The Right Choice for Your Success

Giving to WIU -- Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question that does not appear on this list, or would like clarification on any of the topics  provided, we'd love to hear from you! Please call 309/298-1861, or e-mail us at


Why Gifts Are Needed

Western Illinois University is no longer a state-supported, but rather a state-assisted University. State dollars currently provide only 25% of the total funding needs of the University. This percentage is shrinking as higher education continues to compete with many other demands on state revenue.

Since state support is declining relative to the University's total operating budget and limited increases can be expected in tuition, private gifts are becoming increasingly important to Western Illinois University.

Private funding supplements state and federal dollars and supports many special programs and projects not possible through usual funding sources.

How Funds are Used

Are there different ways to make a gift to Western Illinois University?

The manner by which you choose to make a gift is a matter of personal preference and situation. The WIU Foundation offers a variety of gift options you may wish to explore.

Careful planning can maximize the positive effects of outright contributions such as cash, appreciated securities, real estate and gifts of personal property, as well as deferred gifts such as bequests, testamentary trusts, life income trusts, and gifts of life insurance.

Who determines how the WIU Foundation's funds are used?

You, the donor, specify how the gift will be used.

Many individuals choose to support academic departments, scholarship funds or other causes.

In some cases the donor elects to make an unrestricted gift. Unrestricted gifts also benefit the University by allowing the WIU Foundation greater flexibility in directing the gift to help students with worthy programs and improve the educational quality of the institution.

Amount &/or Types of Gifts

How big does my gift have to be to make a difference?

You might be surprised to learn that all gifts, big and small, help the University. Last year, the WIU Foundation received more than 24,000 gifts from alumni, friends and parents, faculty and staff, corporations, businesses and foundations, and other organizations. The majority of those gifts were under $500. When you give, you join thousands of proud alumni and friends of the University who share your dedication and enthusiasm for Western Illinois University.

What is the Annual Fund?

The Annual Fund allows our alumni and friends to align their personal values with gifts to the areas on campus that are most important to them. From funding scholarship programs and enhancing learning opportunities to supporting colleges and departments across campus, Annual Fund gifts have an immediate and direct impact on the lives of Western students.

Although donors may direct an annual gift to the University online at any time, the Annual Fund is an eight month direct mail and telephone outreach initiative that allows our staff the opportunity to maintain and enhance relationships with our friends and alumni by informing them of upcoming campus events, updating personal information and assisting donors in directing their gift to their area of choice.

What is an Unrestricted Gift?

Unrestricted gifts to the Foundation’s Fund for a Greater Western are especially significant as they allow the Foundation to direct funds to the areas of greatest need to advance the mission and core values of Western Illinois University.

What is a Matching Gift?

Corporate matching gifts (received from companies who match their employee’s charitable contributions) also contribute to the overall Annual Fund total, and are credited to our donors when determining inclusion in membership giving clubs.

By mailing your completed matching gift form (available from your human resource office) along with your gift, you can double your support of Western students. Many employers also match gifts from their employee’s spouses and retirees. To see if your employer participates in a matching gift program, visit our matching gift page.

What is an endowment fund?

A gift of at least $25,000 can establish an endowment, a fund that is invested by the WIU Foundation to fund programs in perpetuity.

The principal remains intact, and interest earned by the endowment is used to fund the designated programs. Typical spending for an endowment fund is approximately 4.5 percent. Any additional earnings are reinvested in the fund to ensure future growth.

Does the WIU Foundation accept gifts of personal property?

Gifts of tangible personal property such as real estate, special collections, books, works of art, antiquities, and computer and scientific equipment can be of value in support of the University's mission. Many of these items are tax deductible to the extent provided by the law.

May I honor or memorialize someone with a gift?

Many individuals make gifts in honor or in memory of someone else. These gifts are a marvelous way of helping students and celebrating the life of a loved one at the same time. When you make your gift to WIU Foundation, please include the name and address of the person you are celebrating. If the person is deceased, include the name and address of the family. When we receive your gift and accompanying notification information, we will send a memorial letter to the individual or their family telling them of your thoughtful gesture.

Can I make a gift anonymously and forgo being publicly recognized?

The WIU Foundation will respect your desire for anonymity and will not disclose your gift. We are proud to recognize the generosity of our donors through published donor lists and donor recognition events. When donors notify us that they choose not to be publicly recognized for their support, we will accommodate the request. Anonymous donors must provide personal information for tax purposes, but that information will remain confidential.

How Gifts Are Given

Can I make a gift payable over a period of time?

The WIU Foundation is pleased to accommodate donor preferences. Gift commitments can be fulfilled in annual, semi-annual, quarterly or monthly installments over a five-year period, or through other arrangements with the WIU Foundation.

What happens when I make a pledge over a period of time?

When making a pledge, our office records your payment schedule according to your wishes. We send pledge reminders before your scheduled payment is due.

Can I make my gift with a credit card?

Yes. The WIU Foundation accepts VISA, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.

Where do I send my gift or direct questions?

We invite you to stop by and visit us anytime. You can send your gift/check made payable to the WIU Foundation. If interested in speaking to a member of our staff, please contact the WIU Foundation by writing, calling or e-mailing us at:

WIU Foundation
Western Illinois University
1 University Circle
Sherman Hall 303
Macomb, IL 61455

Phone: (309) 298-1861
Fax: (309) 298-1761

Greatest Needs

Where will my gift make the greatest difference?

Your gift makes a difference wherever it is used. Every gift, whatever its size, is needed and appreciated by the WIU Foundation. Our staff works closely with University officials to determine fund raising priorities. These priorities provide staff with the basis to match donor interests with academic needs. Staff can also assist donors in structuring philanthropic plans to meet their personal charitable and financial objectives.

Verification & Tax Info for Gifts

How do I know if the University has received my gift?

Once a gift has been received and deposited, a formal receipt will be mailed to you detailing the amount, date receipted, and designation of your gift. Your gift will be recognized in the annual Gift and Grant Honor Roll for the appropriate fiscal year, which runs from July 1 to June 30.

What should I do if my receipt information is incorrect?

The WIU Foundation strives to ensure the accuracy of donor records. If the information outlining your gift is incorrect, please call 309/298-1861, or e-mail us at We would be pleased to correct the information and replace your receipt.

Do gifts to the WIU Foundation qualify as an income tax deduction?

The WIU Foundation is a not-for-profit (or charitable) 501 (c) (3) organization. Contributions to the WIU Foundation are tax deductible in the manner and to the extent provided by section 170 of the internal revenue code. It is recommended that you consult your tax advisor regarding the exact deductibility of gifts to the WIU Foundation.

What is the cut-off date for my gift to qualify for a tax deduction?

Tax-deductible gifts must be postmarked on or before December 31st of any given year to qualify for a tax-deductible receipt for that year.

Finally, if there is someone in particular at the WIU Foundation you would like to contact, scroll through the list of WIU Foundation and Development staff or College and Unit Development contacts to locate that individual.