Foundation Strategic Plan 2016-2021

Downloadable PDF >>



The Miami University Foundation was established in 1948. Since its inception, the Foundation’s mission has been to support educational and research activities of Miami University and, to this end, to encourage and to receive, invest and steward contributions and donations for the financial support and benefit of the University in accordance with University policy and donor specifications.

Through the years, the Foundation has matured into a not-for-profit organization that has instituted best practices for foundations affiliated with public universities. Its Board of Directors continues to implement and monitor those best practices and procedures in order to continually improve the operations of the Foundation. Accordingly, the Board has adopted a formal committee structure, which currently includes these ongoing committees: Audit and Finance, Communications, Development, Governance, Investment, Spending, Stewardship, and Trust & Gift Annuities. The Foundation Board of Directors has also grown in size and expanded its diversity so that the Foundation may better fulfill its mission.

The Foundation also recognizes the importance of serving and working with all the stakeholders of the University. Our stakeholders include students, faculty, administration, staff, alumni and parents, as well as members of the Oxford community, residents of Ohio, corporations and businesses who recruit our students, and friends and supporters of the University and its programs.

The Foundation Board of Directors works primarily with the Division of University Advancement. It advises and assists the Division in its fundraising, development and stewardship efforts on behalf of the University and the Foundation.

In October 2013 Miami University adopted its new strategic plan, called The Miami 2020 Plan. It begins with The University Vision: Miami will provide the best undergraduate experience in the nation, enhanced by superior, select graduate programs. Now the Miami University Foundation outlines its new strategic plan, which will complement the University’s 2020 Plan. The Foundation’s plan will underscore the commitment to the undergraduate experience as it outlines the Foundation’s goals and objectives for the next five years.


Mission Statement

The mission of the Miami University Foundation is to support Miami University’s educational and research activities, as well as its vibrant student life including arts, athletics and co-curricular endeavors. The Foundation Board does so through the identification and solicitation of philanthropic support and effective oversight of the management and stewardship of the Miami University endowment.



The vision of the Miami University Foundation is to be a guardian of Miami University’s future through the Foundation’s activities to grow the University’s endowment and to be recognized as a model for performance, accountability, stewardship and commitment to excellence.



The Board of Directors of the Foundation values

. . . our stakeholders, including the relationships they have with the University, the service they provide to the campus community and their local communities on behalf of the University, and the philanthropy they contribute to the University.

. . . the sincere passion and loyalty demonstrated by the Miami family.

. . . accountability to our stakeholders, including a commitment to responsible stewardship.

. . . transparency in order to build and hold the trust of our stakeholders.

. . . working with others in collaborative endeavors for the benefit of the University.

. . . our reputation as a highly respected foundation that adheres to the highest professional standards.

. . . our own integrity and the integrity of each individual with whom we work.

. . . exceptional ethical standards under which we will operate at all times.


Strategic Goals

GOAL 1: Plan for and establish the capability required for the next major comprehensive campaign for Miami University.

GOAL 2: Raise funds for Miami University and its students, faculty and initiatives.

GOAL 3: Deepen a Culture of Philanthropy with all stakeholders.

GOAL 4: Support the fundraising priorities of the University.

GOAL 5: Continue as Fiduciaries to provide effective management and stewardship of funds donated to the University and to the Foundation.


Strategic Goals And Objectives

GOAL 1: Plan for and establish the capability required for the next major comprehensive campaign for Miami University.


  1. Research, analyze and initiate the following:
    a. Support of appropriate monetary goal and identified priorities, based on the University’s needs and depth and breadth of existing and potential donors and their giving capacity.
    b. Campaign related staffing needs.
    c. Office space requirements and compensation levels for new and existing staff.
    d. Commencement of a University community-wide discussion of the campaign’s necessary near term budget investment and long term monetary return.
    e. Board involvement in the campaign to assist with identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of campaign donors as well as campaign volunteer boards.

  2. Develop the campaign’s case statement, branding and a publicity plan to maximize visibility of the effort.

  3. Establish a campaign specific stewardship plan

  4. Work with outside consultants and other external advisors as needed.


GOAL 2: Raise funds for Miami University and its students, faculty and initiatives.


  1. Continue fundraising efforts on an annual basis until such time as a new major comprehensive campaign is begun.
    a. Increase the number of annual donors
    b. Increase the amount of private giving to the University, including through documented planned gifts
    c. Support all University fundraising efforts, including strategic communication to ensure that the University and the Foundation are presented in the most positive and compelling manner.

  2. Support completion of the fundraising campaigns which have already begun, and support those that evolve in the future.
    a. Miami Promise Scholarship Campaign, $100 Million Goal by June 2019
    b. Graduating Champions Athletics Campaign, $80 Million Goal by December 2017
    c. Armstrong Student Center East Wing, $6 Million Goal by December 2017
    d. Patterson Place, $300,000 Goal

  3. Support the talent of current and future staff including recruiting, hiring, developing, training and retaining top talent throughout University Advancement.

  4. Continue to identify and explore additional sources of revenue that will enable the Foundation to more fully fund its growth and mission.

  5. Include in each of our fundraising efforts the importance of growing the size of the endowment.


GOAL 3: Deepen a Culture of Philanthropy with all stakeholders.


  1. Share the Foundation’s Case for Support with all stakeholders and why contributing to Miami University is essential for its future.

  2. Educate stakeholders about the Foundation, what it is, what role it plays, and what impact it has on our stakeholders.

  3. Engage stakeholders with the University, not only as contributors of funds but also as contributors of time and talent.

  4. Recruit from our stakeholders Foundation Board members who will bring diversity to the Board.

  5. Create a process to bring new Board members quickly up to speed on fundraising, thus making them effective fundraisers early in their role.

  6. Preserve the Foundation’s reputation as a high-performing organization committed to excellence and to our mission, vision and values.

  7. Link the strategies and goals of the Alumni Association and other alumni groups within the University with those of the Foundation.

  8. Increase the number of people that are able to tell Miami’s story and the impact of giving.\

  9. Expand the demonstration of impact of giving to potential and current donors.

  10. Determine how best to capitalize on the Miami community’s loyalty, passion and love for the University to increase engagement, especially fundraising.

  11. Create a best approach to leveraging the expertise and relationships of experienced and emeritus faculty and administrators for fundraising.


GOAL 4: Support the fundraising priorities of the University.


  1. Work with the President in supporting University fundraising priorities defined in terms of other priorities, benchmarks and metrics.

  2. Develop procedures to educate new personnel to the University as to their roles in development and fundraising for the University, especially new Deans and Department Chairs.

  3. Engage the President and the Deans proactively to understand their needs, to coordinate fundraising initiatives and donor targets and to leverage best practices of fundraising across the various academic initiatives.

  4. Introduce the President to key stakeholders through one-on-one interactions, meetings and hosting events, which will encourage new alliances.

  5. Help the President form the relationships and partnerships that will be critical for fundraising success and ensure that our annual fundraising goals remain on track and any new major comprehensive campaign is successful.


GOAL 5: Continue as Fiduciaries to provide effective management and stewardship of funds donated to the University and to the Foundation.


  1. Ensure compliance with all applicable federal and state laws, regulations, and guidelines as well as with all University agreements and policies applicable to the Foundation.

  2. Analyze all Foundation procedures and practices to ensure compliance with best practices as recommended by the Association of Governing Boards (AGB) and Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and with general guidelines for foundations related to public institutions of higher learning to allow for the highest level of fundraising, stewardship and fiduciary management, transparency and accountability, and make any modifications when and if necessary.

  3. Oversee the Endowment portfolio of investments on a regular basis with the Chief Investment Officer and with the consultants who have been hired to advise the Foundation.

  4. Audit all donor funds on a regular basis to ensure compliance with donor wishes.

  5. Enhance stewardship efforts and alumni interaction with students and faculty to build relationships with campaign contributors.

  6. Apply thoughtfully our Fiduciary Duties of Care, Loyalty, Compliance, and to Maintain Accounts.


Adopted by the Board of Directors, Miami University Foundation, February 26, 2016