Development (Donor Relations)
- Enrichment Funds
- Most departments have a discretionary fund(s) where gifts may be made by faculty,
staff, alumni and friends.
- Chairs may request a list of all funds related to their department from the Director
of Development (DOD).
- Balances of funds related to your department may be obtained from your (DOD), and
can also be accessed from Banner, our U of M system (many administrative assistants
or departmental business officers have access).
- Details about the fund, i.e., who is currently donating, may be requested from your
- Uses for the fund are very flexible: scholarships; building, classroom or office improvements;
equipment; faculty awards or travel reimbursements; and other department-related events.
- Please let your DOD know how you have used your funds in the past as this is a way
to excite alumni for continued giving.
- Enrichment funds are considered "Current Expendable" and therefore are not invested
in the endowment pool. Interest is not earned on these funds.
- Typically, the Dean and his assignees (Administrative Director and Business Officer)
have authority to spend from the funds (and Chairs are sometimes listed as well).
However, this is mainly an oversight procedure, and typically, the Chair approves
- Chairs will issue a U of M Foundation reimbursement form when funds/reimbursements
are needed (Form Attached). The U of M Foundation will reimburse the department/student/faculty
with a check. Currently, direct deposits are not available through the Foundation.
- U of M Foundation Funds
- Most departments have privately-funded scholarships, lecture series and other funds
within the U of M Foundation. Consider your DOD as a resource for any information
about these funds.
- Gift agreements are typically associated with the creation of these funds and Chairs
should abide by the agreement. If this is not possible or very difficult, work with
your DOD to make changes in the agreement. If the donor or an heir is still living,
an amendment to the agreement may be made. If the donor is deceased, the Dean, and
possibly the President, must approve any changes to the agreement.
- Funds can be either "Current Expendable" or "Endowment" depending on the original
- Expenses for the funds are still requested through the UMF form; however, Endowment
funds have a budgeting system described in the next section.
- Endowment Funds
- Many scholarships, awards, fellowships, lecture series and related funds are endowed,
meaning these funds are invested and only a portion of the interest is used annually,
guaranteeing that these funds will be able to perpetually fund its specific program
(scholarship, lecture series, etc).
- An annual budget is established based on the current spending policy of the U of M
Foundation. This policy is determined by the Foundation's board. Current spending
rate is 4.5% over a rolling 12 quarter average.
- The annual budget is approved by the Dean and the Executive Director of the Foundation
prior to the academic year (typically early spring). Information on this budget is
typically sent to the Chair.
- Currently, the minimum to establish an endowed fund is $30,000, which can be made
over several years (typically up to five years). Minimums for specific types of endowment
include $30,000 for a scholarship, $50,000 for a graduate fellowship, $300,000 for
professorships and $3,000,000 for Chairs of Excellence.
- Spending is not allowed until the fund is fully endowed, unless the donor has made
special arrangements to make extra gifts for annual spending until the fund is fully
- Privately funded scholarships are department specific or college-(sometimes university)
wide. The Associate Dean is responsible for the college wide scholarships.
- As Chair, you are responsible for the department-specific scholarships. Many departments
have a Scholarship Committee with a faculty member who serves as its Chair.
- Unused scholarships have very negative impact on our students and our donors. If the
scholarship requirements are such that your department experiences difficulty finding
students who qualify or are interested, please contact your DOD. Scholarship criteria
may be changed with the donor's approval, and most donors are very unhappy to see
their gift left unused and not helping anyone.
- Gifts-in-kind include equipment, art, books, papers or any property that is non-cash
- The U of M has a policy on accepting any gifts of this nature. Appropriate paperwork
must be completed (Gift in Kind form) and approved by the Chair of the department
wishing to accept the gift, Dean and VP of Advancement. Gifts in kind over $5,000
must also have the President's approval. Your DOD will be able to help with this approval
process and paperwork.
- When approval is granted for acceptance of these gifts, a proper appraisal is extremely
helpful to value the gift. A qualified appraisal is necessary for donors to claim
a charitable deduction for gifts valued at $5,000+.
- Faculty and staff of the U of M may not appraise gifts which will be given to the
U of M.
- Selling or donating U of M items must also be documented properly and Chairs alone
cannot make this decision. Please contact the Dean's office or your DOD before you
- Do not accept items because you think the donor may give you a monetary gift in the
future; there may be other ways to cultivate a gift from the individuals. Before you
accept a gift, ask: does the department need the items; does your department have
space to store the items; and do the items require maintenance (which will most likely
come out of your budget and be done by your faculty/staff).
- How can you help increase your department's discretionary funds?
- Share important and exciting information with your DOD! The DODs spend their time
meeting and communicating with alumni from across the college. The more they know
about your department, they more they can share with your alumni and get them excited
about supporting your department.
- Events in your department might interest your alumni, including lectures, conferences,
scholarship award receptions, departmental celebrations and interesting classes. Many
alumni who are able to make major gifts are retired and may have time to spend on
campus, as well as visit campus if they live out of town.
- More than HALF of all U of M alumni live out-of-town. Many of these alumni have shown
an interest and given generously to the U of M. Meet with your DOD to determine how
to stay in touch with your alumni. Do you have a departmental newsletter? What about
timely e-mails sent to all of your alumni (with a known e-mail address) about that
wonderful award/grant/recognition of your department/faculty member or student?
- DODs spend time with donors who have the capacity to make an INVESTMENT in your department
with a major gift. When they contact you for information about your department, needs,
wishes, give them your input. Otherwise, they will make the decision on what to ask
the donor to fund.
- The Development Office operates on a donor-centric model. If DODs know what your priorities
are, they will be sure to let potential funders know of your needs. However, our donors
have a mind of their own….and scholarships are very popular. Additionally, the Development
Office is making an attempt to highlight overall university funding priorities to
our donors; however, specific needs for a department will carry weight with donors
who had a great experience.
- If you or other faculty members know alumni who are successful - they now own a thriving
business, were named chair of their department at another university or other important
milestones – please share this information with your DOD. They will work WITH YOU
to come up with a strategy to bring the alumni to campus and eventually to ask for
a generous gift to support your department.
Part II: Management Issues