WEA maintains stability amidst financial hurricane

Chris Nelson

The financial world is facing more turmoil than it has seen in years, but the Washburn Endowment Association assures its supporters their gifts are in good hands.

JuliAnn Mazachek, Washburn Endowment Association president, says the WEA has a specific group of investment professionals who aid in watching supporters investing and spending. Together, they revisit the spending policy on a regular basis to provide the highest stream of funds for the future.

“In spite of market changes, due to careful planning and disciplined policies, we can report total funding from endowment gift funds will be maintained for Washburn students and programs in the upcoming year,” wrote Mazachek in a letter to supporters.

“It’s a little bit of a balancing act,” said Mazachek. She said they have focused on minimal spending in order to have the financial means to support students in the future, all while supporting current student needs.

Mazachek said some funds are spent right away in order to support student scholarships, and others are invested wisely in order to use the earnings for future needs.

The economy has had some effect on Washburn’s enrollment numbers, and it has also affected new funding for the Endowment Association.

“It’s estimated that most funds may experience a 30 percent decline,” said Mazachek. As of the end of September, Washburn Endowment Association funds are down nine percent from the first quarter of the fiscal year.

Mazachek says the Endowment Association’s strategy is right on point, because it regularly balances its systems. Looking ahead to the future, she said now is the time to invest, and supporters must believe that the market will bounce back.

Sixty-five percent of Endowment Association funds are designated for scholarships and another 20 percent is used for program and faculty support. The rest has unrestricted use and usually goes to the university.

Active fundraising units have only been on Washburn’s campus for approximately the past 11 years. Mazachek says the Endowment Association’s focus is to enhance fundraising and visibly impact students.