Giving - University of Delaware

Providing Stability Against Change

UD's endowment provides the foundation for excellence from which faculty and students learn, achieve and excel.

Endowed Gifts

Endowed gifts are the foundation of excellence at the University of Delaware. A strong endowment allows UD to fund initiatives that will have lasting impact on students’ education and the quality of the institution. Because endowed gifts generate earnings each year, they play a critical role in the University’s long-term financial stability.

Endowed gifts allow a donor to create a legacy that will exist in perpetuity. Through endowment support donors are able to create named scholarships, professorships, fellowships and other funding resources in the areas of study that mean the most to them.

The minimum to endow a fund at the University of Delaware is $50,000. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Beth Brand, Senior Associate Vice President of Development, at 302-831-2104 or

Frequently Asked Questions about Endowments

What is an endowment?

Unlike expendable or current use funds, which are typically used for immediate needs, endowments are assets that are invested in perpetuity. The income from this investment supports the fund’s purpose. Endowed funds are fundamental to the financial stability of all colleges and universities, large and small. They provide a predictable source of income over time on which the university can make commitments and build programs.

UD’s endowment is not, as many may think, a single “pot” of money that can be used at the University’s discretion. In fact, many separate accounts comprise the UD Endowment Fund, and each has its own restrictions on how, and for what purpose, the income may be used, as specified by the donor. As UD’s endowment grows through prudent investment management and gifts, it will help to ensure the University’s strength and stability.

What does the endowment do?

UD’s main sources of income are tuition revenue, research grants, and private support, which include endowment returns and new gifts. Restricted gifts support scholarships, professorships, fellowships or programs, as specified by the donors. Unrestricted gifts provide the greatest flexibility, enabling the university to meet its most immediate needs and invest in opportunities and initiatives that are in the best interest of the future of the University.

Endowment income provides stability against changes such as downturns in the economy, budget cuts, and fluctuations in the political climate.

How does the endowment support the University?

A strong endowment allows UD faculty and administrators to pursue critical initiatives that enhance our ability to be a leader in higher education and research. In addition to providing stability for the future, endowment gifts help the university attract and retain top faculty and students.

The benefits to a faculty member who holds an endowed professorship—which is a faculty appointment supported by the investment return of an endowment gift—include opportunities for enhanced teaching and research, as well as increased prestige. Students benefit from the scholarships, fellowships, and the excellent teaching, programs, and research initiatives that endowment support helps make possible. Through endowment resources, activities can be supported that might not otherwise have had a chance to exist. Generally speaking, the strongest and most stable institutions have the healthiest endowments.