Wichita State first generation students walking on the second floor of the Rhatigan Student Center on campus

Answers to frequently asked questions

You’ll find helpful information about the WSU Foundation and its functions here. If your question is not addressed here, please email us at foundation@wichita.edu.


  • Who are we?

    The WSU Foundation was formed in 1965 as the fundraising arm for Wichita State University. The Foundation is a separate 501c(3) nonprofit corporation chartered by the state of Kansas. Gifts supporting Wichita State flow through the WSU Foundation and are used according to the donors’ wishes. Gifts are tax-deductible to the full extent as governed by Section 170b of the IRS code.

  • Why is private support important?

    WSU is a state-assisted public university, with state support providing about 25 percent of the university’s educational costs. The remainder comes from these sources: tuition, auxiliary services, grants and contracts, and private philanthropic support through the WSU Foundation. Private support is critical to help create a margin of excellence that is unattainable without it.

  • What happens once a gift is contributed to the WSU Foundation?

    The gift will be placed in an existing fund or a new fund, depending upon the donor’s designation. One type is called current and may be spent entirely. The other type of fund is an endowed fund, which is invested so it will exist in perpetuity. A portion of earnings from endowed funds are distributed annually to the university recipients.

  • How are the WSU Foundation’s fundraising priorities determined?

    Each college is assigned at least one development staff member who discusses priorities with the college dean. Deans present their priorities to the WSU Foundation’s leadership team. Next, the Foundation’s president and CEO meets with the WSU provost and president to determine which priorities will be emphasized during the coming year, as we seek private support.

  • Are any fees assessed on the gift?

    As an independent organization that receives no public funds, the WSU Foundation assesses fees to support the essential work of advancing Wichita State. The WSU Foundation’s fee structure is periodically reviewed and approved by its Board of Directors. Currently, the WSU Foundation has three distinct fees:

    Endowment Administrative Fee:
    On July 1 of each year, all endowed funds are charged a 1.65 percent fee that is based on a 20-quarter rolling average of the market value.

    Liquidation Fee:
    The WSU Foundation assesses a 5 percent liquidation fee on estate gifts as they are received.

    Foundation Fee:
    A one-time fee of 5 percent is assessed on all incoming gifts, including endowments. For example, for a gift of $1,000, $50 goes to the WSU Foundation for operating costs and $950 goes to the purpose designated by the donor. Using this same example, if the donor wanted the full $1,000 to go to the designated purpose, he/she could donate an additional $50 (in addition to the $1,000) to cover the 5 percent fee.

  • Who governs the WSU Foundation?

    A volunteer board of directors governs the Foundation. Currently, we have 19 voting members who meet three times a year. Members are elected and authorized to act on behalf of the National Advisory Council, a group of about 110 alumni and friends who promote Wichita State University and help guide the work of the WSU Foundation.