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Frequently Asked Questions


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Frequently Asked Questions

UW-Superior Foundation

University of Wisconsin-Superior Foundation
Frequently Asked Questions


What is the mission of the Foundation?

The mission of the University of Wisconsin-Superior Foundation Inc. is to secure, invest and manage financial resources that support exceptional opportunities for the University of Wisconsin-Superior, and its students, faculty, and facilities.

What are the basic duties of the Foundation Board of Directors?

In addition to executing the above-stated mission, some basic duties of the Foundation are to:

·Balance the budget
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Execute donor wishes
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Oversee and manage investment assets
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Meet financial obligations
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Obtain annual audit by independent accounting firm
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Maintain effective internal control environment

What is the structure of the Foundation?

The Foundation is a private foundation.It is a non-stock, not-for-profit entity and is incorporated under Chapter 181 of the laws of the State of Wisconsin.It is also registered as a section 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation within the meaning and provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States.

The Foundation's office is located in Superior, Wisconsin at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

The Foundation's annual meeting is held in September or October in Superior, Wisconsin.The Board of Directors also meets two or three other times during each year.The Board of Directors may deem a Director absent from four consecutive Board meetings to have resigned from the Board; however, Directors may attend meetings remotely.

The Foundation has three categories of Directors:(1) Voting Director; (2) ex officio Director; and (3) Emeritus Director.Ex officio and Emeritus Directors are not eligible to vote on matters that come before the Board.

The Voting Directors (not less than ten and no more than thirty) control and manage the affairs and business of the Foundation.Directors may reside at any location.A Voting Director's term of office is three years.Upon the recommendation of the Governance Committee, the Board may elect a Voting Director for three consecutive terms.

The Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Superior and the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement may be non-voting ex officioBoard members.

An Emeritus Director is a distinguished former Voting Director.

The Foundation officers, who are elected from the Voting Directors, are the President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary. The immediate Past President also serves as an officer.

The Vice Chancellor for University Advancement may serve as the Executive Director of the Foundation and asthe liaison between the Foundation and the university.

The Foundation has three standing committees:(1) Advancement - plans approaches to solicit/acquire contributions and steward donors; (2) Governance - makes recommendations for the Foundation's corporate governance; (3) Finance - informs and advises the Board of Directors on financial matters.

Directors may be reimbursed for travel and expenses to attend Foundation meetings under the Foundation's travel reimbursement/gift-in-kind policy.

How can I become a Director of the Foundation?

After evaluating the qualifications of each Director candidate, any Director or other individual may suggest an individual to the chair of the Governance Committee for election as a Director.The Governance Committee brings the name of a Director candidate before the Board of Directors for vote.Once the Board decides to approve the appointment of a new Director, the Governance Committee assigns a mentor to the new Director for the purposes of orientation and guidance for the first year.

Are all Directors required to make a certain contribution to the Foundation each year?

The goal of the Board is 100% participation in an amount of each Director's choosing.

Are contributions to the Foundation tax deductible?

Because the Foundation is registered as a section 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation within the meaning and provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States, contributions to the Foundation may be tax deductible to the extent of state and federal law.

May my contribution to the Foundation be something other than cash?

Yes, many types of gifts are accepted by the Foundation. This may include stock, personal property, and real estate. The Foundation's gift acceptance and acknowledgement policies and guidelines document contains information on non-cash gifts.

What is the Foundation's relationship with the University of Wisconsin-Superior?

The Foundation is connected to the university's fundraising, alumni relations, and development operations.Through a full spectrum of fundraising programs, the Foundation provides resources that advance the mission of the university.The Foundation's sole purpose is to support the university and encourage and manage gifts (receive, invest, and guarantee good stewardship) for the benefit of the university and its community.

The Foundation is a legally separate entity from the university and must maintain appropriate, legally-mandated independence from the responsibilities of the university.

The Foundation has no formal or legal role in the governance of the university, the setting of academic priorities, the payment of university employees, or other matters that are part of the university's responsibilities. Likewise, the university does not have a formal or legal role in the governance of the Foundation.

What is the Foundation's relationship with the Alumni Association?

The Foundation works closely with the UW-Superior Alumni Association, which is a separate entity.The Alumni Association works to foster life-long pride and loyalty among alumni and friends by offering opportunities to strengthen their continued relationships with the university.

How does the Foundation support the university?

By executing its mission statement and donor intent.

How much annual university support is provided through the Foundation?

FY13 was approximately $1.3 million, broken down as follows:$700,000 scholarships, $450,000 building payments, $155,000 institutional support (athletics, academic programs, department development funds, undergraduate research, etc.)

In addition, other than $233,000 in wage support for the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement, one program associate, and one additional Advancement staff person, the Foundation funds its own annual operating budget ($444,000) as does the Alumni Association ($77,000).This total of $521,000 should be considered support to the university.

What are the total assets of the Foundation?

As of December 31, 2013, total assets were approximately $13 million. 

What are the types of Foundation funds/assets?

Fund types/categories are: (1) endowment funds - consisting of permanently restricted funds and board designated funds); (2) temporarily restricted funds; (3) unrestricted funds.

Endowment Funds result from donor contributions which are made for a particular purpose, such as a specific scholarship, and are established as a permanently restricted fund by the donor.

Board Designated Funds are funds that the donor does not designate as permanently restricted, but because of their nature and purpose, are designated as such by the Foundation Board of Directors.

Unless expressly instructed or authorized by the donor, the original gift remains intact and only the investment income generated may be used for the payment of administration fees, investment management fees, and for the donor's or the Foundation's stated purpose for each endowment fund.The earnings from the endowment fund are used to fund the criteria established for each fund.The principal (or charitable contribution amount) is not distributed and the fund lives into perpetuity.A Foundation spending policy is used to calculate annual distributions from each fund - currently 4% of the trailing 3-year average December 31 market values of each fund - as long as that amount is less than the accumulated earnings of the fund. The minimum amount to establish an endowment fund is $10,000.

The Foundation's investment and financial management firm - currently Dana Investments in Brookfield, Wisconsin - manages the endowment funds.

Temporary Restricted Funds consist of contributions restricted to a specific use but are expected to be completely used within a short period of time. (E.g. a building fund) Earnings from temporary restricted funds are credited to the unrestricted fund.

Unrestricted Funds are funds from donor contributions without a specific designation.Fees and interest earned from temporary funds and certain other funds are credited to the unrestricted fund.Unrestricted funds are used to fund the administration of the Foundation in compliance with its annual budget. Funds are also used for university institutional support and undergraduate research.

How are scholarships awarded?

There are presently 23 academic and non-academic university scholarship committees that award scholarships.

Each scholarship committee receives a Foundation report each January that summarizes its scholarships and the criteria for each, along with the award amounts.Each scholarship committee accepts student applications and from those reviews and selects the student recipients that best meet the stated criteria.

The number of scholarships per committee varies.

How are scholarship disbursements made?

Each scholarship committee forwards its recommended student recipient applications to the Advancement office where the scholarship amounts and criteria are verified.The Advancement office then notifies the student recipients of their selection along with the scholarship name, contact person(s), and the amount of the scholarship.

What happens after the scholarship is awarded?

The university Business office invoices the Foundation after the scholarships post to the students' account.The Foundation submits payment to the university.

How is the donor informed of a scholarship award?

The donor receives an annual scholarship report packet each November.The report packet includes:

·A thank you letter co-signed by the Foundation President and Finance Committee chair that includes investment performance information and other economic information
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A financial report of the fund which includes beginning balance, contributions received, market gains/losses, administrative fee charged, scholarship amount awarded, and an ending balance - as of June 30 of each year, a summary of the scholarship criteria, and the names and award amounts for the student recipients
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A thank you letter from the Chancellor
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A thank-you note card from the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement
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The students' thank you letters

What is an Institutional Support fund?

Temporary restricted fund distribution is determined by donor wishes.The Foundation has many institutional funds, and each has a fund manager who administers the fund according to the Advancement office document called the Foundation Fund Management Guideline. The Foundation reports the activity of these funds to the respective fund manager. Examples of these funds include:a fund for each athletic team, a development fund for each academic department (sometimes more than one), a Chancellor's fund, etc.

How are Foundation expenses paid?

The Foundation office has its own budget which is not funded by the university.It is funded by unrestricted "Superior Fund" contributions and an administrative fee charged on endowment funds - currently 2.5%.The Vice Chancellor for University Advancement approves all expense payments, and any payment made from the Foundation's budget of $5,000 or greater is additionally approved by the Foundation President and chair of the Finance Committee.

What is the remaining obligation for building construction?

The remaining building construction obligation is approximately $4 million.The Foundation has reserves for construction payments through June 30, 2018.

What are the funds to which I may contribute?

There are currently more than 400 funds to which donors may contribute. If you wish to contribute to the Foundation or any other fund or department for university support, please contact University Advancement.

May I set up my own fund or scholarship?

Yes, please contact University Advancement for more information on establishing a fund or a scholarship.


Foundation and University Advancement contact information:

Jeanne Thompson
Vice Chancellor for University Advancement
PO Box 2000, Belknap & Catlin
Superior, WI 54880
715-394-8598
jthomp51@uwsuper.edu

 


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