Frequently Asked Questions

Supporting UB and the community

How does the UB Foundation benefit the university?
The UB Foundation plays a vital role in helping the University at Buffalo establish, expand and enhance its reputation as a leading public research institution. We are proud to support and promote UB’s activities and programs by assisting in the acquisition of strategic assets, managing and providing resources, and making an array of services available for the university community.

What types of services does the UB Foundation provide?

We help the University at Buffalo achieve its goals for the benefit of faculty, staff, students, alumni and the community. In general, we provide financial services, real estate management, and many other key services that help advance UB, including:

  • Supporting scholarships, faculty research, and recruitment of top talent to the university
  • Managing investments (including the endowment) for the benefit of UB
  • Attracting donations through effective gift stewardship
  • Facilitating construction for the benefit of the university
  • Providing UB with the financial flexibility enjoyed by private colleges and universities

Our myriad services have helped UB save millions of dollars, meet the increasing demand for on-campus housing, and further its goals in economic development.

About the UB Foundation

What type of foundation is the UB Foundation?
We are a public charity, commonly known as a 501(c)(3) organization. Unlike other foundations (including family foundations), we do not focus solely on philanthropy, and we do not manage fundraising for UB (which is handled by the university’s Division of Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement). Rather, we are typical of many campus-related foundations at other leading colleges and universities. Please note that each affiliate is an independent 501(c)(3) entity.
What is the benefit of the UB Foundation’s status as an independent, private organization?

As an independent, private entity, we have the flexibility and responsiveness needed to provide the maximum benefit to UB, our community, and our state and local taxpayers. For example, when UB wanted to develop the new Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, the UB Foundation was able to secure the necessary land quickly and efficiently—saving the university and the taxpayers an estimated $8.4 million in construction-related costs.

What privacy standards does the UB Foundation follow?
The privacy standards we follow are protected by New York State law, and supported by a ruling from the New York State Supreme Court. Operating as a private entity is considered a best practice for campus-related foundations nationwide, because it provides universities with benefits that are widely believed to be very helpful in achieving their mission.
How is the UB Foundation organized?

We are made up primarily of seven separate affiliated entities. Each one of these affiliates provides specific expertise, insight and value in a key area that supports UB’s mission. For example, one affiliate is focused on student housing, another holds the endowment, and another supports university faculty and staff who receive external awards.

Who works for the UB Foundation?

UB Foundation Activities, Inc. has both paid staff and volunteer board members; none of the other affiliates has employees (but they do have additional volunteers). As part of our service to UB, the UB Foundation provides payroll administration for UB faculty and staff who are funded with UB Foundation resources.

How is the UB Foundation committed to transparency and accountability?
We are a private, independent organization supporting a public institution. Because of our role and responsibilities, we are accountable to numerous parties, including University at Buffalo leadership, donors, and federal, state and local authorities in human resources, legal affairs, real estate management, financial affairs and more. We exceed the standards required by New York State or federal law, and operate with the appropriate levels of accountability and transparency.
  • We follow business practices that are consistent with best practices among campus-related foundations nationwide
  • We provide audited financial statements and 990s, as well as details about the performance of the endowment, on this website
  • We file annual information returns with the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Department of Labor, New York State Attorney General, New York State Charities Bureau, and New York State Department of Financial Services
  • We are audited yearly by an independent public accountant and periodically by federal and state authorities
  • Our donors receive acknowledgements for donations, and annual stewardship reports on endowments

Fundraising and gifts

Does the UB Foundation set fundraising priorities for UB?

No. UB sets priorities for its fundraising; the UB Foundation supports the university. Our job is to ensure that each donor’s gift is used as intended, whether a donor chooses to support an academic unit or program, establish a scholarship for students in need, or establish an endowed chair.

How does the UB Foundation attract resources for UB?
The UB Foundation accepts funds from the private sector. Many of these donors prefer to make their gifts to private, independent organizations like the UB Foundation, rather than to state or public entities.
Does the UB Foundation handle fundraising?

Fundraising for the University at Buffalo—a critical endeavor, given declining state funding and other factors—is conducted primarily through UB’s Division of Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement, and in collaboration with other units throughout UB. We support the university’s fundraising needs by providing transactional services, ensuring the gifts are allocated as designated, and providing receipts and tax documentation to donors.

How does the UB Foundation’s status as an independent, private organization benefit donors?
Being a private organization helps us attract the financial gifts that benefit UB’s students, faculty and academic programs. Our commitment to confidentiality builds confidence among donors, and allows the university to attract vital resources. As a private organization, we can:
  • Give donors the flexibility to specify how their gift should be used
  • Protect each donor’s privacy—and his or her personal financial information—by not disclosing gift agreements
  • Uphold our responsibility to represent the interests of donors, often in perpetuity
Are gifts for UB tax deductible?

Yes. Gifts in support of UB go through the UB Foundation—a public charity as defined by the IRS (Section 501(c)(3)). Please check with your tax advisor for details.