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How Endowment Works

What is endowment and how does it work?

Unlike gifts made for immediate use, endowed gifts continue to give over time. Your donations are placed into an investment account from which the annual earnings are used for a purpose that you specify, be it a scholarship, or support for a specific college or program. That way, an endowment will enable you to make a lasting impact on UW-Whitewater for years to come.

How can I establish an endowment?

Your endowment is established when your account contains a minimum of $10,000. Your account may be funded by a one-time gift, a pledge to be paid over the course of time, and even a will or another deferred gift vehicle. As the establishing donor of the endowment, you can name the fund and designate its use at UW-Whitewater. The staff at the UW-Whitewater Foundation will work with you to develop criteria that satisfy both your desires as a donor as well as the goals of the University. Click here to see an example of a generic scholarship/endowment fund agreement.

How are endowment fund distributions made?

Once your fund is endowed, the Foundation makes a distribution of a certain percentage on July 1 of every year. The amount of the distribution is generally 5% and varies based upon the performance of its investments. The Foundation also receives a small amount to cover its costs for accounting and administering the endowment. You will receive an annual report from the Foundation providing details on your fund's performance, as well as how the earnings were used by the University.

Can I or others add to my endowed fund?

Yes. There is no maximum level for an endowed fund, and anyone may add to the fund at any time.

Can I change the purpose of my endowed fund?

Yes. Should your interests change, you can work with the Foundation staff to change the purpose of your endowment to better reflect your desires as a donor.

How The Endowment Is Managed

The UW-Whitewater Foundation, Inc. holds the majority of the endowed assets in support of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. The Board of Directors of the Foundation is responsible for all endowment investment and distribution policies and ensuring that these policies comply with state laws. The Investment Committee of the Board of Directors is responsible for making all investment decisions in accordance with these policies.

The Foundation's primary investment objective is long-term appreciation with a level of risk consistent with the preservation of principal. As of June 30, 2007, the Foundation has almost $17 million under investment with a series of common fund providers. The Investment Committee meets quarterly to review each provider's performance against appropriate benchmarks, and if necessary, to select new providers.

Each year, the Board of Directors authorizes an allocation from its investment pool to each endowed fund for spending purposes and an amount to cover the Foundation's costs of managing the endowment. Depending on investment returns, the Board also may make special allocations to each endowed fund to increase its value over time.

Largest Equity Holdings

American - Growth Fund of America (15.1% of portfolio)
American - Fundamental Investors Fund (12.3%)
Vanguard - 500 Index Fund (12.0%)
Buffalo - Small Cap Fund (5.8%)
Oakmark - The International Fund (5.5%)