Endowment & Gift Fee FAQ

How does the NDSU Foundation work with NDSU?

The NDSU Foundation works closely with university leaders, but is an independent non-profit foundation that is legally separate from the University. The Foundation is the primary fundraising organization that raises private money for the University, and ensures that gifts are used according to donor’s wishes and that funds are managed wisely so future generations will benefit from them. The Foundation exists solely for the benefit of NDSU as it continues to strive toward its goals of being a student-focused, land-grant, research university.

How is the NDSU Foundation funded?

The Foundation’s operating budget of approximately $7.5 million annually comes from five primary sources:

  • An annual assessment on the market value of each individual endowment fund. The endowment administrative fee as of January 1, 2017 is 1.89%
  • A one-time administrative assessment or “gift fee” of 5% on all incoming gifts, including endowment and scholarship gifts, is effective as of January 1, 2017
  • A contracted amount paid by the University to the Foundation for data services and alumni center usage
  • Investment income from short term investments and property
  • Unrestricted contributions

During 2016, the Foundation’s Executive Governing Board tasked a committee made up of Foundation trustees, alumni directors, and NDSU faculty and staff to perform a comprehensive review of our funding model and how we compare to our peers. The committee recommended lowering our annual endowment fee from 2.00% to 1.89% and simplifying our one-time gift fee to 5% for all gifts.

Why are there administrative fees?

In order to continue to build a culture of philanthropy, investing in the development, outreach, and operational efforts of the Foundation is vital to the future of NDSU. The Foundation is challenged by how we “fund” our fundraising efforts and how we keep our expenses as low as possible so more of a donor’s gift can go to NDSU. The Foundation plays a pivotal role in raising, managing, and distributing the resources that will help NDSU achieve its mission.

I’d like the impact of my gift to be a specific dollar amount taking into account the gift fee. How do I calculate the gift fee?

As an example, if you’d like your annual scholarship to be $1,000, you would take $1,000 divided by 95% which is $1,053. Your gift of $1,053 would be received by the Foundation and the 5% receipting fee would be applied, leaving a $1,000 scholarship to directly benefit your selected area. In this example, your tax deductible gift amount is $1,053.

Where can I find more information about fees?

Transparency is very important to us. Contact us at any time for more information on our fee structure at 701-231-6800 or office@ndsufoundation.com.