A red heart is held in a yellow hand, palm facing up. There is a green and purple pie chart and bronze bar chart backgrounded behind the hand. An arrow curves upward from behind the heart towards the top right of the image. Multicolored confetti is scattered across the image.

Philanthropy is transformative Fueling passion, motivation and joy.

2021 fiscal year financials

When donors like you put good into the world, it ripples outward and magnifies exponentially, transforming communities, nations and the world. Thank you for your generosity, vision and intent to create more joy in the world. 2021 was a year of breakthroughs.

Here’s how your contributions made an impact.

CU’s endowment is now valued at $2.12 billion

Your generosity has created an incredible legacy for generations to come. Tens of thousands of donors in Colorado and beyond have invested in what they believe in, such as a scholarship that is awarded to students year after year, or funds to attract world-class faculty, or the creation of a program to train fellows in critical doctor-patient communication skills. And for the first time, the collective value of individual endowments at CU has surpassed $2 billion, thanks to a historic investment return and generous philanthropic contributions from donors.

A snowy mountain peak with the dollar amount $2.12B printed at its base in watermark. There is a red flag at the top of the mountain with exploding confetti around it, backgrounded against a five-pointed golden star.
A giant sunflower with a halo of light and green leaves dominates the top two-thirds of the picture. At the bottom third of the image are stacks of purple coins. There are two human figures, one is atop a white ladder, placing a coin at the top of the pile. The other is pushing a wheel barrow. Confetti is scattered throughout the image.

36.83% return on investment

The CU Foundation’s investment strategy accelerates your generosity because it results in exceptional returns. And that means more support for scholarships, research and attracting and retaining talented faculty. Our goal is to maximize returns on that investment while effectively managing risk. CU’s Long Term Investment Pool, in which CU’s endowments are invested, returned nearly 37% in fiscal year 2021 and is now valued at $2.12 billion. It continued to outperform the policy benchmark, which returned 30.51%.

$371.2 million given last year

Every dollar you give creates a positive impact. It might support clinical assessments for non-speaking patients, or a scholarship that opens doors for first-generation college students, or a chance young actors to share Shakespeare with elementary school students across Colorado.

An illustration that frames the a man sitting before a laptop, the laptop casts a light that shines towards his face. In the background are sketches representing research and discovery, including books, lightbulbs, graphs, and formulas.

54,543 gifts

Every gift is a good intention that was followed through. Big or small, each contribution creates better outcomes for students, drives discovery and promotes innovative approaches to health care. Last year, you gave:

Graduation Cap
$53Mto expand opportunities for students through scholarships
$127Mto drive research and discovery
Trophy Star
$28Mto attract the best and brightest faculty to our campuses
Heart-care DNA
$201Mto transform health care and support lifesaving treatment

When you invest in CU, your impact is mighty

An illustration of two hands holding a square gift box wrapped in an orange ribbon. In the background is an illustrated pie chart indicating 92%.

92% of gifts were less than $2,500

Two hands illustrated in pale green with the pointer fingers and thumbs touching to form a heart in the negative space. The heart is filled in pinkish red, there is multi-colored confetti against an orange background.

The average size of a gift was $6,806

29,793 donors like you

Tens of thousands of donors helped CU create change and positive impact. Averaging 149 gifts a day, many of you made the decision to give and give again.

Last year we received gifts from:

corporations and foundations
faculty and staff
Multicolored confetti in various shapes including stars, circles, squiggles, triangles, and hearts.

The meaning of legacy

An endowment is a gift that creates returns for tomorrow. An investment for the future, endowments are gifts with longitudinal impact, creating positive change year after year.

The collective value of CU’s endowments grew by nearly 40% in the last fiscal year. Here’s how the endowment has grown in recent years:


CU's endowment over time

130new endowments were created in the last fiscal year

3,159total endowments at CU are making a lasting impact

$76.4 millionwas given in endowment support

How is CU’s endowment invested?

The endowment is invested in a diversified portfolio with a target of stable, long-term growth. In fiscal year 2021, the Long Term Investment Pool (LTIP) allocation was:

Funds transferred to CU
Global public equities
Global private capital
Global hedge funds
Real assets
Fixed income and cash

Investment return vs. policy benchmark

Our Long Term Investment Pool consistently outperforms policy benchmarks.

The LTIP’s longer-term results show a consistent track record of investment growth. Here is the recent performance of the LTIP against the policy benchmark.

$211.8 million

That’s how much the CU Foundation transferred to CU last fiscal year.

Funds transferred to CU
Academic support
Advancement support
Chairs, professorships and other faculty support
Public service, administration, library and other support
Capital projects

Download Our Financials

For more details, see our audited financials for fiscal year 2021

Download PDF