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Washington State University
About the Foundation

Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

How can I make a gift?

There are many ways you can make a gift to support Washington State University. You can select the method of giving that best suits your needs. From making a gift online to transferring stock, we can help you meet your philanthropic goals. Visit our How to Give section to explore the different ways you can make a gift to the WSU Foundation.

Is my gift tax deductible?

Yes, gifts are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law. The WSU Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that is structurally separate from Washington State University and exists solely for WSU’s benefit, serving as the preferred channel for private gifts to all areas of the University. The WSU Foundation’s taxpayer identification number is 91-1075542.

Who decides where my gift will be used?

You do! We find our donors enjoy uniting their personal interests with specific WSU colleges and programs. Explore the colleges, campuses and programs sections below to learn more about supporting specific areas and initiatives at Washington State University.

Arts & Culture
The Libraries
President’s Excellence Fund
Student Affairs
International Programs
Cougar Athletic Fund

How should I make out my check? Where do I send it?

When making a gift by check, please remember to include a contribution card or a statement indicating your gift’s purpose. Gifts made by check should be payable to the WSU Foundation and mailed to:

Washington State University Foundation
PO Box 641927
Pullman, WA  99164-1927

What if I want to be anonymous?

If you wish for your gift to remain anonymous, please indicate your wishes at the time that you make your gift.

What is Call-A-Coug?

You may receive outreach from a WSU student through a call, text, or video as part of the Call-A-Coug Engagement Center. This program connects passionate WSU alumni, parents, and friends with current WSU students to share the impact of giving and opportunities to get involved. Gifts received through Call-A-Coug are designated to directly support the area of your choosing. You can learn more about this program by visiting our Call-A-Coug section.

How do I make a gift online?

You can make a gift online using MasterCard, Visa or American Express by visiting the WSU Foundation’s online giving site.

How do I give a gift of stock or mutual funds?

You can find out more about making a  gift of stock by visiting our Gifts of Stock or Securities page.

How do I give real estate to the WSU Foundation?

You can learn more about making a gift of real estate by visiting our Real Estate & Property page.

How do I learn more about making a planned gift?

The WSU Foundation’s Gift Planning team can assist you with a variety of estate and planned giving options, including bequests, charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, IRA rollovers, gifts of life insurance, and more. Please visit our Estate & Gift Planning section for more information or contact our gift planning team.

Do I need to notify the WSU Foundation if I have included a gift to the Foundation in my will?

We want to know if you’ve chosen to include the WSU Foundation in your estate plans. Those who have included WSU in their Will or estate plans are recognized as Legacy Associates. To let us know that we are included in your estate plan, we invite you to complete the Legacy Associates Member Profile or contact our gift planning office today so that we can assist you with bequest-related needs. Also, you can access sample bequest language through this Web site.

What are my rights as a donor to WSU?

The WSU Foundation adheres to the Donor Bill of Rights (PDF) developed by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, the American Association of Fundraising Counsel, the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. The purpose of the policy is to “assure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the not-for-profit organizations and causes they are asked to support.”

Will I receive a receipt for my gift?

After you make a gift online, you will receive an email from the WSU Foundation confirming your gift. Approximately one to two weeks after making your gift, you will receive a receipt in the mail.

Will my company match my gift to WSU Foundation?

Many employers will match their employees’ gifts to Washington State University. Some employers will even match the gifts of retired employees, spouses, parents, and even gifts from their board of directors. All matched funds will be designated to the area to which you originally contributed your gift. To find out if your company has such a program, visit our Matching Gifts section.

Does the WSU Foundation assess fees on gifts or other transactions?

The WSU Foundation imposes small fees or assessments on gifts and on our endowment. The purposes of these assessments vary. Some assessments are used to recoup specific charges by third party vendors per contract(s) for various services. Others recoup expenses incurred by the WSU Foundation during the ordinary course of business. The WSU Foundation also applies these assessments and fees to create the revenue stream to cover a portion of its operating expenses. For more information about the WSU Foundation’s fee structure, please visit our Fees and Assessments Disclosure page.

Can I make a gift in memory or in honor of someone?

Yes. You will have the option to select whether a gift is to be in honor of or in memory of someone when making a gift online after you’ve designated your gift to any established WSU fund you choose. For more information about creating a new honorary or memorial fund, please visit our Memorials and Tribute Gifts section.

Does the WSU Foundation share my personal information with others?

No. To respect your privacy, the WSU Foundation does not sell or share any of its donor or alumni lists. Please read our privacy policy for more information.

I have more questions about making a gift. Whom do I contact?

If you have additional questions, please contact us at:

Washington State University Foundation
Town Centre, Suite 301
PO Box 641927
Pullman, WA 99164-1927
Phone: 800-448-2978
Fax: 509-335-8419

FAQs about the WSU Foundation

What is the WSU Foundation?

The Washington State University Foundation was established in 1979 as the official fundraising organization for Washington State University. It is a separate, independent entity chartered by the state of Washington as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit education corporation. Gifts made to support WSU through the WSU Foundation are used according to the donor’s wishes, and may not be reallocated by the state. Gifts to the foundation are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. More information about the WSU Foundation can be found in the About Us section.

Why does a state university need private support?

State support is critically important, but it continues to decline as a percentage of the University’s total operating budget, making private contributions from alumni and friends increasingly important if WSU is to fulfill its mission of excellence in scholarship, research, and outreach.

How does the WSU Foundation serve WSU?

The WSU Foundation exists solely for the benefit of WSU and serves as the preferred conduit for private gifts to all areas of the University. The WSU Foundation is governed by a Board of Governors.

Through annual giving programs, planned gifts (those made through Wills, Trusts, and other planned methods), and special-purpose campaigns, the WSU Foundation works with all twelve WSU colleges and many other units, including WSU Libraries, the Museum of Art, Cougar Athletics, International Programs, 4H/Extension, as well as our regional campuses in Spokane, Tri-Cities, and Vancouver, to generate private support from alumni and friends.

How is the WSU Foundation different from the WSU Alumni Association?

The WSU Foundation’s focus is fund raising. The WSU Alumni Association’s focus is “friend raising”. We are two separate organizations that exist to support WSU in different but complementary ways. The mission of the WSU Foundation is to promote, accept, and maximize private support for programs, initiatives, and properties of the entire Washington State University system. The WSU Foundation also prudently manages, invests, and stewards the assets entrusted to it by WSU and its alumni, friends, and donors. More information about the WSU Foundation can be found in the About Us section.

The WSU Alumni Association—through its events, services, and network of chapters across the U.S.—works to find meaningful ways for alumni to become involved with their alma mater. To learn more about the WSUAA visit:

What does the WSU Foundation do with contributions?

We direct your gifts exactly as you specify. Expenditures of these gift funds are made by WSU administrators, faculty, and staff, according to strict guidelines for the use of the money as specified by the donor. Donors often allow the University to direct their gifts where they’re needed most. These are called unrestricted gifts. WSU typically uses unrestricted funds to help provide scholarships, recruit outstanding faculty, facilitate student and faculty research, help defray the costs of traveling to present research, and support important University initiatives for which other funding is not available.

How does the WSU Foundation ensure that donor intent is followed?

If WSU is to continue to thrive in the years ahead, private support is essential. At the WSU Foundation, our job is to do everything we can to maximize that support now and into the future. This means that earning and keeping the trust of our donors is among our very highest priorities. Most of the 60,000+ contributions received by the WSU Foundation annually are cash or credit card gifts made in response to annual mailings and Call-A-Coug telephone outreach campaigns. In those cases, checks or credit card authorizations usually are accompanied by a gift form that has been filled out by the donor either in writing or online, indicating to us that the gift is to be directed to a specific account in support of the WSU program of the donor’s choosing.

When a contributor wishes to make a more complex gift (such as those involving real estate, a variety of non-cash assets, or through a Bequest or Trust), he or she often contacts the WSU Foundation well in advance so we can work more closely with the donor and his or her financial advisor. In these cases, a “Gift Use Agreement” is developed to assure that all involved—the donor and his/her family and advisors, the WSU Foundation, and often the WSU unit(s) that will benefit from the donor’s gift—are in agreement about the nature and designation of the contribution.

What does the WSU Foundation’s IRS Form 990 contain?

As is true of all 501(c)(3) (PDF) charitable organizations, the WSU Foundation is required by federal law to file an annual income tax return, IRS Forms 990 and 990-T, and to make that report available to the public upon request. Our Forms 990 and 990-T contain detailed data such as:

  • The WSU Foundation’s revenues and changes in net assets or fund balances for the year
  • A detailed statement of our yearly operational expenses
  • A description of our major program accomplishments for the year (in our case, the amount of private funding we provide to Washington State University)
  • Detailed balance sheets for the current and previous fiscal year
  • Information about our audited financial statements (reconciliation of revenue and expenses per return)
  • An analysis of income-producing activities and the relationship of those activities to our exempt purpose (i.e., raising funds to benefit WSU)
  • The WSU Foundation’s IRS Form 990 (PDF) is available online. Printed copies can also be obtained by calling the Foundation or visiting the WSU Foundation’s offices in Pullman.

When is the WSU Foundation’s fiscal year?

July 1 through June 30.

How can I find out my total giving to the WSU Foundation?

You may contact the WSU Foundation gift accounting team at 509-335-6686.

FAQs about the Endowment

How can I establish an endowed fund?

Endowments are a particularly powerful investment in WSU’s future because they deliver a dependable, perpetual source of funding. For information about creating an endowed fund at the WSU Foundation, please visit our Creating an Endowment section or contact the WSU Foundation at 800-448-2978 or

How does the WSU Foundation manage its endowment?

For information about how the WSU Foundation Endowment Fund is managed, click here or contact the WSU Foundation at or 509-448-2978.

What is the current market value of the WSU Foundation’s Endowment?

To learn more about the WSU Foundation Endowment Fund’s performance click here.

Will I get a report on how my fund is being used?

Donors who have established an endowed fund with the WSU Foundation or their contacts will receive an annual endowment report (generally in November) showing how the specific fund has been used, the balance of the fund, and any growth the fund has experienced. We are also happy to prepare a report on an as-needed basis by contacting the WSU Foundation at 509-335-6686.

Washington State University Foundation