Background Information

The UW Foundation (UWF) is a division of the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA), an independent, nonprofit organization devoted to advancing the interests of the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

The UW Foundation was founded in 1945 as a steward of private support to accept, administer, and distribute gift dollars on behalf of the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin. These gifts supplement state and federal dollars. In 2014, UWF merged with the Wisconsin Alumni Association (WAA) to form the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association, uniting its purpose with WAA’s role in keeping UW–Madison alumni connected to each other and to their alma mater.

WFAA engages those who care about the university; informs them about the campus and UW alumni; enhances their Badger spirit through events in Madison and around the world; provides opportunities to support the university’s teaching, research, and outreach programs; and commits to ethical stewardship of monetary gifts.

As a private, nonprofit, tax-exempt Wisconsin corporation that raises, invests, and distributes funds for the benefit of UW–Madison, WFAA receives thousands of contributions annually from alumni, corporations, foundations, faculty, staff, students, parents, and other friends of the university. Among the initiatives supported through these gift dollars are scholarships, professorships, fellowships, building projects, and more. For information about WFAA’s recent financial history, see its annual report.

WFAA is an independent organization, the staff works closely with university administration, faculty, and staff to match academic opportunities with private support. WFAA is governed by a board of directors. CEO Michael Knetter reports to this board.