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Named Endowments

A Gift in Perpetuity

The Cal Alumni Association (CAA) offers many opportunities to contribute to existing endowments, or establish new named endowed funds with a gift of $100,000 or more.1

The Leadership Award (TLA)

Leadership Award named endowments begin at $100,000.

Since 1934, The Leadership Award has recognized and supported UC Berkeley’s student leaders through merit-based scholarships. Leadership Award Scholars are acknowledged for their outstanding, innovative, and motivational leadership in their academic, work, and community environments.

Approximately 650 new and continuing students receive one-year scholarships in the amount of $2,000 each year. With more than 20,000 Leadership Scholars since its inception, The Leadership Award is the largest and oldest non-academic merit scholarship on campus.


The Achievement Award Program (TAAP)

Achievement Award Program endowments begin at $250,000.

Since 1999, The Achievement Award Program has provided more than 470 high-achieving students in financial need with the resources to attend and excel at UC Berkeley. TAAP supports the university’s growing commitment to attracting a diverse pool of incoming freshmen and junior transfer students who might not otherwise have the resources to attend college.

The eligibility criteria for TAAP include California residency, a 3.0 GPA, and an emphasis on community service and leadership. TAAP Scholars receive a financial award of $6,000 annually for up to four years, student-support services from Alumni Scholars Program staff, and an Apple MacBook Air upon matriculation.


The Achievement Award Program – Diversity Scholarship (TAAP-DS)

Your support of the TAAP Diversity Scholarship Program helps to increase diversity on the UC Berkeley campus. The program supports low-income, underrepresented minority students who have been admitted to Cal as an incoming freshman or junior college transfer. Each year, CAA awards between one and five incoming first-year and junior transfers with $6,000 per year (for four years or two years, respectively) and a laptop. Due to California Proposition 209, all TAAP – Diversity Scholarship funding is directly administered by CAA. To establish an endowment $250,000 is required, but current use gifts can be used to fund individual scholars year to year. To donate please fill out our printable donation form and check the “TAAP-Diversity Scholarship” box on the form.


The African American Initiative

Funded by the San Francisco Foundation and in partnership with UC Berkeley and the Cal Alumni Association, the African American Initiative (AAI) Scholarship provides African American students with financial support to help make their Cal education more accessible. The program is available for incoming first-year Black, African, and African American students who receive $8000 for up to five academic years. Students also receive supportive programming through the African American Student Development Office (AASD), are automatically registered to live on the Afro-floor during their first year on campus, and receive academic counseling through the AASD Office. Scholarship funding for the African American Initiative Scholarship is housed at the San Francisco Foundation. Find more information about how to donate.


What is an endowment?
An endowment is a gift that supports undergraduate Cal students over an extended period. The principal of the gift is invested, and a portion of the return is used each year to support CAA’s Alumni Scholars Program as designated by the donor.

Gifts of endowment may be named for the donor, or for someone the donor wishes to honor or memorialize. Donors have the option to make pledge payments for up to five years.
Who does my endowment help?
Endowments support undergraduate Cal students for up to four or five years, depending on the specific scholarship program. Donors have opportunities to meet their students during the academic year, including at an annual luncheon.

Gifts of endowment to CAA will sustain Berkeley’s world-class academic excellence and strengthen the university’s core mission to serve the greater good.
What are the benefits of establishing an endowment?
An endowment ensures your principal gift remains inviolate and invested, allowing it to grow and give indefinitely.
How are CAA endowed gifts invested?
The principal of an endowment is held intact and is invested for growth to retain its ability to provide a steady flow of income to CAA’s Alumni Scholars Program. The Achievement Award Program and The Leadership Award endowments are managed by the UC Berkeley Foundation. There is an initial modest fee to cover the fundraising and processing costs. This fee has minimal impact on future growth of the principal or payout from the gift.
When will a gift of endowment start to provide funding?
Since July 1, 2006, all new endowment gifts to UC Berkeley and CAA’s Alumni Scholars Program, including additions to existing funds, are invested for six months in a short-term interest-bearing account before being invested in the endowment. Interest from this short-term investment is used to support fundraising efforts and other priorities.

After the six-month short-term investment period, endowment gifts are invested as specified by the gift agreement. Subsequent distributions to the benefiting scholarship program are made annually.
How is the endowment’s financial performance reported to donors?
Endowment donors (or their heirs) receive an annual report of financial performance each fall.
How does an endowment differ from an annual gift?
An annual gift is an outright, one-time, tax-deductible cash contribution. An endowment is fully tax-deductible, and can be named for you, a donor, a family member, or someone special.

Endowment holders have the opportunity to participate in unique student-donor activities.
How can I make an endowed gift?
Endowments can be made through a variety of giving options both during your lifetime or at the time of your passing. During your lifetime, you can fund an endowment with cash, securities, real estate, or a life-income gift. You can also create an endowment through a will/living trust bequest, or via a retirement plan/insurance policy beneficiary designation. Please contact Anh Tran at 510.900.8234 or
Are there other ways to create a named scholarship fund?
Donors may also choose to create a current-use named scholarship, beginning at the amount of $25,000. Current-use funds are meant to be spent immediately and are often most impactful over a short period of time, given that the entire fund balance is available for expenditure. To make a gift of a named current-use scholarship, please contact Anh Tran at 510.900.8234 or