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Planned Giving

UWM Foundation Endowment Policies

Endowment funds are intended to serve our donors' philanthropic goals and to support the university's mission in perpetuity. Endowments are frequently named for individuals or their family members. We encourage you to communicate directly with us if you are considering making endowed support for UWM a part of your estate plans. We can help provide suggested language that would accomplish your philanthropic goals.

Gift Minimums
The UWM Foundation offers several options for establishing such funds. Most of our endowment funds are established with a $50,000 minimum gift amount, and are tailored to serve specific purposes chosen by the individual donor. For donors seeking to support "core" purposes, such as general scholarships, or academic programming without further restrictions, a core endowment may be established with $20,000.

For an endowed professorship, the annual allocation from the fund must provide all or a substantial portion of the faculty member's salary. In recent years, such endowments have been established with gifts of $2,500,000.

Spending Policy
Our current policy allows 4% of the previous 3-year average Fund balance to be allocated from the fund for spending each year. The spending policy percentage rate is determined annually by the UWM Foundation Board of Directors.

Traditional Endowments and Flexible Funds
We offer two types of endowments - traditional endowments and flexible funds. Both types are invested for long-term growth, and both are intended to last in perpetuity. However, for traditional endowments, the principal can never be invaded, even in times of historically low earnings. In contrast, flexible funds permit a limited invasion of the principal, up to the value of the annual spending allocation. In this way, flexible funds ensure a steady stream of spendable funds, in good times and during times of economic hardship, when our students and faculty often have the greatest need.

We pride ourselves on working with you to find the right endowment vehicle to meet your goals. To discuss your options, please contact:

Gretchen E. Miller, J.D.
Director, Gift Planning and Agreements


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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the UWM Foundation a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

Bequest Language

"I give ($___)(___% of my estate) to the UWM Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation with its principal office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for the benefit of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, (as an unrestricted gift) (to be used in support of....)." 

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to the UWM Foundation or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the UWM Foundation as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the UWM Foundation as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and the UWM Foundation where you agree to make a gift to the UWM Foundation and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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