Foster Giving FAQs
How does my support help the rankings?
Historically, participation in the annual fund has been viewed by rankings publications like U.S. News & World Report as an indicator of alumni satisfaction. Less direct, though vitally important, private support provides the margin of excellence that allows for innovation and the extras that move a good education to great…and a great education to something extraordinary.
What is the return on my investment?
For alumni, the return on investment comes in the form of the enhanced reputation of the Foster School and therefore our graduates’ degrees. For alumni, friends and corporate partners, great education means a great workforce…and great leaders today and in the future. While the Foster School prepares students to succeed anywhere in the world, we have consistently been a net importer of talent, keeping the Northwest’s best and brightest close to home and attracting leading minds from around the world. Your investment can also advance research and our faculty’s skills in the classroom for students seeking degrees and executives seeking just-in-time skills that help their companies and communities prosper.
How much of my gift actually makes it to my chosen designation?
Direct mail appeals, outreach officers, gift processing, attracting and acknowledging gifts can all be costly. In fact, on average nationally, 20 cents of every dollar donated pays for fundraising operations. At the Foster School, many gifts incur no direct costs. Overall, our cost-per-dollar-raised stands at 1/3 the national average…just 6.6 cents.
What does the state pay for?
The Foster School and the UW are grateful for every dollar the state provides. In reality, though, public funding provides less than one-sixth of our school’s operating budget. These dollars usually target the state’s priority: quality undergraduate education for Washington residents. This is consistent with our peer schools across the nation.
What does the Annual Fund support?
The Foster Difference Fund (formerly the Business Discretionary Annual Fund) receives more individual gifts than all other funds combined at the Foster School. These dollars are pooled and provide the dean and his leadership team with the flexibility to capitalize on unforeseen opportunities as well as to address shortfalls in critical programs and areas. The brand analysis that accompanied the Foster School’s new name benefitted from discretionary dollars, as did the scholarship pools for both undergraduates and MBAs. Development of new classes and offerings like the Environmental Innovation Challenge are only possible because of the Foster Difference Fund.
When should I make my gift?
Your gift will make an immediate difference in the Foster School experience, no matter when you give. But a gift at any level today will bring impact and encourage others to follow your generous lead. However, if charitable deductions are a priority, the I.R.S. works from the calendar year, which may explain why December is the leading month for giving. The University’s fiscal year begins July 1, which is why we try to attract support to coincide with the fall return of students. Neither need nor opportunity is ever fully funded, and every gift helps regardless of when it’s given.
How do I become a Dean’s Club member?
Simply make a gift (or a series of gifts) to the Foster School totaling $1,000 or more between July 1 and June 30. As a Dean’s Club member, you are part of a core group of generous donors who create opportunities that will shape our school’s future.
How do corporate matching gifts work?
Thousands of companies will match donations to approved not-for-profits and schools, dollar-for-dollar as a benefit to their employees and their communities. To find out if your company has a matching gift policy, please visit UW Matching Gifts.
You should also visit your human resources office or website to inquire about matching gift guidelines. Usually you just fill out your company’s brief matching gift form and send it in with your gift. We’ll take care of the rest. Your designated Foster School fund gets more support, your company gets a receipt and recognition for its matching contribution, and you are credited toward recognition in the Dean’s Club and other gift societies.
How do pledges work?
Pledges come in many forms. Annual gifts may be divided into quarterly gift installments. Electronic Fund Transfers (EFTs) allow for more frequent recurring payments toward a predetermined pledge commitment. More substantial gifts may be paid over a period of years. For more information about pledging, contact External Relations at 206.543.0304 and ask for a development officer.
I have specific questions/ideas about my philanthropy. With whom do I speak?
Contact a giving consultant at the Foster School.
Is the Foster School a registered charity? If so, what is its Federal Tax Identification Number?
As part of the University of Washington, the Foster School can accept gifts as part of a 501c3 organization. To find out more, contact a giving consultant at the Foster School.
When will the scholarship/fellowship I support be awarded? Will I be notified? Can I meet with the student recipient?
While scholarship awards are granted at the beginning of the school year each fall, many scholarship decisions are made the preceding spring so that students can make appropriate decisions regarding student loans, work study and other resource opportunities. Donors funding individual awards are notified about the recipient by the program or gift office each fall. You’re also invited to meet your student beneficiaries at the Annual Scholarship Breakfast held in October or November. Most students are compelled to send personal letters of thanks and often welcome the chance to meet you.
What is an "unrestricted" gift and why is it important to the school?
Unrestricted donations aren’t earmarked and so provide the dean and his team with the flexibility to capitalize on unforeseen opportunities as well as to address shortfalls in critical programs and areas. Unrestricted support can be directed to whatever is the greatest need at any given time. It provides the flexibility tuition and state dollars often cannot.
I am an MBA graduate. How do I direct my gift to that program?
While we encourage as much flexibility as possible to ensure gifts have the most meaningful impact, we welcome direct support for any of our degree programs, academic departments or centers. We understand there are numerous choices for your philanthropic dollars, so systems are in place to designate your gift in a multitude of ways. Simply follow the links from our Support Your Favorite Cause page . If you don’t find the option you seek, contact us for assistance. We’re happy to help!
How do we compare to other business schools in giving?
Each year more than 20% of Foster School alumni make a financial commitment to the University of Washington. This easily places us in the top quarter of major public research institutions. At the same time, as we work to provide an unsurpassed educational experience and compete for students and staff with the very best business schools in the world, our private support and operating budget are modest when compared to most schools ranked in the top 25. So it’s important that we keep on giving!
What are the benefits for me personally?
While your gift is tax deductible and may secure some allowable benefits such as inclusion in our annual donor roll, there’s no greater benefit than the knowledge that your gift made the school stronger, allowing it to shape future leaders who will in turn touch the lives of others. And gifts of all levels are combined to make millions of dollars worth of improvements our donors can take pride in.
What are the Foster School and University’s levels of recognition?
Foster School Dean’s Club $1000 annually
University of Washington President’s Club $2000 annually
Benefactor $100,000 (cumulative)
Laureate $1M (cumulative)
Presidential Laureate $10M (cumulative)
Regental Laureate $100M (cumulative)
What is the difference between endowment and current use?
Both endowment and current use funding are vital to the Foster School’s future. Gifts to establish or grow an endowed fund provide the principal from which interest is paid out at an approximate annual rate of 5%. Additional returns help the endowed fund keep pace with inflation. An endowment benefits the Foster School for the life of the University of Washington. It’s an excellent way to establish a lasting legacy, though the requirement to create such a fund begins at $50,000. For many endowment donors, their gifts target existing funds where endowment minimums have been met. Current use is exactly that: Every dollar is used to address immediate funding needs or opportunities. While current use gifts do not provide the same legacy of an endowment, these gifts’ legacy comes in the form of full and immediate financial impact.
To whom do I make my check payable?
Your check should be made out to the University of Washington Foundation. We appreciate the inclusion of a gift card or brief note specifying the Foster School or a specific Foster School fund with your check.