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

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