Endowed Gifts

Endowed gifts are the foundation of excellence at the University of Delaware. A strong endowment allows UD to fund initiatives that will have a lasting impact on students’ education and the quality of the institution. Because endowment gifts generate earnings each year, they play a critical role in the University’s long-term financial stability.

Endowments allow a donor to create a legacy that will exist in perpetuity. Donors create named scholarships, professorships and fellowships in areas of study they care deeply about.

The minimum to endow a fund at the University of Delaware is $50,000. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Beth Brand, Associate Vice President of Development at:

(302) 831-2104 or bgbrand@udel.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions about Endowments

What is an endowment?

Endowment refers to assets that are invested in perpetuity, unlike expendable funds which are typically used for immediate needs. Endowed funds are fundamental to the financial stability of all colleges and universities, large and small. They provide a predictable source of income over time on which the university can make commitments and build programs.

UD’s endowment is not, as many may think, a single “pot” of money that can be used at the University’s discretion. In fact, many separate accounts comprise the endowment, and each has its own restrictions about how, and for what purpose, the income may be used, as specified by the donor. As UD’s endowment grows through prudent investment management and gifts, it will help to ensure the University’s strength and stability.

What does the endowment do?

UD’s main sources of income are tuition revenue, research grants, and private support, which includes endowment returns and new gifts. Restricted gifts support scholarships, professorships, fellowships or programs, as specified by the donors. Unrestricted gifts support the general operating budget, enabling the university to meet its most immediate needs and invest in new opportunities and initiatives that are in the best interest of the future of the University.

Endowment income provides stability against changes such as downturns in the economy, budget cuts, and fluctuations in the political climate.

How does the endowment support the University?

A strong endowment allows UD faculty and administrators to pursue critical initiatives that enhance our ability to be a leader in higher education and research. In addition to providing stability for the future, endowment gifts help the university attract and retain top faculty and students.

The benefits to a faculty member who holds an endowed professorship—which is a faculty appointment supported by the investment return of an endowment gift—include opportunities for enhanced teaching and research, as well as increased prestige. Students benefit from the scholarships, fellowships, and the excellent teaching, programs, and research initiatives that endowment support helps make possible. Through endowment resources, activities can be supported that might not otherwise have had a chance to exist. Generally speaking, the strongest and most stable institutions have strong endowments.