MSU President's column for Traill County Tribune

July 18, 2015 

Legislature provides excellent opportunity for Mayville State supporters 

The 64th North Dakota Legislative Assembly has renewed an amazing program to spur philanthropic giving to North Dakota state universities and enhance academic excellence. 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, 2015 and December 31, 2016.

This week John Klocke, MSU Foundation executive director, will present applications for matching funds in three categories. If approved, donations to endowments, annual scholarships, and our nursing program will receive a 50% state match for every dollar given in these areas. Here are descriptions of these funds:

The MSU Endowment for Academic 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 $1,400,000, will be given a 50% match, or $700,000 in new endowment funding. This could allow for 70 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 31 deadline. For example, someone pledging $1,000 per year for seven years would receive a 50% match of $3,500 on $7,000 immediately in the first year. 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 MSU Academic Excellence Scholarship Fund. Individuals businesses, and foundations can help this drive to create a higher number of annual academic scholarships to attract more local and regional students and fuel MSU’s continued levels of high enrollment. Every dollar given, up to $200,000 will qualify for the state match. This will leverage $100,000 in matching funds and has the potential to create more than 150 new scholarships.

The RN to BSN Rural Nursing Academic Excellence Fund. Individuals, businesses, and foundations can help fund this RN to BSN degree program which is now at capacity and continues to expand to meet the rural nurse shortages. Every dollar given, up to $200,000, will trigger a 50% match, for a total of $100,000. Two-thirds of this money will fund nursing scholarships to attract even more students and one-third will help with student online resources.

Estate and planned gifts can be matched. The Challenge Match will also be given on gifts made in a will or estate plan, including gifts through a life insurance policy or retirement plan like a 401k, where MSU is named a beneficiary. Also allowed is a 50% match on the current value of charitable life income plans that MSU Foundation can offer to seniors. These plans can provide guaranteed income rates of return of 5% to 9% annually based on the donor’s age, as well as excellent federal and state tax deductions and credits. Many of these tools also provide tax-free payouts on portions of the annual return.

If interested in these opportunities, our supporters are encouraged to contact John Klocke at the MSU Foundation. He has more than 20 years of experience in working with folks and their accountants and financial advisors to create these federally approved gift investments. Call John to see how an asset can benefit family and charity and provide income and lower taxes. John can be reached at 701-788-4787.

The Matching Fund for Enhanced Academics has the potential to take Mayville State’s academic excellence to an entirely new level through the increased support the program offers. We ask everyone to consider MSU in a special way this year to help us take advantage of these matching funds. If successful at matching all of our funds, the state has another $500,000 set aside for which MSU and other four-year schools may apply.

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 contact John Klocke at 701-788-4787 or

Go to to learn more about planned gifts that qualify for the match.