Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make a gift of cash?

When Making a gift with a check, please do the following:

  • Make the check payable to “University of Maine Foundation“.
  • Indicate the fund name or area of support on the memo line of the check or include a letter of instruction stating the fund you wish to support or how you wish the gift to be used.
  • Please send check to:
    University of Maine Foundation
    Two Alumni Place
    Orono, ME 04469-5792 

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How can I establish an endowed fund?

Foundation staff can assist in writing a detailed fund description specifying how the fund will be used and administered or, if you prefer, the fund may be left unrestricted with the President of the University or the Foundation Board of Directors determining how the funds should be used to benefit the University of Maine. Click here for a sample fund description.

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What if I want to gift my forest land and desire for it to be kept as a working forest?

Forest property is a meaningful gift that will benefit the University of Maine for generations through the Foundation’s Green Endowment Program. Quality forestland can supply a long-term source of income for the University while serving as an outdoor classroom for teaching the principles of conservation, forest management and good stewardship. The goal of the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry and Agriculture is to manage donated forestland wisely for generations of students to come.

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How is the Foundation funded?

The University of Maine Foundation, acting as a separate organization, will work collaboratively with all entities to encourage philanthropic support for the University of Maine and other charitable organizations while carrying out the donor’s wishes in perpetuity.

How will my fund keep up with the real rate of educational inflation at UMaine?

The difference between our investment returns and spending policy is returned to build the principal to offset the ravages of inflation. Endowments should maintain their purchasing power over time.

How will my fund keep up with the real rate of educational inflation at UMaine?

Our minimum investment goal is an absolute return of 10%. Our spending policy averages 5% and total fees are 2%. The difference is returned to build the principal to offset the ravages of inflation. Endowments should maintain their purchasing power over time.

Does the Foundation invest in non-traditional equities?

Yes, we have more than 35% of the portfolio in alternatives investments. The investment committee considers many factors including diversification, risk, asset allocation and liquidity. Many times, alternatives have lower volatility and a better risk/return ratio when compared to traditional equities.

How do I make a gift of stock?

Gifts of securities  stocks, bonds, treasuries, and mutual funds that have increased in value can be a way to make meaningful gifts that result in maximum tax savings. When you give qualified property that you have owned for longer than one year, you are entitled to an income tax deduction for the full value of the asset, not just the amount you paid for it. And you will never have to pay the capital gains tax that would be due if you sold the asset.

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What about memorial gifts?

Memorial Gifts are a way to honor someone who has just passed away. The gifts can be used to establish an endowed fund in that person’s memory, or they can simply be used to support immediate needs on the University of Maine campus. Upon receipt of such gifts, the University of Maine Foundation promptly notifies the next of kin or close friends so that they might directly thank the donor, but the value of each gift is not disclosed. Gift receipts also are issued by the Foundation to the donors.

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Who are the Foundation Board members?
Why a Foundation?

A separate foundation can raise and manage money for the University, above and beyond that which is available through state funding, at no cost to the University. The Foundation is operated on a day-to-day basis by a professional staff and is advised by a dedicated Board of volunteers and committee members.

What size fund provides a meaningful scholarship to a student?

An endowed scholarship of $33,000 could generate $1,000 in annual earnings, which is equivalent to only 4.1%* of an in-state student’s total educational costs. Today’s students’ face higher costs each year and overwhelming debt.

What size fund provides a meaningful scholarship to a student?

An endowed scholarship of $33,000 could generate $1,000 in annual earnings, which is equivalent to only 4.1%* of an in-state student’s total educational costs. Today’s students’ face higher costs each year and overwhelming debt.

Could I give a gift and remain anonymous?

Yes. Donor confidentiality is of utmost importance to us. The Foundation strives to maximize donor anonymity to the extent provided by law. Safeguarding donor privacy is good stewardship and a matter of professional ethics.

Under what circumstances would the Foundation ever change the purpose of a fund?

We would not change the purpose of a fund without donor’s permission. If it ever becomes impossible to use a fund, then we would seek relief from the Probate court under the cy pres* doctrine. A gift agreement that provides alternative uses is always recommended.

*The legal doctrine that allows a court freedom in interpreting the terms of a will or gift if carrying out the terms literally would be impracticable or illegal.
What if I want to make a gift online?
What is a donor advised fund? Can I establish one with the Foundation?

A convenient, cost-effective alternative to running a private family foundation, a donor-advised fund lets the donor consolidate charitable giving to the University of Maine as well as to other worthy causes of one’s choosing. Upon making an irrevocable gift to the Fund, the donor receives a tax deduction that year and may recommend that grants be made to the University and other charities. A donor can start a Donor-Advised Fund with a minimum of $10,000.

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When was the Foundation established?

June 9, 1934, is the date when the University of Maine Foundation was officially incorporated, but much preliminary activity dating back to July, 1930, preceded the organization.

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How do I find the Foundation?
What kind of governance is in place to ensure that my gift is used as intended?

board and a stewardship committee work diligently to ensure donor intent is carried out in perpetuity. Our success is based on the trust we have earned over the past 81 years with the highest standards of accountability and stewardship.

How do I know that my gift will make an impact?

There are many intangible benefits received when you invest in education. Private support that helps students achieve their goals affects eternity—you’ll never be able to tell where your influence stops. Many of our students, faculty and administrators write to our benefactors explaining how the gifts have made a difference. The Foundation strives to keep you informed of the fund balance and current earning rate through the annual report.

How do I know that my gift will make an impact?

There are many intangible benefits received when you invest in education. Private support that helps students achieve their goals affects eternity—you’ll never be able to tell where your influence stops. Many of our students, faculty and administrators write to our benefactors explaining how the gifts have made a difference. The Foundation strives to keep you informed of the fund balance and current earning rate through the annual report.