Giving FAQs

  • Why are private gifts needed?

    As state support continues to decline, private investment becomes increasingly important in providing the level of excellence we aspire to provide for our outstanding students. The state of Idaho takes great pride in the University of Idaho, the only land grant college in the nation established even before the state it resides in, and it provides as much support as it can. However, like all universities across the nation, that level of support has been declining radically as a percentage of the overall budget. Approximately 32% of the total budget comes from the state’s general fund. Private support helps leverage the state, federal and research funds to allow the University of Idaho to provide exceptional teaching, learning and research opportunities.

  • Who sets fundraising priorities for U-Idaho's Foundation?

    The University of Idaho does.

    After consulting with the deans and University administration, the University President determines what the fundraising priorities for the University are. Of course, there are always more worthy ideas for enhancing academic excellence than there are funds to carry them out – making the prioritization process critical. Through the Office of Development, the University of Idaho Foundation, Inc. provides centralized management of fundraising priorities and develops a University-wide program that partners volunteers with professional staff to accomplish the goals.

  • Why is the Foundation separate from the University of Idaho?

    The vast majority of American public colleges and universities have separate foundations, organized as not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporations, for good reasons: confidentiality of personal documents related to gifts such as wills, trust agreements and correspondence; stewardship of endowment funds to ensure the joint goals of growth and return are met in the best interest of the donors; and to provide flexibility through discretionary funds to the growth of programs of excellence at the University of Idaho.

  • What does the Foundation do with contributions?

    The Foundation does exactly what the donors ask us to do with their gifts. The majority of gifts are “restricted” to a particular endowment, college, department or program. We deposit these gifts into accounts established at the request of donors, administrators, deans, department chairs or program managers to hold as gift funds. You will see your designation confirmed on the gift receipt and thank you note sent to you after the gift is received. Unrestricted gifts are spent at the discretion of the President, and they are used to support programs or efforts which are current priorities of the University of Idaho.

    Restricted gift money is spent by the administrator, faculty or staff directly in charge of the account. After the Foundation ensures that there are guidelines established for the account, the Foundation transfers the funds to a university gift account. The University of Idaho is then responsible to ensure that the funds are spent in accordance with the account guidelines.

  • How is the Foundation held accountable?

    The University of Idaho Foundation, Inc. is committed to retaining both public and private trust. The Foundation openly discloses information about financial statements, fundraising priorities, and other information that helps further an understanding of the University's mission and goals.

    Each year, the Foundation books are fully audited, and we comply with literally hundreds of regulatory requirements at the federal, state and local level. The following documents can be viewed by downloading Adobe Acrobat Reader, or by requesting hard copies from the University of Idaho Foundation, Inc. P. O. Box 443150, Moscow, ID 83844-3150.

    Financial Audit (2004) Deloitte and Touche Foundation Annual Report

  • Are there tax benefits associated with gift giving?

    Your gift is tax deductible as specified in the IRS regulations. The University of Idaho Foundation is registered as a charitable organization with the State of Idaho Secretary of State. Gifts of securities may have additional tax benefits, as can bequests, trusts, and other life income gifts. Please call the University of Idaho Gift Planning Services with any questions regarding planned gifts: (208) 885-1201.

  • What if I receive goods and services in connection with my gift?

    The IRS requires that we inform you, via your gift receipt/acknowledgement, of the value of any goods or services you may have received along with the resulting value of your contribution.

  • May I give something besides cash?

    The University of Idaho Foundation, Inc. accepts many types of noncash gifts, including:

    Publicly traded securities
    The value of your stock gift depends upon the market value at the time the gift is made. On the day that the stock is transferred into a University of Idaho Foundation account, the stock is valued at the average between the high and low of that day.

    Real property
    The Foundation has the ability to accept gifts of real estate. The majority of the property is sold to fund the philanthropic interest of the donor. However, in an agreement that is reached between the Foundation, the University and the donor, some property is retained to be used by the University in support of a specific program area. Real property gifts must be approved and accepted by the Gift Acceptance Committee of the University of Idaho Foundation, Inc.

    Personal property
    The Foundation has the ability to accept gifts of personal property, such as books, artwork, computers, etc. as they relate to the mission of the University. Significant collections are accepted with an accompanying endowment fund designed to support the archiving and enrichment opportunities provided by the gift. 

    Memorial or honorary contributions
    Many donors choose to honor their loved ones by making a gift. We will notify the honoree or their family members of your generosity.

    Wills and trusts
    Our staff can help you and your advisers design a bequest, a charitable trust or fund an annuity that returns a life income to you or your heirs.

    Corporate matching gifts
    Many employers will match gifts made by their employees to the University of Idaho, doubling or even tripling your gift. Refer to our listing of known Matching Gift Companies to see if your company participates. If not, please encourage them to do so, and let the Office of Development know about your support of this program.

  • How can U-Idaho faculty and staff make a gift?

    It’s always special when one of the closest members of the University of Idaho “family” supports the programs they are helping to provide. In addition to any of the other gifting vehicles, faculty and staff may make contributions to any Foundation fund through payroll deductions. Please download the Partners in Excellence Payroll Deduction Form.

  • Who governs the Foundation?

    The board of directors, comprised of up to 25 business, professional or civic leaders, governs the University of Idaho Foundation, Inc. These volunteers contribute their time, experience and resources, serving with no compensation. The Foundation Board of Directors conducts numerous meetings by conference call, and they meet several times a year as a body. Many members also lead committees and attend committee meetings between sessions of the board of directors.

    The directors provide external oversight to the Foundation’s operation, with the managing director of the Foundation reporting directly to the board. The directors embrace the diversity values of the University of Idaho, and their membership reflects the geographic, gender and cultural diversity of our alumni and friends.

  • Does the Foundation make grants?

    The University of Idaho Foundation, Inc. is a fundraising vs. a fund-granting not-for-profit. Although our endowment funds are significant, they are all “restricted” to benefit a specific use – making them unavailable to other programs.  

    University of Idaho faculty or staff looking for specific project funding should first contact their Dean or development officer, and request adding that project onto the unit’s fundraising goals that are given to the President for consideration. Advice on securing nonphilanthropic grant funds can be found on the University of Idaho Research Office Web site.

  • How does the Foundation serve U-Idaho?

    The University of Idaho Foundation, Inc.'s mission is to secure, manage and distribute private support to enhance the growth and development of the University of Idaho.

    In partnership with the University of Idaho, the Foundation supports University priorities, assists in providing central services to support fundraising, endowment management, administration, and compliance.

  • How is U-Idaho's Foundation funded?

    The operating budget for the University of Idaho Foundation, Inc. is derived from:

    • Earnings on the University of Idaho Foundation, Inc.'s unrestricted endowment.
    • Short-term interest earned on current and building gifts before they are transferred to the University for use by the donor-designated department. A six-month holding period is in effect for all current and building gifts.
    • Short-term interest earned on endowment gifts before they are invested in the Consolidated Investment Trust (CIT). A one-year holding period is in effect on all endowment funds prior to their transfer into the CIT.
  • What is a Consolidated Investment Trust?

    The Consolidated Investment Trust (CIT) is a pooled endowment fund managed by the University of Idaho Foundation, Inc. for the benefit of the University of Idaho.  Scholarships, research, performing arts, lectureships, and many other programs of the University are supported by the CIT endowment earnings.  As of June 30, 2007, the market value of the CIT's portfolio of marketable securities was $188.6 million, and was comprised of 1,229 individual endowments.

  • Are there gift fees?

    The University of Idaho and the University of Idaho Foundation, Inc., continue to work together to keep administrative and other costs as low as possible.

    The following assessments will be effective July 1, 2013:

    • A gift assessment of 5% on all new gifts. (For public universities, the national average is over 5%)
    • The Foundation’s Consolidated Investment Trust (CIT) endowment pool will be assessed 1% annually to cover the cost of managing and investing the fund. (The national average is 1.3%)

    These assessments will fund the administration of the Foundation and the strategic investments the University needs to engage our external constituents, tell our important story broadly, and raise critically needed private contributions.

    Assessments are critical and essential for the University of Idaho to continue our commitment to excellence.

    Click here to view the gift fee announcement in its entirety.