Skip Navigation
Best Practice

Faculty Recipient Stewardship Guidelines

Stewarding Donors
| 2 minutes to read
Last Updated: 03-02-2022


This outlines the expectations for stewardship of a faculty support award. You may also contact your unit’s staff member if you have questions.

Information about the Donor(s) and Fund

Ask your unit staff member to request from WFAA additional biographical information that can be shared with you about the donor.

Faculty Support Best Practices for Donor Stewardship

An important responsibility of an endowed professorship or chair is communication with the donor(s). Meaningful stewardship of faculty support funds requires a special partnership with school/college advancement staff and key WFAA advancement staff to thank donors and convey the impact of their gift.

As the holder of a professorship or chair, you are asked to do the following:

  • Regularly communicate with your donor. It is your responsibility to report to your donor about your activities and accomplishments. This communication may take many forms, such as:
    • Sending a thank-you to your donor when you are appointed and a summary of your accomplishments at the end of your term.
    • Sending an annual progress report. This one- or two-page document should give donors a brief summary of the activities that their gifts have made possible. Please send a copy of your report as an email attachment to your WFAA development liaison.
    • Holding periodic phone calls or sending occasional emails to share research updates and/or copies of your publications.
    • Connecting through in-person interactions.
    • Providing opportunities for donors to attend events, visit your lab, visit your classroom, or take part in other campus experiences.
  • Copy appropriate school/college advancement staff on any correspondence with donors, and notify them of substantive interactions you may have with the donor to ensure a good record of communication and to avoid duplication.
  • Use your faculty award title consistently in letterhead, business cards, publications, and directories. For example:

Chris Smith
Jones Professor of English (customize for specific title )
Department of English

Budget Information for Endowed Professorships and Chairs

The school/college business office will provide budget numbers and guidelines to faculty support awardees.

For new professorships or chairs with minimum endowments set at the Bascom Professorship level ($500,000) or higher, the campus expectation is that, normally, a minimum of 50 percent of the expected annual income generated by the professorship or chair will provide compensation support. The portion not allocated to compensation support may be used to provide a non-lapsing, annual flexible fund allocation to help defray the professor’s approved research and professional expenses. For more information, please see the universitys naming policies.

Once gifts are distributed from WFAA into a university account, those gifts are governed by all State of Wisconsin policies regarding expenditures. For more information, please see the UWMadison Division of Business Services website.

Thank you for providing meaningful stewardship to donors. If you have questions, please contact your WFAA development liaison or your school/college advancement staff.

Below is a sample stewardship letter from a chair holder that can serve as a jumping-off point for you as you write your own, personalized thank-you.