MAILED: Oct. 16, 2000
The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Foundation Inc. posted a solid year of progress in assisting the university, its faculty and students during the 1999-2000 fiscal year.
For the first time the Foundation's assets exceed $20 million, up from just over $16 million a year ago, Chairman Larry Weber reported during the Foundation's quarterly meeting Oct. 9. Contributions of $1,667,402 marked the ninth consecutive year the Foundation has received more than $1 million in gifts from alumni, parents and friends of the university.
As a result the Foundation contributed more than $1.5 million to the university for scholarships, faculty projects, equipment, research and other priorities. Alumni giving remains over 20 percent, which is well above the national average for comparable universities.
"These statistics tell us that the Foundation continues to move forward and that UW-Eau Claire alumni care about this institution and its work," Weber said.
The board also heard from the consulting firm Bentz, Whaley, Flessner, which has been providing guidance to the Foundation on plans for a fund-raising campaign. The firm conducted interviews with more than 40 key individuals as part of an effort to analyze the university's potential for conducting a campaign of $30 to $45 million
The interviews show that UW-Eau Claire has widespread respect and confidence and is considered a cut above its peers. People are proud of the university and its reputation for quality. In particular they appreciate Chancellor Mash's efforts to be visible and involved in the community. Participants questioned the Foundation's ability to conduct a campaign of such a magnitude at this time.
"It's not a question of whether we will launch a campaign, it's a question of when," said Chancellor Donald Mash. "We learned we're not quite ready to launch a campaign of that size, but we now have a clearer idea of what we need to do to get us where we want to be."
Foundation President Carole Halberg said the Foundation will use the coming months to develop the staff, systems and programs needed to support a sizeable comprehensive campaign. The case for support will be refined so that potential donors understand how their gifts can make a difference. The Foundation board will be expanded to include more alumni and individuals from around the country and a more aggressive program of face-to-face calling on key prospects by staff and volunteers will be undertaken.
"Over the past years the Foundation's progress has been steady. We have a wonderful story to tell here, and Chancellor Mash and I will work together with the Foundation board and the development staff to broaden our contacts and position the Foundation to accelerate its growth," Halberg said.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Oct. 16, 2000