The Crowder College Foundation, Inc., established in 1965, is a not for profit, 501 (c)(3) tax exempt organization. The Foundation has a history of service to the institution through the creation of private funding vehicles that have enriched every facet of Crowder. Since 1985, more than $5 million has been received by the Foundation and more than $3 million has been expended to benefit the College. More than one-half million dollars have been distributed directly to students as scholarship assistance. Faculty have received nearly $300,000 in instructional grants. Campus clubs have benefited in excess of $30,000 from phonathon proceeds.
The total Foundation assets are in excess of $2 million, with permanent endowment as of June 30, 2002 reaching nearly $500,000. Each year, approximately $210,000 is expended to support the people and projects of Crowder College.
THE MOST COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS…
The Crowder College Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit corporation that encourages and supports giving for the benefit of Crowder College. The Foundation acts as the principal organization through which private gifts are made and administered for the benefit of the College. The sole reason for its existence is to serve the College.
Why is the Foundation separate from the College?
Missouri state law mandates the separation of state-supported universities and colleges and their foundations, as is the case with approximately 80 percent of public institutions in states throughout the nation. There are benefits from this arrangement.
• The independent, not-for-profit Foundation can assure donors of confidentiality since it is not a state agency and therefore is not subject to the open records or open meetings laws. This confidentiality extends to files containing the donor’s personal correspondence and documents pertaining to the gift and to foundation board and committee meetings where that gift might be discussed.
• An independent Foundation is better able to protect donor intent in the use of the gift, free from any possible institutional or governmental pressures.
Its independence notwithstanding, the private funding program at Crowder College is a team effort. The Foundation works closely with the College administration and faculty, particularly the Office of the President, the Office of Institutional Advancement and the Crowder College Alumni Association.
Should all private gifts to Crowder College be directed to the Foundation?
Yes. Crowder College has designated the Foundation to receive, manage, invest and disburse private gifts to the College. The Foundation is uniquely equipped to fulfill this obligation through an efficient, experienced staff with expertise in financial management and investment. Also, the Foundation has some limited flexibility, made possible by several unrestricted gifts, to respond to the College’s unanticipated and unbudgeted needs and opportunities.
How have donors to the Foundation helped CC?
Wherever you look on CC’s four campuses—Neosho, Cassville, Nevada, and Webb City—you see evidence of donor generosity to Crowder through the Foundation. Some of these gifts prominently bear the donors’ names; others are less visible but equally important in the lives and careers of the people who have benefited from the gifts. Private support through the Foundation is the extra edge for excellence in College programs—over and above the basic needs provided to the College by local taxes, state appropriations, tuition and fees.
The general categories of private support include:
• Equipment for both teaching and research
• Library acquisitions
Often a private donation serves as seed money for a new program whose success will grow far beyond the original gift. A single piece of research equipment from a donor’s gift may enable a Crowder College instructor to pursue a line of inquiry that eventually could attract large grants leading to undreamed benefits to the public.
Who decides how gifts are used?
You do. As donors to the Foundation, you determine where your money goes and the guidelines for its expenditure. The Foundation staff works with you and/or your legal and financial advisers to accomplish what you want. You may designate a particular department or program or you may make an unrestricted gift, giving the Foundation’s Board, in consultation with College administration, the authority to use your gift where the need is greatest. In either case, it is then the Foundation’s job to see that your wishes are followed and to keep you informed on the status of your gift or any fund that you establish.
What does the foundation do with the gift I make to CC?
Contributions are deposited in either an existing fund or a newly created fund as you have determined. The principal of endowed funds is invested with only the income being available for expenditure. The expendable funds also are invested, but the entire value of the fund, principal and earnings, is available for expenditure in accordance with the purpose of the fund.
Each fund has an account sponsor, usually a member of the College’s administration, faculty or staff. The sponsor requests expenditures from the fund following the guidelines established by the donor for that fund and by Foundation policy for all funds. Upon Foundation approval, the checks are issued.
How much of my gift actually goes to Crowder?
100 percent of the principal of every gift to Crowder College is allocated to the purpose designated by the donor. None of the principal is used to cover operating costs.
How is the Foundation funded?
A Board of Directors comprised of up to 25 men and women elected for four-year staggered terms governs the Foundation. The Board of Directors are themselves donors to the College who have exhibited over time a dedication to Crowder College and a willingness to give of their time, resources and expertise. The Board of Directors are drawn from many different professional and philanthropic backgrounds that are an invaluable resource to the College and the Foundation in attaining our private funding goals. New Directors are elected by the sitting Board of Directors from nominations made by alumni and friends of Crowder.
Who manages the Foundation’s investments?
The Board of Directors uses the advice of professional fund managers with demonstrated expertise in value and growth funds, large and small funds, and fixed income funds, both domestic and international.
What is an endowment?
An endowment is a fund in which the invested principal remains intact in perpetuity and only the income may be spent for the purpose designated by the donor.
How is the payout rate on endowed funds determined, and how does it compare to other universities?
The Investment Advisory Committee of the Board annually reviews the endowment earning distribution process calculated on a 12-quarter moving average of the market value of the portfolio. The rate for fiscal 2001-2002, for instance, is 5 percent. The Foundation reinvests any amount in excess of the payout to grow the principal to keep pace with inflation and to maintain a steady growth in money available to the fund sponsors. The Foundation seeks to avoid the extreme highs and lows in income that could damage the beneficiary program’s long-term viability.
The average rate of payout according to the National Association of College and College Business Officers for 2000 was 4.6 percent.
Endowment gifts may be important, but doesn’t Crowder need current funding too?
Yes, of course. Many gifts to Crowder are made in anticipation of immediate or short-term payout—new facility construction, equipment purchase, feasibility studies, conferences and speakers, for instance. But even short-term funds may be invested to increase the value of the original gift. There are some donors who make an annual gift, perhaps for a scholarship, preferring to have the entire amount expended each year, being not so concerned with perpetuity as with immediate assistance. The Foundation can accommodate those wishes as well.
What kinds of gifts can I make to the Foundation?
The Foundation accepts cash gifts, securities, gifts of property, deferred or planned gifts, life insurance, memorials and matching gifts.
If a donor is unable to make an outright gift at this time, are there other ways to support the Foundation?
Planned gifts are the backbone of a long-range private support program for the Crowder College. They can be tailored to meet the financial, income tax or estate planning needs of the individual donor. These giving vehicles include:
• Charitable remainder unitrusts
• Charitable remainder annuity trusts
• Remainder interest in a personal residence or farm
• Bequests through a will or living trust
• Life insurance
How does the Foundation fulfill its responsibility to be accountable?
When you establish a fund within the Foundation, you sign a legal contract which ensures that the Foundation will carry out your wishes. Each donor, to either an existing or a new fund, receives a receipt for every donation to that fund. Expenditures are requested by the fund’s sponsor and approved by the Foundation. The Foundation is audited annually by an independent accounting firm.