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The Kentucky State University foundation was established on July 7, 1968 by President Carl M Hill as an alumni-based entity to solicit, receive, invest and dispense private-source funds on behalf of Kentucky State University. The KSU Foundation Board of Trustees, composed of alumni and others from various professions, and who have various experiences, governs the foundation.

Kentucky State University foundation Inc. is an independent, non-profit corporation operating under section 501c(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code. The corporation receives private contributions, gifts, devisees and bequests that may be used for the benefit of Kentucky State University or any other educational entity at the discretion of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation. The foundation has been operating as such since 1991.

Previously, the Kentucky State College Fund, Inc. was formed in 1968 with a Board of Trustees that included the President of the college (now the university), the President of the Alumni Association, the Vice Chair of the College Board of Regents, and the Commissioner of the Department of Education. The Articles of Incorporation were amended several times, the last being in December of 1991. The Foundation has operated since that date as an independent corporation controlled by its own Board of Trustees.

The Kentucky State University Foundations Board of Trustees has no overlap or participation by the University Board of Regents and the Foundation is a separate and distinct entity. The Board of Trustees of the Foundation operates without direction, supervision or participation by the Kentucky State University or its Board of Regents. The Foundation has operated as such since Kentucky State University issued a Resolution of Disaffiliation, and the current Articles of Incorporation were adopted. The Foundation owns separate offices off campus with its own independent employees. The Foundation employs no employees of the University. No members of the Foundation Board are members of the Kentucky State University Board of Regents, nor are they employed by the University. Likewise, no member of the Kentucky State University Board of Regents or employee of the University is on the Foundation’s Board of Trustees.