FY20 Gift and Fund FAQ

The UA Foundation was created in 1974 to seek, secure and steward philanthropic support to build excellence at the University of Alaska. We manage over 1,700 separate funds from tens of thousands of donors in support of UA students and programs across the state. Every gift is safeguarded for use only as directed by the donor. We advocate on behalf of the thousands of donors, like you, who invest in the future of Alaska through the university.

With structural changes on the horizon for UA, we realize that there may be questions regarding donations given in support of specific programs/students at the University.  We have prepared the following FAQ to help. 

If you have additional questions that are not addressed below, please feel free to contact us at donor-relations@alaska.edu or at 907-450-8030.

  • Will Foundation funds be “swept” or re-directed to help replace funds cut by the State of Alaska or to cover operational shortfalls?
    • The UA Foundation is a separate legal entity, governed by a Board of Directors, and distinct from the University of Alaska System. All funds held in the UA Foundation are governed by fund agreements and restricted to support students, faculty, campuses, schools, colleges and departments throughout the UA System.
  • Can UA Foundation “slush funds” cover the reduced state revenue?
    • There are no “slush funds” at the UA Foundation. The vast majority of funds held at the UA Foundation are restricted for specific use by the donors. Even “unrestricted” funds have specific purposes for various schools, colleges and departments. These funds come from private donors and are administered by fund agreements.
    • In every circumstance donor intent will be honored. The UA Foundation strictly adheres to the Donor Bill of Rights.
  • What will happen to a specific fund if the program it benefits is eliminated or moved to another campus?
    • It is possible that changes to the university may make it impossible, impracticable, or wasteful to fulfill the exact requirements of a fund agreement. In these events, it may be prudent to change the way we administer a fund. If modifications are necessary, we always endeavor to communicate with the original donor(s) and will only make changes in a manner that most closely matches the original purpose and restrictions.
    • Fund agreements that are restricted to support specific programs will be modified to follow that program if it is moved to another campus. Fund agreements that are restricted to support a specific geographic area may be modified so that they can continue to benefit students or programs in that geographic area. Most funds in these circumstances tend to remain effective and relatively unchanged. However, every agreement is different and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Funds will always be used to support the university in the manner that most closely matches the donors’ original intent.
  • What will happen to my pledge if the program I am supporting is eliminated or significantly changed?
    • If the program that you are supporting through a pledge is eliminated or significantly changed, a UA Foundation or campus Development representative will be in touch with you to discuss options.
  • Can I fundraise for an area that I think may be cut in order to help?
    • Thank you for your concern and desire to help. We recommend that you work with the Foundation or assigned Development staff at the campus to coordinate activities and ensure that all solicited funds can be put to use for the purpose they were solicited.
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