Finance and Investments
IRS Determination Letter
The Investment Committee of the Board of Directors has oversight responsibility for Investments. Members are professionals in the field who bring current expertise to the work. The Investment Committee engages an independent consultant who advises on policy, setting strategy, and implementation of the strategy. The Investment Committee has adopted a diversified approach to investing that balances the goals of maximizing return while preserving purchasing power. By diversifying among asset classes and rebalancing toward target allocations, the Investment Committee expects to enhance the investments’ real market value and provide a significant funding source to help meet the Foundation and University’s funding needs.
Assets - As of June 30, 2018, the NIU Foundation’s total assets were $138 million, $79.2 million of which were endowment.
Endowment Market Value (dollars in millions)
- Beginning of Year: $74.7
- Gifts to Endowment: $2.4
- Investment Results, net of spending: $2.1
- End of year: $79.2
- 7.8 % annualized total over one year
- 7.6% target weighted return over one year
- 7.5% annualized total over five years
- 6.9% target weighted return over five years
Endowment Returns Provided for Student Scholarships and Programs
- $2.5 million (2015-2016)
- $2.7 million (2016-2017)
- $2.6 million (2017-2018)
- $2.9 million (2018-2019)
Gift Fee Policy - Funding the Cost of Fundraising
NIU donors understand the vital role private support plays in the life of our University and the profound impact it has on our students.
In FY17, more than 13,400 alumni and friends became philanthropic leaders at NIU by providing gifts to support our students. That support totaled $10.9M and provided $3M in scholarship support as well as $6.5M to enrich the Huskie experience.
The University has come to rely on private funds to help create a transformational learning environment, and increasingly, our donors have recognized that it costs money to raise money.
Public universities like NIU employ a variety of methods to support the increasingly important mission of private fundraising:
- using operating monies available to the University,
- using a small portion of each gift to help supplement fundraising costs (a gift fee),
- and using a modest portion of the endowment.
The NIU Foundation gift fee structure ensures that the majority of every gift reaches its intended recipients and positions the NIU Foundation to be the strategic partner that NIU needs and deserves.
The gift fee is implemented as follows:
- When a donor makes an unrestricted gift to the NIU Foundation, the NIU Foundation Board will grant 92.5% to the University’s highest priority, which is currently student scholarships.
- Likewise, when a donor makes a gift to the University Scholarship Fund, 92.5% will go directly to student scholarships.
- If a donor wishes to support a specific campus program or other initiative, 85% of the gift will go directly to the named program or initiative.
Not only does the NIU Foundation gift fee structure ensure that the majority of every gift impacts its intended recipients, it also provides the resources necessary to continue the important work of fundraising at Northern Illinois University.
The NIU Foundation pledges to its donors, and those who benefit from their generosity, to be a vigilant steward of donor gifts; to be judicious and efficient as we spend funds for development purposes; and to be transparent and ethical in the methods we employ to raise funds to support our students, faculty, and programs.