Providing immediate and long-term benefits for Ball State and its students 

From a fiscal standpoint, it was a good news/bad news year for your Ball State University Foundation. 

On the positive front, during fiscal year 2016: 

  • Donations to the foundation were up 28% compared to the previous year, as alumni and friends contributed $18.5 million in support of Ball State University and it students (compared to $14.4 million the year before). Thank you! Your philanthropy is essential in providing exceptional opportunities for our students.
  • Based on earnings from its assets, which totaled $224 million at the end of fiscal year 2016, the foundation provided $15 million in support to the university during fiscal year 2016 – up from $12.5 million the year before. Since its establishment in 1951, the foundation’s total assistance to Ball State exceeds $373 million.  
  • In longer-term good news, the five-year average return on our portfolio was 5.6%, exceeding the benchmark return of 4.8% by almost one percent per year. Our highly diversified portfolio – comprising 70% global equities/30% global fixed income – continues to produce returns near or above the benchmark over time with much less volatility.

In less-than-great news, during an unpredictable and hard-to-navigate fiscal year, investment returns fell below the (0.1%) benchmark by 3.7 percentage points, resulting in a (4.8%) return. After our support to the university and the generous gifts of our friends and alumni, we ended fiscal year 2016 with $224 million assets. 

Fiscal year 2016 was the first year the entire advancement operation – development, alumni, and advancement services – was under the foundation. This change in structure helped us operate under a common strategy and increase our engagement initiatives. That, in turn, will enhance philanthropy in the future.  

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, a prudent investment policy, and sound financial management, the foundation remains a vital partner for Ball State and its students, providing support in many areas. 

Cherí E. O'Neill, '89
President and CEO
Ball State University Foundation


The audit for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016 was performed by BKD, LLP and is available upon request.