A-Z Index

Northwest Foundation Annual Report

FY19 – July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019

Northwest Foundation Inc., the fundraising arm of Northwest, awarded its highest level of scholarship distributions and secured $5.3 million in donor funding during Fiscal Year 2019, a 15 percent increase over last year’s total and adding to a record $22.5 million during the last three years.

As scholarship support remains a central mission of the Foundation, it awarded $1.06 million in financial assistance through 1,344 scholarships during FY19. Those numbers represent the highest dollar amount awarded in the history of the Foundation as well as the highest number of donor-funded scholarships awarded.

“Yet again, thanks to the generosity of our alumni and friends, it has been a landmark year for charitable giving at Northwest,” Dr. Lonelle Rathje ’97,’03, the vice president of external relations at Northwest and executive director of the Northwest Foundation, said. “We are deeply appreciative that our donors understand the extensive effects of optimizing and preserving a comprehensive Northwest education. Their support is testament to Northwest’s student-centric culture, workforce solutions and its resulting performance excellence.”

Eighty-five percent of the total funds raised by the Foundation during FY19 were cash gifts, and 4,480 donors contributed. The Foundation’s total assets under management increased 4.56 percent to $38.2 million, while its endowment stands at more than $26 million. In FY19, the Foundation provided nearly $5 million to the University to support various needs; the Foundation’s University support during the last three years totals $15 million.

To ensure additional funding for scholarships and program needs, the Foundation Board of Directors decreased the management fee assessed on its endowed funds from 1.95 percent to 1.75 percent.

“The Board of Directors thanks our generous donors and friends for making this level of scholarship funding possible,” Jennifer Dawson Nicholson ’71, the president of the Foundation Board, said. “We also thank our hardworking University Advancement staff and leadership, who continue, year after year, to move the missions of the Foundation and University forward. We continue to actively review all expenses attributable to our endowment, and we are very pleased to be able to lower our management fee to help make an even bigger impact for the University.”

Another highlight of FY19 was the opening of the Carl and Cheryl Hughes Fieldhouse, a 137,250 square-foot, $20 million facility designed to serve a multitude of social, recreational and economic needs for the University and region.

As one of the largest public-private partnerships ever in the region, the Hughes Fieldhouse project secured the largest amount of donor funding for a capital project in Northwest’s history with nearly 700 donors providing more than $14 million in gifts and pledges for the project. The Founding 50, a group of lead donors who have committed gifts of $50,000 or greater to the project, grew to a membership of 75 donors whose gifts represent 94 percent of the dollars raised.

Donors provided additional funding for the project through the sale of bricks, pavers, trees and benches to beautify the landscape surrounding the Hughes Fieldhouse. Supporters interested in purchasing bricks, pavers and trees at the facility may do so by visiting

Additionally, the Foundation is actively raising funds for Northwest’s Agricultural Learning Center, a multipurpose facility to be built at Northwest’s 448-acre R.T. Wright Farm. Donors contributed nearly $2.3 million toward the center in FY19, raising the total amount raised for the project to nearly $4.5, while the state of Missouri has allocated $2.5 million for the $8.5 million project. The facility will include classrooms, exposition and laboratory spaces, allowing producers, consumers and all Northwest students opportunities to discuss, learn and strategize solutions for the agriculture industry and food system.

Furthermore, The 1905 Society grew 5.3 percent to 170 members, and the amount contributed increased by 6.46 percent. The 1905 Society recognizes supporters who make an annual unrestricted gift of $1,000 or more. Meanwhile, the Foundation’s annual giving program raised $414,000, an increase of 36 percent compared to FY18.

2019 Bridge (PDF)