Q. What is the UNI Foundation?
A. The University of Northern Iowa Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization established in 1959 for the sole benefit of the University of Northern Iowa. The mission of the UNI Foundation is to sustain, grow and promote the University of Northern Iowa to be the nation’s finest comprehensive university, known for high quality learning environments and a genuine sense of community.

Q. Why is the Foundation separate from the University of Northern Iowa?
A. The UNI Foundation is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization, separate from the University. About 80% of public colleges and universities have such foundations and this arrangement offers several advantages:

Q. Who governs the Foundation?
A. The Foundation is governed by a Board of Trustees of which the University of Northern Iowa president is a voting member. A list of Foundation Trustees is available at:

Q. What services does the Foundation provide for UNI?
A. The University of Northern Iowa Foundation is designated as the central fundraising agency for the University of Northern Iowa. The Foundation conducts campaigns for University priorities and provides central services to support fundraising, growth of the endowment, administration, compliance, donor stewardship, and other areas. Services include:

Q. How does the Foundation invest the gifts it receives?
A. The Foundation’s Trustees and staff are deeply committed to providing excellent stewardship of gifts the Foundation receives. The Trustees’ Investment Committee confers monthly with our investment counselor to review the performance of our funds. Thanks to this careful oversight, the Foundation’s investment funds have regularly outperformed the market norms. Typically, the Trustees follow an asset allocation strategy with 75% of funds invested for growth and 25% invested for income.

Q. How much does the Foundation spend to raise and manage its money?
A. The UNI Foundation spends less than ten cents to raise and manage each dollar, an amount at the lower end of national norms. This figure includes not only fund-raising costs but also the costs of accounting, record-keeping and reporting to donors.

Q. Can the public see these costs?
A. As a private, non-profit organization, the UNI Foundation completes and makes public its tax return, Form 990. It is available to view at www.guidestar.org. This form breaks out the Foundation’s revenues and expenses, which include salaries, accounting and legal fees, supplies, telephone, postage, publications, professional services and equipment. In addition, although it is not legally obliged to do so, the Foundation makes public its annual audited financial statement.

Q. Does the Foundation make grants?
A. The Foundation is a fund-raising rather than a fund-granting institution. About 95% of the gifts it receives have been designated by donors for specific purposes and are restricted for these purposes. From the small pool of unrestricted gifts it receives, the Foundation allocates funds to the University for areas of greatest need.