The Role of Private Support at a Public University

Why does the University of New Orleans need private funds? Isn't it a state university?

Yes, the University of New Orleans is a state university, but like many other public colleges and universities across the country, the state share of the University's operating budget has been reduced tremendously over the last few years. Private funds are critical to maintaining the present and future excellence of the University.

UNO is a great University, serving the needs of the New Orleans and surrounding communities and beyond. We have about 9,300 students and more than 500 faculty members. We are also very proud of our more than 70,000 Privateer alumni.

Why does the University of New Orleans raise its tuition to meet its needs?

First, by state law, colleges and universities in Louisiana cannot raise their tuition without the two thirds vote of the State Legislature.

What if I can't afford to make a large gift this year? Does my gift even make a difference?

Every tax-deductible gift makes a difference to UNO. Your gift sends a powerful message that you support this institution and its educational mission, and it has made a difference in your life. Gifts of all sizes make an impact. Some foundations and other grant-making organizations look at the number of gifts in addition to the total amounts when determining grant request. Your gift, viewed as a vote of confidence, could help UNO secure thousands of dollars in funding.

What is an individual endowment?

An endowment is an account established with a minimum of $25,000. This account will generate interest income in perpetuity to provide financial support for the area of the donor's choosing. Currently, endowments support a number of areas, including scholarships, professorships, book funds, study abroad and visiting scholars. The principal of the endowment is never spent, thus ensuring that a donor's generosity will continue throughout the life of the university.

The endowment is like a savings account and a portion of the annual earnings from the endowment can be used to provide merit- and need-based student scholarships, underwrite faculty teaching and research, and support programs that enhance the student experience. Additionally, the long term benefit of a significant endowment is a much more stable and predictable income stream for the needs and priorities of the institution in perpetuity. Managed properly, endowments will continue to provide the same opportunities generations from now as they do today.

Why should I give to the UNO First Fund?

The UNO First Fund is the University’s source of unrestricted resources that provide resources to the University leadership to use where it will most beneficial. These unrestricted monies are the most critical for the University to help it achieve its goals.

What is the difference between restricted and unrestricted gifts?

Restricted gifts refer to resources received from a donor where the donor directs the gift to a specific fund and can be established with a minimum of $5,000.

Restricted gifts are designated to a specific college, department, scholarship, endowment or other UNO priority. Your restricted gift supports a program that is special to you. See Ways to Give for details about named Scholarships, Endowments, planned gifts and other giving opportunities.

Unrestricted gifts are resources received from a donor where there are no restrictions or conditions on how the resources may be used.

Unrestricted gifts to the UNO First Fund, our annual fund, are among the most valuable to UNO. The University can use unrestricted funds where the need is greatest and to capitalize on opportunities as they arise. Your unrestricted gift may be used to provide student financial aid, support faculty and facilitate research.

I work for a matching gift company. How do I secure a matching gift for UNO?

Thanks for designating your company's matching gifts to UNO. When you or your spouse makes a gift to UNO, you will be given credit for the total gift, including the company's matching gift. In order to complete the transaction, you must request the paperwork from your company's human resources department and send the form to the UNO Foundation with your gift. We will complete our portion and return it to your company for their approval.

UNO Foundation, Office of Advancement Services
Homer L. Hitt Alumni Center
University of New Orleans
2000 Lakeshore Drive
New Orleans, LA 70148

Who determines UNO's fundraising priorities?

The Senior Leadership of the University set the long range priorities of the academic colleges as well as other areas. These priorities are then translated into fundraise goals and priorities and needs. These become the focus of the fundraising efforts, but ultimately it is donors who designate which programs or colleges their gifts will benefit.

What degree programs do you offer?

An alphabetical listing of graduate degree programs is available here.


The Role of Private Support at the University

While UNO is a state university, state appropriations alone are not sufficient to cover the rising costs of higher education. In addition UNO, like other public universities, has had a continued reduction in state support over the past several years. Therefore we must seek ways to diversify and increase other sources of revenues, including private gift fund raising.

Private donations will allow UNO to strengthen the current public-private partnership that currently exists. These funds will ensure that we will be able to continue to offer a quality education with superior faculty, cutting edge research and service programs as well as critically important student and academic services.