The Tower Foundation directly manages all financial aspects of funds donated to San Jose State University. The Tower Foundation is exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is certified as an auxiliary in good standing with the California State University System. An international accounting firm audits the foundation’s financial records annually.

We are pleased to make available to you our audited financial statements, IRS Forms 990, other regulatory filings of interest, and information about our investments.

Financial Statements

For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019, the Tower Foundation was audited by RSM LLP, Certified Public Accountants. The audit was conducted in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards and, in their opinion, the financial statements presented fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of Tower Foundation as of June 30, 2019 in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. Their independent auditor's report expressed an unqualified opinion.

Statement of Information

Tax Returns (IRS Forms 990)

Tax Returns (FTB Form 199)

CA Annual Registration Renewal Fee Report (RRF-1)

CSU Chancellor's Office Audit Reports

Donor Honor Roll and Tower Foundation Annual Report

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Investment Returns

A large endowment strengthens a university's academic reputation. An endowment grows when alumni and friends want to create a lasting legacy for future generations.

The value of a university endowment makes a statement about the value of every degree granted.

The SJSU endowment portfolio is comprised of over 600 individual funds benefiting all areas of the campus -- from the colleges to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, to intercollegiate athletics and other university-wide programs. Most endowments are restricted to specific uses such as establishment of a scholarship, support for a center, or creation of an endowed chair.

SJSU’s endowment stood at $163 million on December 31, 2019. The portfolio grew 6.3% in the second half of 2019. In 2019, more than $5.5 million of new gifts were added to the endowment portfolio. Inception to date composite return was 6.5%, ten-year return was 7.3%, the three-year return was 8%, and the one-year return was 20% as of December 31, 2019.

Investment Holdings [PDF].

SJSU's endowment is ranked 382 out of 785 universities reporting endowments. This is up from our ranking of 391 in 2018. The 2019 annual endowment standings published by the National Association of College and Business Officers show that 110 universities have endowments that top $1 billion.

The Tower Foundation works with investment firm Beacon Pointe Advisors to allocate the endowment assets to a diversified portfolio of domestic and international equities, fixed income, real estate, cash equivalents and other investments as required by our Investment Policy [PDF], all of which reflect varying rates of return. The long-term financial objective of the portfolio is to produce a relatively predictable and stable spending stream each year and to grow both the spending stream and the corpus over time, at least keeping pace with the general rate of inflation.

As California's public universities continue to face budget challenges, SJSU's endowment becomes even more important to its success. The 2020 endowment distribution of over $5.7 million is helping to fund programs that are vital to San Jose State. Income from the endowment provides student scholarships, such as the Simpkins Family Donor Advised Endowment Fund; vibrant programs, such as the Natalie and James Thompson Gallery and the Valley Foundation School of Nursing Endowments; and sustainable fellowship and faculty support programs, such as the Martha Heasley Cox Steinbeck Fellowship and the Newnan Brothers Excellence in Teaching endowments.

The 2019 annual distribution was 4 percent of the average market value of the endowment for the previous 36 months ending December 31. According to a survey conducted by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, university distributions typically range from 3 to 5 percent of the market value of the endowment. SJSU's 4 percent distribution was approved by the Tower Foundation Board of Directors and was consistent with CSU distribution recommendations. A three-year average is used to minimize the impact of market fluctuations on the endowment funds and is consistent with practices adopted at other leading universities. A 2 percent management fee is charged to endowments. The fee covers administrative costs and provides a sizeable investment SJSU's fundraising efforts. 


CSU Philanthropic Support

Private support helps the California State University open access to a broad and diverse student population, build technologically advanced libraries and classrooms, and support innovative teaching models and partnerships. Our students and programs continue to inspire generosity from forward-thinking individuals and organizations who invest in the CSU mission. Learn more about the impact of giving by visiting our Philanthropic Support site and reading the Annual Report on Philanthropic Support [PDF].

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