MSU President's column for Traill County Tribune

September 6, 2014 

Legislature provides excellent opportunity for Mayville State supporters


The 63rd North Dakota Legislative Assembly created an amazing new program to spur philanthropic giving to North Dakota State universities and enhance academic excellence. The new program and funding, called “The Matching Fund for Enhanced Academics,” is providing a 50% match for each and every dollar donated to the Mayville State University Foundation for approved projects between July 1, 2013 and December 31, 2014.

We are grateful to the North Dakota legislators for this fund that will approve up to $1,000,000 in matching fund potential for Mayville State University. As of this writing nearly 400,000 of the one million dollar matching dollars have been requested, which means $800,000 in qualifying gifts has been received so far. Therefore, 600,000 matching dollars are yet to claim, and we need to raise $1,200,000 in qualifying gifts to trigger the match in order to leverage these remaining dollars.

The grants committee approved Mayville State’s projects, as presented by Executive Director of the MSU Foundation John Klocke and me, last summer. The three parts of the fundraising coincide with the 125th anniversary of Mayville State University, and together they are called the Mayville State University 125th Anniversary Foundation for Educational Excellence Campaign. The campaign allows donors to contribute to one of three fund areas:

The 125th Anniversary Endowment for Excellence Fund. Individuals, businesses, and foundations can create a named endowment or contribute any amount from a dollar or more to an existing endowment through this program. Every dollar given, up to $1,333,333, will be given a 50% match, or $600,000 in new endowment funding. This could allow for 60 or more new academic scholarships per year. Contributors can also make a pledge over multiple years and have the entire pledge amount matched as long as the pledge is received prior to the December 31st deadline. Combine this program with the North Dakota Endowment Tax Credit, which allows donors to receive a 50% state tax credit on endowment gifts of $5,000 or more, and donors can leverage philanthropy tremendously.

The 125th Anniversary Academic Excellence Scholarship Fund. Individuals businesses, and foundations can help this drive to create a higher number of annual academic scholarships to attract more students and fuel MSU’s continued new levels of high enrollment. Every dollar given, up to $133,500, will qualify for the state match. This will leverage $60,000 in matching funds.

The 125th Anniversary Rural Nursing Excellence RN to BSN Fund. Individuals, businesses, and foundations can help fund this newly approved RN to BSN degree program. Every dollar given, up to $333,000, will trigger a 50% match, creating $160,000 to develop, plan, staff, and accept nursing students. Currently, ten students have been accepted and are enrolled in Essential Studies courses needed for their BSN degree. At least eight of those students will begin the nursing program in the spring, and others are applying and being accepted on an ongoing basis. We’re off to a great start! This Rural Nursing Excellence fund will carry the program to a level of self-sustainment. When fully functional and at capacity, the program will graduate 24-96 new nurses with BSN degrees each year to help alleviate the rural nursing shortage, especially in Traill County and throughout North Dakota.

This program has the potential to take Mayville State’s academic excellence to an entirely new level through the increased support this matching grant offers. Time is running out for the match as every gift needs to be received by December 31, 2014. We ask everyone to consider MSU in a special way this year to help us take advantage of these matching funds before they go away. We really want to access 100% of what is available to us, if we can.

Gift annuities present an exciting opportunity to trigger the state match. A gift annuity can help individuals and couples increase retirement income, and John Klocke has helped several donors create them. If you’re interested in learning more about how a gift annuity could benefit you while you are helping Mayville State, please talk to John.

The match also opens especially exciting opportunities for donors who may wish to establish named endowments at Mayville State. The MSU Foundation’s minimum is $15,000 to set up a named endowment. With this program, a gift of $10,000 will receive a 50% match, thus bringing the endowment to a fully funded level. My wife, Debbie, and I took advantage of this great opportunity and were also able to leverage some tax benefits. I encourage you to check this out. You may be surprised at the low dollar amount it will take to do this.

The Matching Fund for Enhanced Academics provides a golden opportunity for Mayville State supporters to increase the impact of their giving by 50%. For more information about the 125th Anniversary Academic Excellence, contact John Klocke at 701-788-4787 or