The Wesleyan Fund
10 Things Everyone Should Know

1. What is the Wesleyan Fund?
The Wesleyan Fund, formerly the annual fund, supports the daily operations of the University throughout the year. Alumni, parents, and friends support this critical component of IWU's overall operating budget.

2. Where exactly do my dollars go?
Unless otherwise indicated, all Wesleyan Fund contributions go to supporting student financial assistance. IWU's budget has three main sources of income: tuition and fees, the endowment, and gifts. All colleges are feeling pressure on the first two because we can't be irresponsible or unrealistic in raising tuition and fees to a point where families can't afford the University, and recent market conditions have cut into income available to us through the endowment. That is why your gifts make the difference in IWU's ability to provide a quality education.

3. Why doesn't the University tighten its belt?
We have. The recent economic downturn has impacted colleges and universities greatly, and Illinois Wesleyan is no exception. We have frozen budgets for the past few years, and we are trying to minimize tuition increases because we understand that the financial climate affects families just as it affects institutions. One important fact to note is that the University's comprehensive fees cover only about two-thirds of the actual cost to educate each student. The difference between what the student pays and the actual cost for that student's education is made up with income from the endowment and by your gifts. That is how you make a real difference to IWU students.

4. Will my gift make any significant difference if I can only afford to give a small amount?
Absolutely. Every gift to the Wesleyan Fund has an impact. Each dollar given to the Wesleyan Fund is the equivalent of $20 in endowment---that is, the University would need 20 endowment dollars to match the spending power of each dollar designated to the Wesleyan Fund (this is because the University draws off the endowment at 5%). Every gift does indeed have an impact, and the money you give is truly important.

5. Why does it matter whether or not alumni participate in the Wesleyan Fund?
Our alumni giving percentage affects the University in a number of ways. Many foundations and corporations use alumni giving participation as a determining factor in deciding whether or not to fund grant requests. Also, college rankings judge the alumni's satisfaction with their university in large part on the percentage who donate each year. While IWU's participation hovers around 19%, our peer institutions average 31% participation from their alumni. Think of your gift as a vote for IWU because that's what it is. Your gift means more than money alone.

6. Can I determine where my money goes?
Yes. When you make your Wesleyan Fund gift or pledge, you have the opportunity to indicate a specific department or area of the University that you wish to support. Just mark it on the form you fill out or in the comments section on the secure web site.

7. Why should I give to IWU when there are so many other worthy causes?
Indeed, there are many charities and organizations that need, and are worthy of, financial support. We just ask that Illinois Wesleyan be among those you support. Your gift to IWU makes a difference to the future because the University is educating leaders of tomorrow---those who will bring the lessons they've learned at IWU to their personal and professional lives. Our graduates make a difference locally and across the world, so by supporting IWU you are doing good now and in the future.

8. Will my employer match my gift?
More than a thousand companies offer varying levels of corporate match for their employees' philanthropic interests.  Best of all, you are recognized for the full amount of your own gift plus any resulting corporate match. If you are not sure whether or not your employer matches gifts, please contact us at or by phone at (309) 556-3091. If you know your company is eligible, request a matching gift form from your Human Resources office, and send it completed and signed with your gift. We will do the rest. The impact of your gift may be doubled or tripled!

9. Can I make a gift to IWU using my credit card?
Yes, you can. We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. You can fill out your credit card information on any gift form sent to you, or call toll-free 888-IWU-ALUM for additional information. The IWU web site is a quick and secure way to make a credit card gift, as well--and you can even set up installment payments. To give on-line, visit

10. When does Illinois Wesleyan's fiscal year begin and end?
IWU's fiscal year runs from August 1 to July 31.