can work directly with your advisors, if you prefer.

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How to Make a Gift

Can I make a gift online?

Yes. One of the easiest fastest way to give is through our secure online giving site. The site allows donors to select the fund, college or entity to which they would like to donate. To make an online donation, visit the giving site.

Can I make gifts by mail or phone?

For security reasons, we do not take credit card information over the phone. If you would like to make a donation with your credit card, one of the easiest, fastest was to give is through our secure online giving site. Or you can send a gift through the mail by printing out the mail-in giving form (PDF).

Gifts to Cal Poly programs are made through the Cal Poly Foundation. The Cal Poly Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization that manages private funds to advance Cal Poly's mission.

The Foundation's legal/corporate name is The California Polytechnic State University Foundation and its federal tax identification number is 20-4927897.

Can I make a gift of stock?

Yes, gifts of appreciated securities are an excellent way to support the university. You may find gift instructions, including Cal Poly's broker and campus contact information, here. For additional information, see frequently asked questions regarding gifts of privately held, family, restricted or venture securities.

We are happy to discuss the opportunity of accepting privately held stock with you
(C Corporation or S Corporation). Please review our instructions and contact our Trust Administration Office at 805-756-7125.

For more information on making a gift of appreciate securities, visit our Planned Giving site.

Will my employer match my gift?

Your employer may provide a matching gift with your donation -- more than 13,000 employers do. Through matching gift programs, you can double or triple the value of your gift at no cost to yourself. In addition to matching charitable donations of their employees, some companies will also match donations made by spouses, retirees, and even members of their corporate board of directors.

Does your employer match gifts to Cal Poly?

Search by typing your company name --
or a portion of the name -- in box above.

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Wills & Bequests

If Cal Poly is named in my will, do I need to notify anyone?

You are not required to tell Cal Poly about your intent to leave a bequest. However, it is helpful for the university's planning purposes to be aware of future gifts. The Office of Planned Giving can be your resource to ensure a bequest gift is worded to be most useful in the future. See our sample bequest language and visit the Planned Giving site for more detailed information.

After I have included Cal Poly in my will, can I change it?

Absolutely. A bequest intention is considered a "revocable gift," meaning it can be modified as often as you wish to suit your circumstances and charitable priorities.

Do I decide how my gift will be used?

As with every gift made to Cal Poly, it is you, the donor, who decides how it will be put to use. You are able to designate your gift to support any college, department or program, student scholarship, faculty support, or anything else you are passionate about at Cal Poly. We can assist you in ensuring that your specific interests are carried out. You are also able to allow your gift to support Cal Poly's greatest needs as determined by the president.

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Reinvestment Assessment

What is a gift reinvestment assessment?

Cal Poly reinvests five percent of all gifts it receives to help fund efforts increase the amount of private support raised in the future. The five percent reinvestment leverages a small portion of all gifts to boost overall giving in the coming decade. Other major public universities, such as Virginia Tech and University of Florida, use reinvestment to help increase their fundraising dollars.

What is the rationale for reinvestment?

The majority of fundraising activity at Cal Poly is currently funded through the Cal Poly Foundation. As growth in state resources remain uncertain, securing additional private support is critical for Cal Poly to continue providing the quality educational experience for which it is nationally known. A blue ribbon Cal Poly task force of alumni, CEOs, and other business leaders convened by President Emeritus Baker to study development funding models recommended the university institute the reinvestment effort. Our students understand this need, and in fact, have voted to institute a Student Success Fee to fund learning enhancements such as additional class sections, improved academic advising, equipment, field trips, student projects for competitions, etc.

What will the reinvestment dollars fund?

Reinvestment dollars will help build infrastructure for Cal Poly’s next fundraising campaign and other fundraising activities. Cal Poly’s successful Centennial Campaign (1998-2004) was the largest campaign ever for a public master’s university. The campaign raised $264 million, which funded additional scholarships, endowed chairs and professorships, new buildings, laboratories, sports complexes, leading-edge computer labs, and outdoor learning spaces. It also tripled the endowment, adding almost $100 million to the principle. We anticipate that our next campaign will be even more successful.

Do other public universities in California use reinvestment?

A recent survey of California public universities showed that more than 2/3’s of the CSU schools currently make use of reinvestment, with most in the five percent category. All of the 11 UC campuses also employ reinvestment.

How is the reinvestment amount collected?

The reinvestment will be collected as each gift or payment is received.

Depending on the donor’s preference and the needs of the campus, the reinvestment may be collected in different ways:

  • The reinvestment will be collected directly from cash gifts or from the net proceeds of gifts-in-kind converted into cash.
  • Donors may choose to contribute an additional amount to cover the reinvestment.
  • A donor may choose to pay the reinvestment for the benefit of another donor.
  • With pre-approval, a gift of more than $100,000 can be invested until it earns enough to cover the reinvestment. However, this method would delay implementation of the gift.

Are any gifts exempt from the reinvestment requirement?

Certain gifts may be exempt from development reinvestment, including:

  • Gifts in kind that are not converted to cash and for which there is no cash portion.
  • All grants that are assessed indirect costs.
  • Gifts from foundations that have published guidelines prohibiting such an assessment.
  • Gifts that the university president, at his discretion, may exempt from the reinvestment or reduce the reinvestment fee.
  • Gifts that are classified under the Cal Poly Fund are subject to the Cal Poly Fund assessment structure. 

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I have a question that's not on this list. How can I get the answer?

Please call the following numbers for questions about:
University Development, 805-756-1555
Cal Poly Alumni Association, 805-756-2586
Updating your phone or mailing information, 805-756-1555
Planned Giving, 800-549-2666,
Parent Philanthropy, 805-756-7125
Matching Gifts, 805-756-2713
Scholarships, 805-756-7466
Gifts to the Cal Poly Fund, 805-756-6448
Our staff will be happy to answer your questions.

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