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Foundation Q & A


Q: If the University of Colorado is a public university, why does it need private gifts?

A: The State of Colorado provides less than 6 percent of the University’s operating budget, down from 25 percent in 1990.  Private gifts are an important revenue source that allows the University to attract and retain the best and brightest faculty, provide scholarships, build first-class facilities, and continue the quality education and research programs that are the hallmark of CU.

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Q: Is my gift tax-deductible?

A: The CU Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization. All gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law, but circumstances vary depending on each donor’s individual financial situation. You should consult with your tax attorney/advisor concerning the deductibility of your gift.

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Q: Who decides the fundraising priorities?

A:  CU’s campus leadership determine which proposed initiatives and projects become fundraising priorities in consultation with the university president, the Board of Regents, and the Foundation’s Board of Directors and Trustees. Foundation staff then develop a plan and strategies to seek funding for the priorities.

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Q: Can I designate my gift for a particular purpose?

A:  Yes: A donor may designate a gift to a particular campus, college/school, department, or even to a particular fund supporting an existing CU initiative. Although discretionary gifts provide the University’s leadership with the most flexibility in responding to the needs of the institution, every gift makes a difference to CU’s future.

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Q: Who governs the Foundation?

A:   A volunteer Board of Directors has fiduciary oversight, elects the officers of the Foundation and appoints the chief executive officer.  A larger Board of Trustees serves as advocates for the University and elects the members of the Board of Directors. The CU president, a representative of the University’s Board of Regents, and another university designee serve as non-voting members of the Foundation’s Board of Directors.

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Q: Who serves on the Board of Trustees?

A: The membership of the Board of Trustees is drawn from a broad spectrum of state and national business and community leaders who share a commitment to the University of Colorado. Learn more about the CU Foundation’s Governance Structure.

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Q: Who manages the Foundation’s endowments?

A: The CU Foundation’s volunteer Investment Policy Committee provides fiduciary oversight and determines investment policy. An external firm manages the portfolio on a day-to-day basis, according to the policies and asset-allocation guidelines of this CU Foundation Board of Directors committee.

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Q: Does the Foundation make grants?

A: The Foundation’s mission is to support the University of Colorado. Therefore, the Foundation does not make grants to other organizations or to individuals.

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Q: How can I obtain additional information?

A:  If you have reviewed this web site and cannot find the information you need, please contact us by calling 303-541-1200. We will do our best to answer your question(s) in a timely manner.

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