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UWyo Magazine

September 2014 | Vol. 16, No. 1

A Perfect Match

State matching funds encourage generous donations, packing a one-two punch that propels the university forward in everything from teaching, scholarships and outreach to key facilities.

By Micaela Myers

A great recipe blends key ingredients perfectly, creating a whole far better than the sum of its parts. Just such a recipe has been propelling the University of Wyoming forward since 2001, in the form of state matching dollars combined with private donations.

Each matching project starts with a great idea—a need that UW can help address. That idea may come from a faculty member within the university, or from a potential donor, or from another source within or outside the state. Next, mix in some private donations and a healthy dose of state matching dollars, and you have funding so powerful it can endow star professors, fund scholarships and create innovative programs that make a real difference to the citizens of Wyoming and beyond.

Between 2001 and 2013, a total of $168.6 million in endowment and facilities matches has been applied toward students and the faculty, programs and facilities that support them. Rising up to meet those matching dollars is a tide of private donations.

Wyoming Speaker of the House Tom Lubnau explains how the program works: “If donors want to donate to UW, they can double their money because those donations are matched by state tax dollars to encourage donations.”

“The matching funds program was designed to provide an incentive for donors to give their dollars—matched 100 percent by the state—to implement academic and building projects,” says April Brimmer Kunz, vice chair of the board for the UW Foundation. As the first female president of the Wyoming Senate, Brimmer Kunz was a sponsor of the initial bill that provided matching funds for the university.

The concept has been an unparalleled success, and matching funds have continued to be allocated by the Legislature for athletics facilities, academic facilities and endowment matches. After the UW Board of Trustees reviews and approves gifts eligible for the state match, those state funds are used to match privately funded endowment gifts of $50,000 or more and facility gifts for special university building projects of $25,000 or more.

“State of Wyoming matching funds have forever changed private giving to UW,” says Ben Blalock, president and CEO of the UW Foundation. “State match opportunities have vaulted private giving to UW from $20 million annually around 2000 to more than $50 million two years in a row. The public-private partnership in place in Wyoming is the envy of universities across the nation. Wyoming has become a national model for how the state can work directly with donors to elevate higher education to new heights of excellence.”

UW President Dick McGinity says, “Finding opportunities within UW for private donations that can be matched with state dollars is one of my favorite things to do.”


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An Unparalled Success

Wyoming State Capitol Building in Cheyenne
“State of Wyoming matching funds have forever changed private giving to UW,” says Ben Blalock, president and CEO of the UW Foundation. Photo by Richard Collier, Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office Photographer (SHPO)

BUILT BY MATCHING

The UW Energy Innovation Center/School of Energy Resources.
State matching funds have played an essential role in helping donors improve University of Wyoming facilities.

The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of the University of Wyoming

About UWyo

Advertise

Subscribe

UWyo Archives

Contact Us

UWyo Magazine
University of Wyoming
Dept. 3226
1000 East University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071-2000
Phone: 307-766-2379
TTY: 307-766-6729
Email: uwyomag@uwyo.edu

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