Relationship to the University
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.
Advantages to Having the Foundation
- The Foundation provides a private/public partnership vehicle for raising and managing money above that which is appropriated from state funds.
- As a not-for-profit public charity existing solely for the benefit of Clemson University, The Foundation operates in a politically neutral, less restrictive environment. This makes it efficient and effective in carrying out its mission.
- The Foundation allocates unrestricted money to urgent needs that Clemson University is unable to support with state-appropriated funds.
- The Foundation manages donated funds and distributes their earnings according to guidelines monitored and authorized by the independent governing board, much as would be done by the trust department of a bank.