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San Francisco State University Foundation Endowment Fund

Name: San Francisco State University Foundation

Assets Under Management: $67.4 Million (Source: San Francisco State University Foundation on 6/30/2014)

Annual Report: San Francisco State University Foundation (Component Unit of San Francisco State University) June 30, 2014 and 2013

Portfolio Insights: “The Foundation is a non-profit auxiliary organization of San Francisco State University (the University) with a 501(c)(3) designation with the Internal Revenue Service. The Foundation’s purpose is to provide private financial support to assist the University in meeting its educational mission.

Investment income increased during fiscal year 2014 as the market was bullish through the fiscal year 2014. Investment returns for the fiscal year was approximately $8,880,000 which was higher than the last year by approximately $2,990,000 (51%).” (Source)

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Top San Francisco State University Foundation Endowment Fund Headlines:

1) Venesia Thompson is chief of operations for university advancement at SF State and secretary and treasurer for the San Francisco State University Foundation. Thompson has over 15 years’ experience working in nonprofit and higher education settings. Prior to coming to SF State, Thompson served as senior director, finance and administration at Urban Habitat, a policy, advocacy, research nonprofit in Oakland, CA. Prior to joining Urban Habitat, she worked as the assistant director of the Center for Urban Redevelopment and Education (CURE), an applied research and community outreach center based at Florida Atlantic University. Thompson serves on the board of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), East Bay Chapter. Thompson earned a B.A. in Language and Linguistics from the University of the West Indies, Mona and a M.A in Political Science from Florida Atlantic University. (Source)

2) April 3, 2014 — The San Francisco State University Foundation strengthened its commitment to environmental and climate stewardship at its March 29 board meeting, unanimously approving a new resolution to change its investment policy.

“The Foundation makes investments so that returns can help build the University and its future — that is our fiduciary responsibility,” said John Gumas, chair of the SF State Foundation. “We believe that with careful planning we can both build our endowment and do our part to endow future generations with a healthy environment.”

A socially responsible portfolio will be created that allows donors who support the initiative to direct their funds appropriately. The portfolio’s carbon footprint will be monitored and made public.

“We are charting new waters here,” Gumas said. “As we develop new practices and learn from the experience, we will share our findings with other colleges and universities that may be interested in similar efforts. Our emphasis throughout will be on finding ways to make positive changes that further protect the environment.” (Source)

3)  San Francisco State University (SFSU) became the first public university and first school on the west coast to commit to divest immediately from coal and tar sands companies and start a formal process to look at fully divesting from the fossil fuel industry. The SF State University Foundation, which manages $51.2 million endowment for the university, issued the following statement on the decision:

“The SF State University Foundation Finance and Investment Committee voted unanimously at its May 20, 2013 meeting to limit direct investments in fossil fuel companies. The SF State University Foundation Executive Committee also voted unanimously at its May 23, 2013 meeting that the foundation would not directly invest in companies with significant production or use of coal and tar sands and that it would amend its Investment Policy Statement (IPS) to reflect this change.”

In addition, per a request by SFSU President Leslie Wong, the Foundation Board will convene a special committee comprised of Foundation directors to review the Foundation’s investment policy, identify all of the Foundation’s fossil fuel investments, and make recommendations for future changes to the Foundation’s investment policy in regards to divestment. (Source)

4) Robert Nava is vice president for university advancement at SF State and is president of the San Francisco State University Foundation. Prior to coming to SF State, Nava held various senior leadership positions at the University of California, Riverside and served as the university’s lobbyist in Sacramento and Washington D.C. During much of his 19-year UC Riverside career, Nava also taught as an adjunct faculty member in CSU Fullerton’s Chicano Studies program and worked in advocacy for the Orange County Human Relations Commission. Nava served as the associate vice president for institutional advancement at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) from 2005 to 2010, during which time he organized the university’s centennial campaign, which raised almost half of its $200 million goal in a down economy before its public launch in September 2010. Nava earned a B.S. in Criminal Justice from UTEP in 1979 and a J.D. from Western State University College of Law in Orange County, Calif. (Source)

5) The SF State Foundation is governed by a board of directors who work closely with the University to reach out to alumni, friends, and businesses in the community to build commitment and funding for San Francisco State University. The Foundation directly manages the University’s endowment by determining acceptable risks in the portfolio, maximizing investment returns, minimizing investment expenses and improving endowment reporting and stewardship. The Foundation is incorporated as a nonprofit public benefit corporation and is exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. (Source)

About Richard C. Wilson