Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the Foundation separate from SU?
The Foundation was specifically organized to provide management, reporting, and stewardship services to donors resulting in greater efficiency of the Foundation and the University. The benefits of this arrangement include:
- Donors have latitude in designating the use of their gifts.
- Private funds held by the Foundation offer the University greater flexibility in the timing and nature of expenditures.
- Donors can be assured that every effort will be made to maintain confidentiality because the Foundation is a separate not-for-profit corporation.
- The Foundation manages millions of dollars in endowment funds, and the return on these investments contributes significantly to the private support available to SU. Unlike appropriated dollars, gift funds can be invested in equities and other instruments for long-term growth. Generally these earn a significantly higher rate of return than appropriated dollars because state statutes limit how appropriated funds can be invested. The difference in earnings can be substantial.
Who governs the Foundation?
The Executive Director of the Foundation along with the Chairman of the Foundation Board directs the organization's operation under policies established by the Board of Directors of the SU Foundation, Inc. The Board Members, chosen because of their professional expertise and support of the University, are elected for three-year terms and serve without compensation.
How is the Foundation Accountable?
The Foundation recognizes its responsibility to maintain both public confidence and private trust. It openly discloses information about its policies, activities, financial statements and other information in order to provide a further understanding of its mission and operations. In turn, the Foundation honors its obligation to maintain donor confidentiality and to pursue accepted business practices with regard to human resources, legal, real estate, financial, and other matters. In addition to the external oversight provided by the Board of Directors, the Foundation meets all requirements of regulatory agencies in order to provide better information and service to SU and to donors.
As part of its reporting responsibility, the Foundation makes the following items available:
- An annual financial audit conducted by an independent accounting firm, reviewed with audit and budget committee of the Foundation Board and presented to the full Foundation Board.
- An annual report of giving and Foundation activities.
- An honor roll of all donors.
- Written policies on the disbursement of gifts funds.
- Investment policies, expenditure guidelines, and performance reports.
- Annual Agreements between Salisbury University and the Foundation.
- IRS form 990, available by request for inspection at Foundation offices.
Why does SU need privately funded gifts?
Today, Salisbury University is state-assisted, not state-supported. State dollars currently provide little more than one-quarter of SU's funding needs and this percentage is shrinking as higher education continues to compete with many other demands on state revenue. The University was forced to raise tuition over the last decade, and now must be cautious about any additional tuition increases that might deny deserving students the chance for an SU education. This means private gifts are becoming increasingly important to SU.
What happens to a gift made to the SU Foundation?
When you make a gift to the SU Foundation to benefit the University, your gift is used as you request. Many gifts are designated for a specific program, project, college, campus, department, etc. You also have the option to donate to the greatest need of the University. Your gifts are deposited into Foundation accounts and, in order to be used, must have the proper administrative approval and must be for purposes that meet the guidelines established for that account.
How are the operations of the Foundation funded?
As a separate corporation, the SU Foundation is responsible for funding its own operation.
Funds for operational expenses come from the following sources:
Investment Earnings -- Non-endowed gifts designated by the donor for support of current programs are placed on short-term investments until expended by the University. These earnings vary significantly depending on short-term interest rates and timing of expenditures. Additionally, the income from real estate holdings leased for use also assist in underwriting the activities of the Foundation.
Endowment and Trust Management Fees -- The corpus of endowed accounts are invested in long-term vehicles. An administrative fee of 1.4% is deducted from the gross earnings of each endowed or trust account to cover operational expenses of the Foundation.
Donations -- Donors who understand the important role the foundation plays in the life of the University often designate their gifts to specifically support the operations of the Foundation.
What are the investment policies of the Foundation?
Endowment gifts are made with an expectation by the donor and the commitment by the Foundation that only a portion of the investment return generated by the gift may be spent. These gifts are placed in individual, named accounts. Endowments are invested through one of the Foundation's diverse fund managers. This diverse portfolio assists the Foundation in achieving great return on investment. Investment policies and objectives of these funds are consistent with the permanent nature of the endowment gifts, i.e., achieving an appropriate balance between security of principal, current income, and long-term growth. Investment policies are approved by a committee of Board Members and the full Foundation Board. The professional management of the Foundation and outside investment counsel follow with adopted policies and approved actions.
The Foundation's legal name is Salisbury University Foundation, Inc. and its taxpayer identification number is 52-1127396. The Foundation is a tax exempt organization under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended. Gifts made to the Foundation are deductible as charitable contributions under Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.
- How can I contact the Salisbury University Foundation?