The University of Georgia Foundation was created to enrich the quality of education provided at the university through scholarships, professorships, endowed chairs and other programs.
The foundation has amassed more than $1 billion in assets, a large portion of which is endowed for academic and faculty support. The foundation funds a long list of scholarships each year for deserving students and endows chairs and professorships that ensure those students receive the highest-quality instruction.
The programs funded by the foundation are not covered by the state funding and tuition that make up the University of Georgia's budget. State funding is decreasing as a percentage of the university's total operating budget and the university is committed to keeping tuition and fees affordable.
Less than 40 percent of the University of Georgia's operating budget is provided by state appropriation. Tuition and fees only provide another 14 percent of the budget, which leaves a huge gap to fill.
Groups like the University of Georgia Foundation are needed to step in and fill the gap.
A Board of Trustees oversees operations and provides a portion of the funding used by the foundation each year for its programs. Each volunteer trustee is a leader in business or civic affairs and contributes his or her time, wisdom and resources without compensation. They meet a minimum of three times a year as a body, and many members attend committee meetings between full sessions. In addition, University of Georgia Foundation trustees contribute generously to the university through the foundation.
The Board of Trustees provide external oversight of the foundation's operations, and the executive director of the foundation reports to the trustees. Board members recognize a responsibility to reflect in their membership the geographical, ethnic, and gender diversity of the University of Georgia's alumni and friends.
The foundation's operating budget comes from three primary sources:
State support by way of the University of Georgia for salaries and operations. A management or support fee on the market value of restricted funds. Miscellaneous sources, including income from the foundation's own operating endowment and unrestricted gifts.
The foundation openly discloses information about its policies, activities, financial statements and other information to further the understanding of its mission and operations.
The foundation meets hundreds of regulatory requirements at the federal, state and local levels in human resources, legal, real estate, financial and other areas. It often exceeds the requirements of regulatory agencies in order to provide better information and service to the University of Georgia and to donors.
The following items are available to the public:
- IRS Determination Letter
- Articles of Incorporation
- Foundation bylaws
- Meeting minutes of the UGA Foundation Board of Trustees
- Conflict of interest policy
- Audited financial statements (conducted/certified by Deloitte & Touche, LLP)
- Annual Information Return (IRS form 990)
- Investment Policy Statement
- Quarterly performance reports
- Policies regarding the establishment of fund-raising priorities
- Policies on acceptance of gifts and disbursement of funds
- Guidelines for named gifts
- Expenditure guidelines
Administrators at the University of Georgia set the priorities. At the university there are always more ideas for enhancing the academic mission than there are funds to carry them out. UGA's president determines which of many fundraising proposals will become university priorities.
Vice presidents, deans, and department and program heads set priorities for their units, within the context of university priorities.
Proposals for major projects and campaigns are sent to the Development Office for feasibility studies, and the results are forwarded to the president. The university reviews the studies and makes a final determination about its priorities. The president then forwards his priorities to the foundation's Board of Trustees, which completes a thorough review and charges the foundation staff with directing programs and processes to fulfill the university's needs.
The foundation is not a fund-granting institution. However, it will on occasion make allocations that fund stated university priorities. These allocations may be made for academically focused endeavors such as faculty supplements, scholarships or communication and outreach programs that support the foundation's mission of enhancing academics at the university.
UGA faculty or staff looking for project funding should consult the dean or director and development officer of their unit first. All requests are then forwarded to the Office of the Provost. From there it will be determined if the foundation may be able to assist.