UW Foundation Community Funds
This document contains information on UW Foundation Community funds. The difference between a regular discretionary fund and a community fund are explained. This document also explains the purpose of these funds and how the funds may be used.
There is a distinction between a regular discretionary UWF fund and a UW Foundation Community Fund. A regular UW Foundation discretionary fund can be used for anything that UW Foundation funds can normally pay for. This includes all sorts of items and activities, but it doesn't include, for example, meetings among department members, social events, holiday parties, retirement parties, cards or flowers for staff members. The latter items in that list include things that really have no UW Business purpose, so it is fairly easy to see why a special fund should be used to pay for those types of expenses. Meetings among department members are a little different, and require some explanation. We don't pay for meals or refreshments that are served at departmental meetings, meetings between mentor and adviser, or at regular classroom sessions. Yes, these things are UW business, but if we were to approve payment for such things on UW or regular UWF funds, potentially thousands of meals could be charged per day to UW or UW Foundation funding. We all provide our own lunches when we are at work, why should the UW or UW Foundation pay for employee meals if they happen to occur during a routine meeting, class, or discussion between employees? We do permit meal reimbursement or direct payment for meetings or events that involve people outside the department because they are distinct from regular day-to-day departmental functions. Purpose UW Foundation Community funds are designed specifically for items that cannot be paid by UW or regular UW Foundation funds, like expenses for social events, morale boosting activities, and/or meals and refreshments for day-to-day meetings. UW Foundation Community funds may be used to buy lunch for departmental faculty, pay for a retirement or holiday party, or purchase a sympathy card for a staff member. UW Foundation does not allow us to use a regular UW Foundation discretionary fund in this way because they don't want donor funds used in a way that may run contrary to the donor's wishes. Most donors who give money to regular UW Foundation funds would not anticipate that their money may be used for staff morale or entertainment expenses. On the other hand, donors to Community funds are aware that their donations may be used in this way. These things do need to be paid for, so UW Foundation developed Community funds to fill the gap. Most donors to UW Foundation Community funds are faculty and staff from the department, but non-departmental donors may make donations to Community funds. Like any UW Foundation donor, donors to community funds receive tax deductions based on their giving. UW Foundation Community Funds are the only funding that can be used to pay for premium water service when there is no FP&M documentation of a water quality problem. Coffee and coffee makers for faculty and staff use are other expenses only payable by UW Foundation Community funds. Several L&S departments utilize their UW Foundation Community funds for filtered water and staff coffee supplies. Note that UW Foundation Community funds are not permitted to purchase gifts or gift cards. Greeting cards and flowers are permitted. Contact your department UW Foundation Development officer to set up a UW Foundation Community fund. Departments are encouraged to do so because Community funds fill some important funding gaps.