The UNI Foundation is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization, separate from the university. About 80% of public colleges and universities have such foundations and this arrangement offers several advantages:
By law, the foundation is able to keep confidential gift records, wills, trust agreements, correspondence and other personal documents related to gifts.
Funds given to the UNI Foundation for designated purposes can only be used for those purposes. The small amount of funds given as undesignated gifts can be used only for purposes designated by the UNI Foundation's Board of Trustees. No other agency, including the State, can designate how these funds will be used.
Return on investment
State statutes limit how state institutions can invest their funds. The foundation, subject to different, but equally stringent, rules and regulations, can realize a significantly higher return on the endowment.
Gift funds can also be used for purposes specified by the donor that State monies cannot, for example, to create new faculty positions at times when State funds for positions are frozen.