UW Private Giving Has Another Strong Year

The University of Wyoming continues to gain private support momentum, as total giving to UW reached $52.7 million for the fiscal year that ended June 30.

The university’s five-year private giving average increased to $53.7 million as a result of another strong giving year for UW from alumni and friends in 2016-17. UW’s previous five-year fundraising average was $50.8 million.

Coming off last year’s $63.1 million UW record for private giving, in which over $15.5 million was raised for the Mick and Susie McMurry High Altitude Performance Center, the recent year’s $52.7 million mark was great news for the university. UW did not have a major fundraising project this past year, yet the giving total once again surpassed the $50 million mark.

“During this year of transition and strategic planning for UW, I am so encouraged to see the unwavering support coming to our school from over 20,000 donors,” says UW President Laurie S. Nichols. “Private giving to UW grows in importance each and every year, more so as we see declining state revenues. I am shoulder to shoulder in my work with the UW Foundation. This year further signals that private giving to UW is solidly in place, and we can make great strides as we implement our five-year strategic plan, providing our alumni and friends even more exciting opportunities to support UW through their generous giving.”

Key gifts this year include support for student scholarships; advancement of the Tier-1 Engineering Initiative; continued growth of UW’s School of Energy Resources, and specifically for the High Bay Research Facility that officially opens in August; UW Athletics; and the university’s Art Museum. Programs across campus greatly benefit from private support.

“The foundation had an excellent year in challenging economic circumstances,” says April Brimmer Kunz, chair of the UW Foundation Board of Directors. “Many thanks to our donors, Ben Blalock, the foundation staff, President Laurie Nichols, the governor and the State Legislature for making this year so successful. We are a team, ‘Breakin’ Through,’ to help the University of Wyoming reach its highest potential.”

UW’s Annual Fund achieved $6.7 million this past year. These unrestricted gifts play a key revenue role by providing discretionary funding opportunities for academic and athletics leaders to advance programs across the UW campus.

UW focuses its private giving initiatives toward identified strategic fundraising priorities. These priorities are approved by the UW president, provost, academic deans and directors, athletic leadership and the UW trustees. The university’s privately funded initiatives focus on greatest opportunities to partner with donors to strengthen UW’s commitment to excellence -- nationally recognized for exceptional programs that prepare students for academic and professional success.

“In my view, this past year was one of UW’s strongest giving years,” says UW Foundation President Ben Blalock. “The year reflects support for UW President Nichols and her strategic planning process. President Nichols is emphasizing the importance of private giving to UW and how donors’ support can best combine with state funding to greatly elevate our school. Her message is resonating with our alumni and friends.”

Once again, planned giving played a vital role in university support, as alumni and friends remembered UW in their estate plans in ever-increasing numbers. In FY 2017, $4.1 million in planned gifts were realized or received in the form of gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, matured bequests, IRA rollover gifts and other planned giving vehicles. In addition, $18.4 million of new bequest commitments were pledged to the university during the same time period.

Moreover, the university’s endowment now totals $456.6 million, as of the end of March 2017. The endowment funds managed by the UW Foundation have grown over $60 million in the past five years. Endowments provide a firm foundation of assets that are held in perpetuity, the interest of which creates a steady stream of funding for those purposes chosen by the donor -- such as student assistance, faculty support, library acquisitions, academic program support, and building and equipment purchases and maintenance. This reliable income allows the university to plan and budget effectively but, most importantly, it helps students achieve their educational goals and future success.

In addition to its fundraising responsibilities to support the university, the UW Foundation and its board of directors oversee the university’s private investment assets. UW and the UW Foundation continue to build on their strong strategic partnerships, matching donors’ passions with university priorities.

Founded in 1962, the UW Foundation is an independent, nonprofit corporation dedicated to securing, managing and stewarding private gifts in support of the university’s missions in teaching, research and public service.



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