From Our President
The University of Wisconsin-Madison is truly one of the greatest public-private partnerships ever built. With your support, the UW Foundation is committed to doing its part to sustain and enhance this world-class educational institution. Thanks to your generous gifts, I am pleased to report that we transferred $211.7 million to the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011. New gifts and pledges were up 35 percent overall. More than $208 million was raised in support of the university’s mission and almost 113,000 gifts recorded. We look to build on this progress in 2012.
While we are working in close collaboration with our partners at Wisconsin Alumni Association and on campus to garner more new inflows of support for the university, we are also working hard as a campus to find ways to make resources go further. Chancellor Ward outlines a number of the campus efficiency projects currently underway in his letter on the following page of this report.
At the Foundation, we are equally committed to boosting our efficiency over the long term. For example, the Foundation, the Wisconsin Alumni Association and the university are working together to implement a new shared data platform that will allow us to better communicate with alumni, donors and friends. The goal for this project is to provide more coordinated communication, events and interaction with and between our alumni and friends.
In addition, as annual giving is becoming an increasingly important component of UW-Madison’s philanthropic focus, we are launching our first integrated campus-wide annual giving campaign. Annual gifts support the university’s top priorities–recruiting and retaining outstanding faculty members and providing educational opportunities for students. These flexible gifts let the chancellor and deans decide how to leverage them for the greatest benefit to each unit. The goal of our integrated campaign is to encourage a greater number of alumni to participate in regular annual support of the university’s highest priorities.
We are also focused on making our internal operations as efficient and as cost-effective as possible. One area where we have made considerable progress over the last several years is investment management. We have devoted resources to building an internal investment team, which has enabled us to reduce our reliance on more expensive external consultants and money managers. Our internal team has transitioned a significant portion 0f our portfolio into low-cost indexes or ETFs linked to global equity and fixed income markets, while maintaining those outside managers who have demonstrated a capacity to deliver excess returns in selected market segments. I’m pleased to tell you that this work will save approximately $10 million per year in fees that will accrue to our clients at the university, making your gifts go further toward their intended purpose.
I am confident that with your help we will help shape a dynamic future for the university.
With a large and passionate alumni base, a strong annual giving program will ensure that
the University of Wisconsin-Madison thrives as one of the greatest universities in the world.
President and CEO, University of Wisconsin Foundation