FAQ

What is the University of Oregon Foundation’s relationship with the University of Oregon?
The Foundation is an independent, nonprofit, tax-exempt organization designated by the university to receive, manage, invest and disburse private gifts to the university. Fundraising activities are managed by the university.

Oregon law requires that a foundation be independent of a state university.

Who governs the Foundation?
The Foundation Board of Trustees comprises up to 65 volunteer alumni and non-alumni members. The Board has overall responsibility for the management of the Foundation. Trustees with diverse backgrounds, experience and organizational and financial skills volunteer considerable time and effort to help the Foundation and the university grow and prosper.

How is the Foundation funded?
The Foundation’s operating budget has two main sources:
An administrative fee on the market value of all assets
income  from rents, Foundation operating endowments and unrestricted gifts to the Foundation
Excess revenues at the end of the year are allocated by the Board to the university.

How is my gift spent?
Exactly as you direct. When you make a gift to the university through the Foundation, you determine the purpose and specific area of the university that will benefit from your generosity. Upon receipt of your gift, the Foundation sends an acknowledgement that confirms your designation and can be used for tax purposes. When a university staff member in charge of the fund submits a spending request, the Foundation ensures that the request meets the donor purpose language of the fund and then issues a check.

How do endowments work?
Endowment assets are maintained in perpetuity (forever) and are pooled for investment purposes. Currently, the Foundation annually distributes 4% of the market value to be used in accordance with each fund’s purpose.

How do I establish an endowment?
While any amount can be added to an existing endowment, the minimum amount necessary to establish a new endowment is $100,000. The process is uncomplicated but is best addressed through face-to-face conversations. Please visit the University Advancement website for more information.

What are the endowment returns?
For the calendar year ending December 31, 2015, the Willamette Investment Pool returned 6.3% (net of fees) versus its broad market benchmark, which returned -1.0%.

In the past 10 years, the endowment achieved its primary objective of maintaining long-term purchasing power with annualized returns of 6.8%. This result compares favorably to its long-term benchmark of CPI + 5%, which was 6.0%. The UO Foundation’s 10-year endowment performance has ranked in top 10 percent of its peers, with risk in the lowest 10 percent.

What is the value of the endowment?
As of June 30, 2016, the Willamette Investment Pool was valued at $753 million.