The University of Georgia Foundation strives to enrich the quality of education at the University by supporting scholarships, endowed chairs and professorships, and other programs that rely on private funds. With more than $1 billion in assets, a large portion of which is endowed to support academic initiatives, the Foundation provides an average of more than $65 million each year to advance UGA’s missions of teaching, research, and service.
The Foundation is managed by a Board of Trustees comprised of 51 volunteer members, and its mission is to support the University in several ways: trustees lead and promote fundraising activities, accept and steward donor funds, and manage the financial assets of the Foundation for the long-term benefit and enhancement of the University. Trustees also offer broad advice, consultation, and support to University leadership.
Foundation assets have grown tremendously since the organization was established in 1937, enabling the Foundation to provide greater levels of support to UGA. As a steward of donor funds, the Foundation has an outstanding record of fiscal and financial management. For more than 10 years, its investment portfolio has outperformed key benchmarks.
Because of record-setting fundraising and a strong 13.1 percent investment return in FY17, the Foundation is set to provide more support from its unrestricted resources in the year ahead than ever before, including increased funding for need-based and merit-based undergraduate scholarships.
An endowment is an investment in the future of the University of Georgia and a way for a donor to leave a permanent legacy. When an endowment is established with a new donation, the gift is invested with two goals in mind: to provide spendable income for the donor’s specified purpose and to grow the principal faster than inflation. Any investment return over allowed spending is channeled back into the fund to increase growth.
The Foundation board is dedicated to the ongoing pursuit of excellence, and a newly developed strategic plan will guide its work over the next five years. The plan, developed by a strategic planning committee over the course of a year, includes four goals that will advance the mission of the Foundation and the University of Georgia into the future:
The Foundation matched donations to the Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program to help donors create 115 new need-based scholarships. Leading by example, more than 30 percent of trustees established a Georgia Commitment Scholarship in FY17.