Topic: Administrative

November 6, 2007

David Bahlmann
The Ball State University Foundation was recently named the Small Nonprofit of the Year for its outstanding investment policies.

David Bahlmann, foundation president and chief executive officer, and Tom Heck, vice president of operations and treasurer, accepted the award at the seventh annual Nonprofit Awards for Excellence Oct. 22 in San Francisco. Nominees were selected by the editorial staff of Alternative Investment News and its sister publication Foundation & Endowment Money Management.

Ball State was selected over several thousand peer organizations and finalists Florida State University Foundation and Kenyon College to win the category for foundations with endowments of less than $500 million. Universities were considered for the award based on performance, investment decisions and use of managers/consultants.

"It is especially gratifying to receive an award like this when your achievements are, fundamentally, the result of a cultural commitment to excellence," said Indianapolis businessman Tony Schneider, chairman of the foundation's board of directors and a 1980 Ball State graduate. "With an eye carefully focused on the future, we don't shy away from innovation and creativity, and we execute with a purpose. This planning and execution has been going on for decades, but I don't recall that our previous results have earned such high marks."

The work of the board's investment committee, currently chaired by J. Richard Emens, an attorney from Columbus, Ohio, along with consultant Hammond Associates and foundation staff has achieved a five-year average return of 16 percent as of Sept. 30. As a result, the foundation ranks in the first quartile in investment returns among its peers.

With assets in excess of $235 million, the foundation receives, invests and administers gifts from private sources made for the support of the university. Through the creation of donor scholarships and continuing support for faculty development, research, physical plant needs, special projects, distinguished professorships and other educationally related programs, the foundation and its donors provide millions of dollars of critical support to Ball State.