Establishing an endowment is a great way to support the immediate needs of Ball State while also insuring its future well-being.

An endowment fund is established with cash, securities, or other assets through an outright gift or an estate gift. You may also encourage contributions from family and friends to make your fund grow.

Currently, a minimum gift of $25,000 is required to set up a Legacy Endowment. However, for an endowment fund to make a lasting impact, a $50,000 gift is recommended. The fund is permanently restricted in an invested account and only the income from the fund is spent, ensuring that your gift will continue to make a difference in perpetuity.

You may choose to establish an endowment to assist students with scholarships or to support faculty, colleges, programs, or departments. An unrestricted endowment provides ongoing funding for the greatest needs of the university. You can also honor someone special or memorialize a loved one with a named fund.

Set Up an Endowment Fund

Whatever your reason for giving back to Ball State, our staff will work with you to build an endowment gift that matches your interests and vision with the initiatives of Ball State. Please contact us to learn more about setting up your own endowment fund.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Although the specific use may vary greatly, endowment funds have a common objective: to provide support not just for one year, or even one generation, but in perpetuity. An endowment fund is a permanent fund in which the spendable amounts are available for the designated purpose.

Creating an endowment allows you to fulfill your own personal philanthropic goals while helping support the needs and mission of Ball State. Endowments may be established for many reasons including to:

  • permanently honor a loved one or mentor
  • say thank you for an education
  • celebrate personal and professional accomplishments
  • support educational excellence at Ball State
  • assist today's students to become the leaders of tomorrow
  • leave your permanent legacy

Endowments offer you benefits in the form of tax benefits under both state and federal laws. Depending on the type of asset given and the type of gift arrangement selected, it is possible to enjoy current savings on income taxes and gift/estate taxes.

Endowments allow Ball State to create and maintain excellence in academics beyond what can be accomplished from state funding. Endowments have been created to:

  • support scholarships
  • provide faculty teaching and research support such as funds for faculty chairs, distinguished professorships, visiting professorships, or lectureships
  • enhance academic or other program support such as named centers or institutes, departments, or colleges
  • assure unrestricted support that provides funds to allow Ball State to address new and emerging strategic priorities in the future—that may be unanticipated today

Many types of endowments can be created through a Legacy Endowment fund with a required minimum investment of $25,000. Examples include the following:

Scholarship Endowments

Named undesignated scholarships

You may establish an unrestricted scholarship endowment that allows Ball State to award scholarships to the most deserving students.

Named designated scholarships

You may wish to state some preferences regarding your scholarship's recipients. Examples include specific degree majors, financial need, or scholarships for students meeting certain academic requirements. We will work with you to help define acceptable preferences for your scholarship fund.  

Faculty Teaching and Research

A variety of endowment opportunities exist to provide perpetual support for outstanding faculty teaching and research. Endowed administrative and faculty programs lend prestige and visibility to the positions they support and help attract and retain top people in academia. Please contact us for the current minimum amounts required to establish these named endowments Endowment opportunities for faculty teaching and research support include:

  • named endowed chairs
  • named distinguished professorship
  • named visiting professorships
  • named lectureships

Academic Program Support

A variety of endowment opportunities exist to provide permanent support for specific departments, centers, research programs, and other academic programs. Endowment opportunities for academic program support include:

  • named colleges
  • named departments
  • named centers or institute
  • named deans' funds for excellence

Expendable funds do not create permanent legacy endowments. Rather, all of the gifts donated to these funds are wholly expendable. However, you may create permanent endowments from your existing expendable funds, or in addition to such funds. The minimum funding level for an expendable fund is $1,000.

Annually funded scholarships of $1,000 or more can be made to enhance the educational experience of Ball State students. These gifts can:

  • provide resource materials for motivated students
  • support teacher/scholar models who inspire bright young minds by sharing the findings of grant-supported research in the classroom
  • make scholarships available to deserving students who rely on financial help to achieve their goals
  • equip laboratories that prepare students for a technologically advanced work force

Legacy Funds participate in the earnings, gains, and losses of our investment portfolio on a total return basis.

Each year, a percentage (spending rate) of the fund balance, determined by our board of directors, is available for support of the purposes designated in the fund agreement. Any unspent money is retained in the fund to allow for long-term growth. Administrative fees are assessed as a percentage of the fund balance. Currently, a minimum gift of $25,000 is required to establish a Legacy Endowment.


We encourage you to begin your endowment with outright current gifts of cash or assets such as stock or real estate. As a result, you can witness the wonderful beneficial use of your endowment at work for Ball State students, faculty, and programs.

You may also want to plan a gift to add to your endowment—or to create a new endowment—through one of many different types of planned gifts that may defer your donation to a later time or until your passing. 

Here is a list of some of the many different types of planned gifts that you may consider:

  • a bequest in your will or revocable living trust
  • beneficiary designation of your IRA, TIAA-CREF account, or other retirement plan
  • owner and/or beneficiary designation of a life insurance policy
  • remainder interest of a charitable remainder trust or charitable gift annuity that will pay you or loved ones named by you an income prior to death
  • remainder interest in a personal residence or farm, allowing you to live in the home or use the farm for your lifetime
  • income from a charitable lead trust can add to an endowment while you are alive

Some of the tax and financial planning benefits of these planned gift arrangements include those listed below. The specific benefit depends on the type of planned gift and your personal situation:

  • income tax charitable deduction
  • capital gains tax savings
  • estate and gift tax savings
  • payment of income to yourself and/or loved ones named by you for a lifetime or term of years
  • income payment that may grow with market values as a hedge against inflation
  • income payments that remain fixed and guaranteed over time
  • tax-free income
  • return of assets to yourself or loved ones
  • retained use of a personal residence or farm for your lifetime
  • retained ownership by your family or heirs of assets such as stock, real estate, or business interests