Advancement & Public Services
Giving to WIU -- Frequently Asked Questions
If you have a question that does not appear on this list, or would like clarification on any of the topics provided, we'd love to hear from you! Please call 309/298-1861, or e-mail us at WIUFoundation@wiu.edu.
Why Gifts Are Needed
Western Illinois University is no longer a state-supported, but rather a state-assisted University. State dollars currently provide only 25% of the total funding needs of the University. This percentage is shrinking as higher education continues to compete with many other demands on state revenue.
Since state support is declining relative to the University's total operating budget and limited increases can be expected in tuition, private gifts are becoming increasingly important to Western Illinois University.
Private funding supplements state and federal dollars and supports many special programs and projects not possible through usual funding sources.
How Funds are Used
Are there different ways to make a gift to Western Illinois University?
The manner by which you choose to make a gift is a matter of personal preference and situation. The WIU Foundation offers a variety of gift options you may wish to explore.
Careful planning can maximize the positive effects of outright contributions such as cash, appreciated securities, real estate and gifts of personal property, as well as deferred gifts such as bequests, testamentary trusts, life income trusts, and gifts of life insurance.
Who determines how the WIU Foundation's funds are used?
You, the donor, specify how the gift will be used.
Many individuals choose to support academic departments, scholarship funds or other causes.
In some cases the donor elects to make an unrestricted gift. Unrestricted gifts also benefit the University by allowing the WIU Foundation greater flexibility in directing the gift to help students with worthy programs and improve the educational quality of the institution.
Amount &/or Types of Gifts
How big does my gift have to be to make a difference?
You might be surprised to learn that all gifts, big and small, help the University. Last year, the WIU Foundation received more than 24,000 gifts from alumni, friends and parents, faculty and staff, corporations, businesses and foundations, and other organizations. The majority of those gifts were under $500. When you give, you join thousands of proud alumni and friends of the University who share your dedication and enthusiasm for Western Illinois University.
What is the Annual Fund?
The Annual Fund allows our alumni and friends to align their personal values with gifts to the areas on campus that are most important to them. From funding scholarship programs and enhancing learning opportunities to supporting colleges and departments across campus, Annual Fund gifts have an immediate and direct impact on the lives of Western students.
Although donors may direct an annual gift to the University online at any time, the Annual Fund is an eight month direct mail and telephone outreach initiative that allows our staff the opportunity to maintain and enhance relationships with our friends and alumni by informing them of upcoming campus events, updating personal information and assisting donors in directing their gift to their area of choice.
What is an Unrestricted Gift?
Unrestricted gifts to the Foundation’s Fund for a Greater Western are especially significant as they allow the Foundation to direct funds to the areas of greatest need to advance the mission and core values of Western Illinois University.
What is a Matching Gift?
Corporate matching gifts (received from companies who match their employee’s charitable contributions) also contribute to the overall Annual Fund total, and are credited to our donors when determining inclusion in membership giving clubs.
By mailing your completed matching gift form (available from your human resource office) along with your gift, you can double your support of Western students. Many employers also match gifts from their employee’s spouses and retirees. To see if your employer participates in a matching gift program, visit our matching gift page.
What is an endowment fund?
A gift of at least $25,000 can establish an endowment, a fund that is invested by the WIU Foundation to fund programs in perpetuity.
The principal remains intact, and interest earned by the endowment is used to fund the designated programs. Typical spending for an endowment fund is approximately 4.5 percent. Any additional earnings are reinvested in the fund to ensure future growth.
Does the WIU Foundation accept gifts of personal property?
Gifts of tangible personal property such as real estate, special collections, books, works of art, antiquities, and computer and scientific equipment can be of value in support of the University's mission. Many of these items are tax deductible to the extent provided by the law.