Forever Badgers Endowments

What is Forever Badgers?

While all gifts are welcome and appreciated, the Forever Badgers Endowment Program allows donors to have a lasting impact on Wisconsin Athletics. These gifts directly benefit Badger student-athletes and create a legacy that will support Wisconsin Athletics now and in perpetuity.

The program is aimed to help fund operational needs and student-athlete scholarships. Endowments are invested funds that annually support student-athlete scholarships. Gift planning is also a great way to leave a lasting legacy through an endowed scholarship.

Wisconsin Athletics is committed to offering each of its sports programs the maximum number of athletic scholarships permitted by the NCAA. The Forever Badgers program greatly helps the Wisconsin Athletic Department complete this task.

Thanks to our generous donors, Wisconsin Athletics currently has established:

  • 182 endowed funds for student-athlete scholarship support
  • 15 endowed funds for program and operational support
  • 41 deferred funds for scholarship and operational support

As annual fund gifts from donors that help scholarship costs can fluctuate from year to year, establishing endowed scholarships is one of the department's highest priorities. Individuals who choose to make endowment gifts are helping sustain the continued excellence of Wisconsin Athletics.

To meet the annual scholarship needs for Badger student-athletes, annual fund gifts are combined with the spendable income from endowed funds.

How Forever Badger Endowments Work?

This example is for illustration purposes only. Endowed funds are philanthropic investments with a minimum balance requirement meant to provide scholarship funds forever in accordance with guidelines set by the donor. The UW Foundation’s endowment portfolio is invested in such a way that a stream of income can be distributed each year (currently set at 4.5% of the endowment balance), cover expenses charged to the endowment (currently 1%) and still grow the remaining principal enough to keep up with inflation. The endowment portfolio currently has a long-term expected rate of return of 7.75%.

For more information about investment strategy and performance associated with endowments, please contact the UW Foundation investment analyst representative at (608) 263-0376.

Endowment Appreciation Luncheon

Ways to be Recognized

From Left To Right: Pam Hamel, Ethan Happ (#22 - Men's Basketball), George Hamel

Forever Badger Athletic Endowments

Wisconsin Athletics is committed to offering each of its programs the maximum number of athletic scholarships permitted by the NCAA and is responsible for funding both in-state and out-of-state scholarships.

Our department’s goal is to fully endow all student-athlete scholarships. Currently, 15% of student-athlete scholarships are endowed.

Endowed Scholarships

Wisconsin Athletics sincerely thanks all of the generous supporters who have established endowed scholarships for…

Forever Badgers Gift Planning

Forever Badgers gift planning ensures your legacy lives on forever. These meaningful, long-term gifts provide an attractive way to support Wisconsin Athletics while taking steps to benefit your own financial situation.

Wisconsin Athletics – in partnership with the University of Wisconsin Foundation – is delighted to help donors meet their philanthropic goals in the most beneficial way for them.

Sign up and learn more here.

Benefits of Gift Planning

  • Opportunity to name the fund in honor or memory of an individual or family
  • Invitation to annual endowment event recognizing donors and student-athlete recipients
  • Wisconsin Legacy Society Membership
  • Website Recognition

Ways to Give

  • Bequest/Will
  • Trust
  • Revocable Trust
  • Retirement Plan
  • Life Insurance

Athletic Scholarship Gift Benchmarks

Endowed scholarships may be established with a minimum gift or pledge of at least $50,000 through a single gift or through installments pledged over a period of time mutually agreed upon by the donor and Wisconsin representatives (usually five years).

Donors also have the opportunity to continue to fund their endowed scholarship after the original commitment is fulfilled as the income available for scholarships will increase with the value of the endowment.

Athletic Endowment Benchmark Benefits

Different types of athletic scholarships and the donor benefits*:

  • $50,000 + Partial Scholarship Benchmark
    • Provides a named endowed partial scholarship for a Wisconsin student-athlete.
    • Endowed funds at this benchmark support a portion of tuition for a Badger student-athlete.
    • Student-athlete recipient may be shared.
  • $640,000 + Full In-State Scholarship Benchmark
    • Provides a named endowed scholarship for an in-state student-athlete.
    • Endowed funds at this benchmark support the full cost of an in-state student-athlete scholarship, which includes tuition, room, board and books, cost of attendance.
    • Individual student-athlete recipient.
  • $1,000,000 + Full Out of State Scholarship Benchmark
    • Provides a named endowed scholarship for an out of state student-athlete.
    • Endowed funds at this benchmark support the full cost of an out of state student-athlete scholarship, which includes tuition, books, room and board, cost of attendance.
    • Individual student-athlete recipient.


*Established based on the various costs associated with student-athlete scholarships.

Ways to Be Recognized for Athletic Endowments

The Wisconsin Athletic Department is pleased to provide the following unique recognition opportunities to donors establishing endowed scholarship funds:

  • Opportunity to name the fund in honor or memory of an individual or family
  • Invitation to annual endowment event recognizing donors and student-athlete recipients
  • Access to tickets, parking and special event invitations based upon annual gift toward endowment pledge
  • Credit within the Wisconsin Athletics Priority Point System


All endowment donors are invited to the Wisconsin Athletic Department’s Annual Endowment Donor Appreciation Luncheon, recognizing donors and student-athlete recipients. This annual luncheon is a great opportunity for our donors to meet current Badger student-athletes who have been positively impacted by your contributions.


For more information, please contact the UW Athletic Development Office at 608-262-1000 or development@uwbadgers.com.