UW Foundation could lose matching funds

Dec 2, 2011

When Governor Mead announced his biennial budget proposal this week, it didn’t include the 50-million-dollars in state matching funds the U-W Foundation requests, and often receives, year after year to incentivize major private donations.

U-W Foundation President Ben Blalock says he will petition the Legislature to approve the request for matching funds, which are an important fundraising tool for the university.

“Our contributors have become very fond of this program, and they ask about the availability of matching dollars… So when it comes to asking contributors to make key gifts to UW, they have been greatly strengthened for the past decade, and we know that it will be the same case going forward."

Mead’s budget did allocate 10-million dollars remaining in Abandoned Mine Lands funds to support matching funds for U-W’s School of Energy Resources.

Blalock says the Foundation will not be able to access that money for other key projects it plans to finance.

"They would be focused on the area of wildlife, livestock disease, support for literacy programs, focus on the life sciences and also in athletics."

Blalock says the Foundation has less than two-million dollars left from last year’s allocation, which he expects will be used up before the Legislature meets.