Missouri Western Annual Fund

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the Western Annual Fund?

A. Every year, Missouri Western works to raise undesignated funds, also known as the Missouri Western Annual Fund, to help support its mission and provide students an educational experience of the highest quality. Annual, undesignated gifts provide funds to many of the programs and priorities on campus that do not receive regular designated support, such as classroom equipment and experience-enriching programs around campus. This year, Missouri Western kicks off its Annual Fund in January with a goal of $250,000 for 2015.


Q. What will my gift support?

A. There are several basic areas of focus in the annual fund, and each significantly improves the student learning experience.

Student Opportunities, Projects and Programs

Each year, the MWSU Foundation allocates funds to support special projects across campus. In the past few years, the Foundation allocated $50,000 to fund several projects including technology upgrades in the Student Employment Center, a Social Work institute and Social Work Brown Bag Luncheon; Mid-America Regional Science and Technology Fair; Galileo’s Legacy Conference Series; Visiting Artists program; and more.

Areas of Greatest Need

Like any great institution, Missouri Western must be able to respond to critical needs and emerging opportunities. Gifts to the Annual Fund help provide flexible resources to benefit students and faculty where the need is greatest, such as specific funding requests from academic departments or campus groups. For instance, in 2010 a grant was made in support of the day care center on Missouri Western’s campus. In addition, in 2011 the Foundation authorized a special grant of $100,000 from the Missouri Western Annual Fund to help the university to meet its scholarship budget in response to budgetary challenges.

Faculty and Staff Professional Development

Each year, gifts from the Missouri Western Annual Fund support the Foundation as it provides funds for faculty and staff professional development, such as paying tuition for conferences for employees, providing workshops or bringing speakers to campus.


Q. Why does my gift matter?

A. At Missouri Western, our students come first. The Missouri Western Annual Fund helps make it possible for us to set the standard for excellence in student development and community leadership. In today’s uncertain economy, the Missouri Western Annual Fund empowers university leaders to address priority issues and to react in a timely way to unforeseen challenges and opportunities.


Q. When should I give?

A. We rely on your support each and every year. The Missouri Western Annual Fund coincides with the calendar year, beginning in January and ending in December. Your gift can be made anytime throughout the year by mail, phone, direct deposit or online.


Q. How often will I be asked to give?

A. We normally conduct three to four mail campaigns each year in addition to a phone campaign. We can really reduce costs associated with mailings and phone calls if you get your gift in early.


Q. How much should I give each year?

A. The amount you give is totally up to you. All gifts to the Missouri Western Annual Fund, no matter the amount, are important. Your gift will combine with those from many other donors to make a great impact. In addition, your annual participation is equally important.


Q. Is there a giving society that I can join?

A. The Missouri Western Foundation established the Western League for Excellence in 2005. All contributions to the League are undesignated and provide flexibility to meet current needs of the university.

Western League for Excellence members make an annual undesignated gift of $100 or more.

There are five divisions:
Founder’s Circle $5,000 or more
Regent’s Circle $1,000 – $4,999
President’s Circle $500 – $999
Cabinet’s Circle $250 – $499
Dean’s Circle $100 – $249

For more information about how you can become a member, visit the Western League for Excellence webpage or simply contact the development office, and we will be pleased to send you more information.



Q. How do I know that my gift will be put to good use?

A.  As the steward of private donations to support Missouri Western, the MWSU Foundation ensures your gift is put to good use; students are the primary beneficiaries.  The allocation of undesignated funds (funds that are not designated for a specific purpose by the donor) must be approved by the Foundation’s Board of Directors.


Q. Can I make a gift online?
A. Yes! Just visit the online giving page. Fill in the required fields and your gift will be securely processed.

Q. What are matching gifts?

A. Many employers match contributions made by their employees. Matching gifts are a great way to generate an additional gift, which may double or triple your contribution to the Missouri Western Annual Fund. To find out if your employer matches gifts to higher education, visit the Matching Gifts webpage or contact your Human Resources department. If it does, send in a completed matching gift form along with your donation.

Q. Can I give to a restricted scholarship fund?

A. Yes, there are several scholarships already established at Missouri Western, many of which are named in honor or memory of beloved faculty members, administrators, alumni and friends of the university. Some of these scholarships have criteria that limit assistance to students, such as a specific major, minimum grade point average, or year of study, to name a few. A complete list of established scholarships can be accessed on the financial aid website.


Q. Who should I contact if I have additional questions?

Rachel Graves ’03, Development Officer

Missouri Western State University

4525 Downs Drive

St. Joseph, MO 64507

(816) 271-5920