Since 1951, the University Fund Wageningen (UFW) contributes to activities that make a difference for the students and for Wageningen University & Research (WUR). The fund serves the public interest and is a non-profit organisation.
UFW connects people, ideas and funds to contribute to the prosperity of the university. That is why the fund invests in the strengthening of the contacts between the WUR and her alumni, businesses and relevant social organisations. UFW contributes to the rewarding and stimulation of excellent education and research in Wageningen, is committed to the scientific and cultural heritage of the university and passes down knowledge through well-attended events. Furthermore, the UFW sponsors the development of students and facilitates scholarships for international students. Since 2012 the fund also contributes to meaningful, pioneering Wageningen research for solutions to world food problems and challenges, first through the campaign Food for Thought and taking this further in funding other large research projects.
The trend in national and international business towards “philanthropically” motivated private investments in socially relevant research is still increasing. The University adapted professional fundraising as a pillar of research marketing leading to an ever-increasing role of third party contributions, especially for projects that are not priorities of government policy or that serve a more direct business interest. Next to that UFW, together with WUR, has developed a plan to focus on connecting also young alumni with the university, connecting alumni with each other, cultivating this loyalty and optimizing cooperation.
One of the core objectives continues to be raising donations from alumni and friends of WUR. Also support from foreign alumni networks is in line with the needs of international graduates and can contribute to the international name and reputation of WUR.
Mission and goal:
University Fund Wageningen mission is to reach, mobilise, and (in the long term/permanently) connect (engage, retain) parties involved in the domain of WUR: healthy nutrition and environment. The mission is closely linked to the domain in which WUR and many of its alumni operate. UFW will continue to stimulate and collect donations from alumni and friends of Wageningen UR, for instance, through personalised gifts managed in a named fund to support this research and other activities of and for WUR. The fund also makes it possible to receive grants from philantrhopists to donate to innovative breaktrhough research projects for Wageningen UR. These are projects for which there no regular financing is available. Currently, the fund is responsible for the financial and project management of 14 research projects that encompass large gifts. Besides these large projects, the fund manages 29 funds by name, supports international students with scholarships and knows a number of stimulation prizes for excellent education and research.
Four policy goals have been formulated:
1. Further professionalising philanthropy
2. Intensifying student involvement by developing a special programme to prepare them for their future as alumni and to show how alumni can be socially involved in the
WUR domain: doing good (philanthropy)
3. Transforming alumni policy to target-group policy: from students to retired persons
4. Further developing relation management for philanthropists together with the involved departments of WUR (ESA, CSA) with the goal of successfully acquiring funds.
The UFW goals contribute directly to at least three of the 'change performance indicators' in WUR's SP: 2) significant scientific and societal impact on the three investment
themes (connected circularity, protein transition, digital twins), 6) Improved entrepreneurial culture and practice in education, research and value creation and 10) expanded connection with society and partners.
UFW actively pursues its objectives by:
- Rewarding excellence and exceptional performance by giving awards to students, teachers, staff and others active in the Wageningen University & Research domain;
- Organising fundraising activities for public benefit (supporting heritage), existing Funds in Name and research projects;
- Establishing and supporting Funds in Name that help finance specific goals and initiatives;
- Managing projects for all the Funds in Name and the ground breaking research and education projects that could not be accomplished through the regular activities of the university;
- Supporting regional alumni chapters in the Netherlands;
- Supporting alumni chapters in China, Kenya, Ethiopia, Brazil, Indonesia, and exploring the possibilities to establish new chapters in other countries;
- Engaging the Wageningen Ambassador’s Network of prominent alumni;
- Providing career support for students and young alumni;
- Organising debates on hot topics within the domain of Wageningen.
The principles for the choice of activities is that these cannot be accomplished through Wageningen University & Research's regular education and research activities. The fund stimulates initiatives that contribute towards the goals listed, thereby supporting the societal development of the university and its students and staff.
The University Fund Wageningen is a registered charity in the Netherlands (ANBI). Gifts to the fund are often tax-deductible, including gifts from abroad.