CSUSM Foundation
Gift Fee – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



 In order to realize economies of scale, the CSUSM Foundation has chosen not to replicate the administrative infrastructure already present in the campus’ other auxiliary, the University Auxiliary Research Services Corporation (UARSC). Through a business services agreement with UARSC, the Foundation will use the gift fees in part to pay for the administrative costs, including but not limited to the following:

  • Banking costs associated with gift deposits
  • Brokerage transaction and account costs
  • Accounting and financial reporting costs
  • Record keeping and audit costs

Additionally, gift fees in excess of administrative costs will be used to support the core business functions of the Foundation, including fundraising, development, and associated marketing expenses through the work of CSUSM’s division of University Advancement, including but not limited to the following:

  • Stewardship of funds and donors
  • Solicitation and other fundraising related costs
  • Gift acceptance, acknowledgment, and related administrative costs

Collecting gift fees is the norm.  While there’s a broad range of fee percentages and practices ranging from 2% to 13% composite throughout California public higher education institutions, our proposed fee structure is moderate in comparison. Of the other major public universities in San Diego County, one charges 6% and one charges 5% on the front end and 8% as expenditures are made.

What was the previous practice?

  • UARSC applied 8% administrative fee on the “back end” based on gift-related expenditures.
  • An administrative fee of 8% was charged to non-endowed, non-scholarship program funds.
  • Fee was paid to UARSC for account administration and management responsibilities on behalf of Foundation.

When is the effective date for new gift fee policy?

  • Gift fee is effective January 1, 2013. 

How much is the gift fee?

  • The gift fee is 5% (reduced from the 8% applied when expenditures were made)

When is the gift fee applied?

  • Gift fee is taken at the front end (time of receiving the gift) rather than when expenditures are made.

Does the gift fee apply to all gifts?

  • Yes, the gift fee of 5% applies to all gifts, including endowments and scholarships.
  • Pledge payments on pledges made from January 1, 2013 forward will have a 5% gift fee applied.

What are the exceptions?

  • There are no exceptions.  On the rare occasion that a donor requests a fee not be taken out of the gift, the division, college, department, etc. must provide an equal amount of funds from other sources.

Is there a sliding scale for the gift fee on major gifts?

  • Yes, for gifts greater than $2 million.
    • First $2 million @ %5 gift fee
    • Third million @ 4% gift fee
    • Fourth million @ 3% gift fee
    • Over $4 million @ 2% gift fee

What happens with existing gift funds as of 12/31/2012?

  • Fund balances as of 12/31/12 will be assessed 5% on January 1, 2013.
  • Fees will no longer be taken as expenditures are made.
  • Endowment and scholarship funds received prior to January 1, 2013 will not be impacted.
  • Agreed upon exceptions until December 31, 2012 will be honored.
  • Terms of pledges and other agreements executed prior to December 31, 2012 will be honored.