On January 13th, 2022, San Diego State University (SDSU) announced that they will be accepting Bitcoin donations from alumni and patrons. After receiving the first donation of 0.5 BTC in October of 2021, the university created the Montezuma & Satoshi Cryptocurrency Endowment.
One of the more publicized Bitcoin donations occurred in May of 2021 for the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. The university received $5 million worth of bitcoin which it has chosen to hold long-term. Wharton custodies their BTC with NYDIG while SDSU uses Kraken to facilitate trades and to custody funds.
All donations for SDSU are overseen by The Campanile Foundation. They are a philanthropic tax-exempt foundation partnered with the SDSU Research Foundation in order to raise funding for the school. CFO David Fuhriman said The Campanile Foundation will keep the majority of their donations in bitcoin. While other universities have converted their bitcoin donations in the past, Fuhriman and the board have other plans.
By holding the bulk of their cryptocurrency donations as bitcoin, 1% will be allocated each quarter (roughly every three to four months) to expand Endowment operations or other campus programs. Fuhriman specifies that funds will be used “to discover how SDSU could interact with cryptocurrency and Bitcoin specifically”.
Fuhriman goes on to say, “If the value of bitcoin goes up, then this endowment could last forever”. Short periods of volatility in price have also been considered by SDSU. “We believe over the long run that this could be a really good benefit to SDSU”, said Fuhriman.
Universities are always looking for ways to raise money in order to improve the campus and their communities. Bitcoin donations are a very convenient way to receive funding from alumni who wish to help their alma maters. As Bitcoin gains more adoption, it may become more common for universities to hold bitcoin for their endowment.