Making a Gift

Will my company match my gift to the SDSU Foundation?

Matching gift opportunities allow you to really maximize your impact.  A matching gift from your employer could double, triple or even quadruple your charitable contribution to South Dakota State University. Some companies will even match gifts made by retirees and spouses of employees.  To find out if your company matches gifts, please use our Matching Gift search function on our Give Now page.  You may even be able to access the necessary paperwork directly through this search.  

Can I make a gift for buildings or facilities?

Yes.  SDSU’s academic programs, research initiatives and student population are growing. The Foundation, in partnership with SDSU, is working to invest in buildings and facilities to support this growth. New buildings and facility upgrades help SDSU maintain accreditation.  They also attract new students and faculty.  Gifts of all sizes make an impact. Learn more about some of our featured priority building projects or use our searchable giving form to find a project you want to impact.

Can I make a pledge of ongoing support?

Yes.  Making recurring gifts, over time, is a great way to gradually increase your impact on SDSU. It’s easy to set up monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual withdrawals from your credit card. It’s also the most convenient way to give. Get started online or contact our team.

Can I make a gift in honor of someone?

Yes.  You can recognize someone who has made an impact on your life with a named gift in their honor, or preserve the memory of a loved one through a memorial gift to SDSU. Both named and memorial gifts allow you pay tribute to someone you hold in high regard while supporting future generations of SDSU students.  Simply enter your intent in the comments section of our online giving form or contact our team.

Can I provide for SDSU in my will?

Yes.  You can make a legacy gift in your will with just a few sentences, and the SDSU Gift Planning team can help.  If you have a particular purpose or program that you would like to consider as a recipient of your legacy, please reach out to the SDSU Gift Planning team to learn more. We would be happy to work with you to help identify ways to give and meet your charitable objectives, and work with your attorney to craft language to accomplish your goals.

What is SDSU’s Highest Priority?

There are many opportunities to make an impact at SDSU.  If you choose to give an unrestricted gift to SDSU, we’ll apply it to the university highest priority projects. These are determined annually by the Foundation in collaboration with our Board of Governors and the University. Learn more about what happens to your gift and about the Foundation team.


How do the SDSU Foundation’s endowments work?

Typically, an endowment lives in perpetuity, but those who establish a named endowment can set its life span. Individual endowment funds with the Foundation are pooled together for investment purposes, yet each endowment maintains its own identity and separate accounting. Donors and their successors may receive an annual report of earning and distributions. Earnings from the pool are allocated to each fund based on a weighted average calculation. Amounts available for distribution are calculated annually using a spending formula consisting of a percentage of each fund’s average market value over a period of time.

Who manages the SDSU Foundation’s endowment pool?

An Investment Committee, comprised of members of the SDSU Foundation Council of Trustees with investment and financial experience, is appointed by the Foundation’s Board of Governors. The committee works closely with professional investment advisors to maintain a diversified asset allocation to maximize long-term total return, within acceptable levels of risk. The advisors also help select the actual investment managers utilized across the various asset classes. The Committee recommends a prudent spending policy to the Board which considers many factors, including general economic conditions, the possible effect of inflation and deflation and expected long-term total return and appreciation of investments.

How do I know my wishes will be followed?

All endowments are governed by an SDSU Foundation Memorandum of Agreement which clearly states the donor’s intent for the endowment. The agreement also provides background on the person being honored or memorialized, as well as the reason for establishing the endowment. Copies of the agreement are provided to the donor and all offices in the University that will play a role in the use of the endowment. You may establish new criteria or uses for the endowment at any time by adding an amendment to the original agreement.

How can I fund an endowment?

There are several ways to fund an endowment:

  • You may provide a one-time gift of at least $50,000 in cash or marketable assets such as securities or real estate.
  • You can give through installment payments paid within a five-year period.
  • Other funding methods could involve a deferred gift activated by your will, a trust, or other planned gift providing future support.

Can we add money to an existing endowment?

Contributions of any size can be added at any time to all endowments. Providing additional support will allow for growth in the endowment market values; building larger distributions for programs and awards.

Will others know of the establishment of the endowment?

The SDSU Foundation encourages donors to promote the establishment of new endowments with the donor’s permission. Endowments are frequently established in memory or honor of people who have made a difference in our lives. A public announcement of an endowment can serve to honor a person, encourage additional gifts to the endowment, and inspire others to consider establishing an endowment.

Tax Deductions

Are all gifts tax-deductible?

The SDSU Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  In addition to making an impact at SDSU, you may be able to receive tax savings for your gift.  It is recommended to consult with your tax advisor and attorney to determine what strategy is best for you.

How do I get tax credit for my charitable gift?

The SDSU Foundation will provide a gift receipt indicating the value of your gift for your records.  Your charitable gift may be eligible for tax savings.  It is recommended to consult with your tax advisor and attorney to determine a giving strategy that is best for you.

About Our Operations

Why is the Foundation separate from the University?

Our centralized organization provides efficiency and these benefits are passed on to our donors. When you partner with the SDSU Foundation, you’ll work with people who not only work directly with SDSU, but are also experts in the private funding process. Not only do we reduce costs through our organization, but we also are able to keep donor designated gifts distinct from public funds, ensuring donor intent, confidentiality, accurate disbursements and compliance. This also allows us to track lifetime giving amounts, so that we can appropriately thank, recognize and appreciate our donors and build lasting relationships.

How do I know my wishes will be followed?

Maintaining donor intent is of the utmost importance to the SDSU Foundation. We want to make sure that you are able to make a significant impact on the University, preferably in an area that you’re passionate about. Many funds, programs and gifts are governed by an SDSU Foundation Memorandum of Agreement, which clearly states the donors’ intentions for that funding. The SDSU Foundation and all offices in the University that will play a role in the use of the gift maintain copies of the agreement.

How is the Foundation accountable to donors?

We are grateful to donors like you who have helped make us a financially strong organization. We are always transparent regarding how we use donor gifts. We indicate specific use on donor receipts and provide a high-level overview in our annual report, the Stately Review.

In addition, many funds, programs, and gifts are governed by an SDSU Foundation Memorandum of Agreement, which clearly states the donors’ intentions for that funding. The SDSU Foundation and all offices in the University that will play a role in the use of the gift maintain copies of the agreement.  

What does the Foundation do with contributions?

When you make a gift, you choose how you want it to impact SDSU.  Once we receive your contribution, we’ll send you a receipt confirming it got to the right place.

If you make an unrestricted gift, the Foundation—along with SDSU leadership and the Foundation's Board of Governors—will use your generosity to make a difference right now in an area of highest priority.