We made this together.

Reporting and writing: Melanie M. Sidwell
Design and multimedia: Anne Duquennois
Photography: Glenn Asakawa, Isaiah Downing and Cyrus McCrimmon
Web development: Kevin Reynen and Kelly McCormack
Audience strategy: Nicole Combs, Caroline Fetterolf, Meg Kinney, Katie Princo and Matt Roush
Project editor: Tim Skillern

Additional images courtesy of:
Diana Albhor, Hazel Bain, Colfax Ave Business Improvement District, Headstrong, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder, Vincent Ledvina, NASA, Willow Reed, Veterans Health and Trauma Clinic at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs

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CU philanthropy by the numbers

When you support CU, you partner with CU.

That partnership is an investment in your passion—no matter where you give.

And that investment is a vote of confidence in CU and the CU Foundation as the prudent stewards of your giving. Your trust is vital to our success. Thank you!

And congratulations! You broke another record. Check it out...

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You set a new record—thank you!

Together, you gave $566 million to what’s important to you at CU.

That’s 10 years in a row that you beat your total from the year before.

Thank you—all of you!

And who are all of you? That’s a good question...

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CU’s donors come from all backgrounds

36,810 donors like you made 60,280 gifts last fiscal year. This includes:

  • 17,196 alumni
  • 3,876 parents
  • 10,055 friends
  • 2,776 foundations and corporations
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Every gift makes a difference

Some gifts to CU are large. But most aren’t. The average gift last year was $9,442 and more than 90% of gifts were less than $2,500 each.

What did you support? Let’s find out...

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Your generosity is your passion

And last year, you were passionate about:

  • Bright futures for students—$60 million for scholarships
  • Life-changing discoveries—$127 million for research programs
  • Bright talent on our campuses—$29 million for new faculty and professorships
  • Improved patient and public health—$324 million to transform health and wellness
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Gifts are rockets that launch big ideas

You gave $450 million in current gifts last year. Those are gifts that CU can use right away. They’re like rocket fuel for your passions.

And you also invested for the future...

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Gifts are also a promise to the future

You gave $116 million to support endowments at CU. Endowments are gifts that last forever—think of a mighty oak that outlasts all of us. They generate reliable support for decades to come. Each endowment is also very personal. It’s an individual gift created by a donor for a specific purpose.

In 2015, CU’s endowment was just over 1 billion dollars. By 2019, it has grown to 1.45 billion dollars.

  • FY15: $1.09 billion
  • FY16: $1.06 billion
  • FY17: $1.22 billion
  • FY18: $1.36 billion
  • FY19: $1.45 billion

Endowments generate long-term support

The collective value of CU’s endowment is $1.45 billion. Through a prudent investment strategy overseen by the CU Foundation, the endowment has grown steadily over time. Donors created 132 new endowments last fiscal year, bringing the total number of endowments that benefit CU to 2,889.

Half of the assets are invested in global public equities. The full breakdown of LTIP by asset class:

  • 50%: Global public equities
  • 24%: Global private capital
  • 13%: Global hedge funds
  • 8%: Real assets
  • 5%: Fixed income and cash

Here’s how endowments are invested

CU’s endowments are invested through the Long Term Investment Pool, or LTIP, in a diversified portfolio of assets with a long-term horizon in mind. Here is how the LTIP’s $1.83 billion is invested by asset class.

Comparison of the LTIP's annualized investment performance against the policy benchmark:

  • 3 year -- LTIP 10.8, Policy Benchmark 10
  • 5 year -- LTIP 6.5, Policy Benchmark 5.8
  • 10 year -- LTIP 9.2, Policy Benchmark 9.6

Here’s how those investments are performing

The LTIP returned 6.51% in fiscal year 2019. Here is a comparison of the LTIP's annualized investment performance against the policy benchmark.

If you’ve come this far, we have more to share...

Breakdown of where these transfers went:

  • 24%: Academic support
  • 19%: Research
  • 14%: Scholarships
  • 13%: Advancement support
  • 11%: Capital projects
  • 10%: Chairs, professorships and other faculty support
  • 8%: Public service, administration, library and other support
  • 1%: Athletics

Transfers to CU in fiscal year 2019

The CU Foundation transferred $186 million to CU, including current gifts, endowment distributions, funds for capital projects and support for CU Advancement operations.

Audited financials statement

And if you're interested in knowing even more, read our FY 2019 audited financials statement.

Or return to our home page.