MARYVILLE, Mo. — Northwest Foundation Inc., the fundraising arm of Northwest Missouri State University, recently reported awarding its second-highest level of scholarship distributions while securing $5.3 million in donor funding during fiscal 2019.
That's a 15-percent increase over last year’s total and adds a record $21.5 million over the past three years.
The foundation awarded $1.04 million in student financial aid through 1,344 scholarships for the year.
According to a university release, those numbers represent the highest dollar amount awarded in foundation history as well as the highest number of donor-funded scholarships.
“Yet again, thanks to the generosity of our alumni and friends, it has been a landmark year for charitable giving at Northwest,” said Lonelle Rathje, university vice president of external relations and the foundation's executive director.
“We are deeply appreciative that our donors understand the extensive effects of optimizing and preserving a comprehensive Northwest education.”
The release stated that 85 percent of the total funds raised by the foundation during fiscal 2019 were cash gifts, and that 4,480 donors contributed.
Northwest Foundation’s total assets under management increased 4.56 percent to $38.2 million, while its endowment stands at more than $26 million.
On the year, the foundation provided nearly $5 million to the university in support of various needs, bringing such assistance over the last three years to a total of about $15 million.
In addition, the foundation's Board of Directors decreased the management fee assessed on its endowed funds from 1.95 percent to 1.75 percent.
Foundation Board President Jennifer Dawson Nicholson issued thanks to “our generous donors and friends for making this level of scholarship funding possible.”
She added: “We also thank our hardworking University Advancement staff and leadership who continue, year after year, to move the missions of the foundation and university forward.
“We continue to actively review all expenses attributable to our endowment, and we are very pleased to be able to lower our management fee to help make an even bigger impact for the university.”
Highlights during the year included the opening of the Carl and Cheryl Hughes Fieldhouse, a 137,250-square-foot, $20 million facility designed to house a variety of athletic and recreational programs and special events.
The fieldhouse effort attracted the largest amount of donor funding for a capital project in Northwest history with nearly 700 donors providing more than $14 million in gifts and pledges.
The Founding 50, a group of lead donors who committed gifts of $50,000 or more, grew to comprise 75 members whose gifts represented 94 percent of the private dollars raised.
Additional funding came from the sale of bricks, pavers, trees and benches surrounding the fieldhouse.
Supporters can continue to make such donations by going to www.nwmissouri.edu/HughesFieldhouse/giving.htm.
Other initiatives involving the foundation include raising money for a proposed Agricultural Learning Center at the university-owned R.T. Wright Farm north of Maryville.
Donors contributed nearly $2.3 million toward the center in fiscal 2019, bringing the total amount raised to nearly $4.5.
The State of Missouri has allocated $2.5 million toward the $8.5 million center, which is to include classrooms and exposition and laboratory space.
On other fronts, Northwest's 1905 Society grew 5.3 percent to 170 members, boosting contributions from the group by 6.46 percent. The society recognizes those who make annual unrestricted gifts of $1,000 or more.
Meanwhile, the foundation’s annual giving program raised $414,000 during fiscal '19, an increase of 36 percent over the previous year.
a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, the foundation is tasked with receiving, investing and disbursing private gifts from Northwest supporters seeking to benefit the university. It is governed by a 39-member volunteer board and professionally staffed by members of Northwest’s Office of University Advancement.