Independence permits flexibility in the options for short-term investment of money needed for near-term expenditures and in choosing long-term investment opportunities for endowment assets. An independent foundation can accept and sell property more expeditiously than the state. Additionally, an independent organization can more effectively maintain confidentiality of donor information when anonymity is important to benefactors.
Full independence comes at a substantial cost. Staff salaries and operating budgets could consume a major part of the Foundation's unrestricted gift and income revenue and greatly reduce benefits for Clemson University. Consequently, the independently incorporated Clemson University Foundation has only assets and donor records and very minimal staff - thus, the Clemson University/Clemson University Foundation partnership.
In addition, a contractual agreement between the University and the Foundation requires the University to provide staff, office space and computer services. The University and the Foundation accommodate appropriate reimbursements for salaries and office space.