Policy 57

Fund Raising Priorities
Policy #57


The annual operations budget of the University, based on allocations from the University of Wisconsin System budget, basically covers salaries and day-to-day supplies and expenses related to the general operations of the University. Purchases of capital equipment, special program initiatives, support for research and scholarships, and similar activities typically require special funding above and beyond the annual operations budgets for various departments.

Funds to support these activities come from a variety of sources. Some funds come from special allocations or appropriations such as the Business Education Improvement, Information Technology and Laboratory Modernization initiatives. Some funds, such as those related to research, come from grants and contracts. Other funds, such as scholarships, are provided from private contributions.

These policies and procedures are designed to cover planned funding priorities. From time to time, special needs or funding opportunities will arise which will need to be considered outside this planning process. On those occasions, special needs should be brought to the attention of the appropriate senior officer who is also a member of the The Chancellor's Cabinet, who, in turn, will present the special needs for review by the Council and ultimate approval by the Chancellor. In the case of special funding opportunities, i.e. a potential contributor offers in-kind gifts or services or cash to the University, the University's approved Fund Raising Policies (#22 - Administrative Policies Handbook) will apply.


Planned funding priorities will be determined through a rational process that justifies individual program priorities in the context of the University's mission, strategic directions and its short- and long-term goals.

The Chancellor, calling on the Chancellor's Cabinet and other groups as she/he deems appropriate for input and advice, makes the final determination about funding priorities and their sources of funding.

Priorities need to be determined both annually and for the longer term. Setting priorities for the long term is particularly important to planning for major capital/endowment campaigns.

Recommended sources of funding may include, but not be limited to, any or all of the following: private contributions, special UW System allocations, capital equipment allocations, and reallocation of existing resources.

Whenever private contributions are designated to be the source of funds, the development staff will be asked to evaluate the feasibility of fund-raising efforts prior to a final determination of funding source. In addition, a determination will be made as to whether or not development staff will have direct involvement in the fund-raising effort or provide only advice and consultation.

Initiatives to raise private contributions, whether implemented by departmental/program staff, the development staff, or a combination of the two, must first be assigned a priority through the process defined in these policies and procedures. 

Procedures and Timeline for Planned Fund-Raising Priorities


1. The Chancellor, in consultation with the Chancellor's Cabinet and other groups as appropriate, reviews/determines strategic directions and institutional goals for both the current year and the long-term and defines general priorities for special funding.

2. Senior officers will review these directions, goals and general priorities with their respective deans and/or directors and further define priorities in the contexts of their respective schools and/or program units.

3. Deans and directors will, in turn, discuss directions, goals and priorities with department chairs and/or appropriate program managers.


4. Department chairs and directors of programs/units, both academic and nonacademic, after discussion with their respective faculty and/or staff, will submit ranked lists of priorities to their dean or assistant chancellor. These lists will include (1) a brief, detailed description of each priority, (2) an explanation of how each priority contributes to institutional goals and directions, (3) a recommended ranking along with a justification for the recommended ranking, and (3) a reliable estimate of cost.

5. The Provost's Cabinet will discuss academic priorities with the provost/vice chancellor and assign priorities to a consolidated list of funding priorities. The list of academic priorities will be submitted to the Chancellor.

6. The vice chancellors and executive director may discuss priorities with their respective staffs and develop a consolidated list of priorities for each division which shall be forwarded to the Chancellor.


7. The Chancellor will confer with the Chancellor's Cabinet and others as appropriate and will develop an institutional list of funding priorities and recommended funding sources. This list will be shared, in writing, with the Chancellor's Cabinet, deans, program directors, and department chairs. Requests for reconsideration of priorities will be accepted by the Chancellor in writing.

8. The Chancellor will request a feasibility report from the executive director of university advancement for those priorities designated for possible support from private contributions.

9. The Chancellor will issue a final report on approved special funding priorities and their assigned sources of funding to the Chancellor's Cabinet, the deans, directors, and department chairs.


10. Where private contributions are designated as the source of support, the Chancellor will present a list of fund raising priorities to the Development Committee of the Foundation.


*Revised Fall 2022

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