Northwest Foundation Raises $4.5 Million In Fiscal Year 2018

The Northwest Foundation, the fundraising arm of Northwest Missouri State University, awarded its second-highest level of scholarship distributions and secured $4.5 million in donor funding during Fiscal Year 2018, adding to a record $17 million during the last two years.

Seventy-five percent of the total funds raised by the Foundation were cash contributions, while the organization received nearly 4,300 (4,281) donations.

“It has been yet another pinnacle year of achievements in support of our students, faculty and programs,” Dr. Lonelle Rathje, vice president of external relations and executive director of the Northwest Foundation, said. “It is clear that the nationally recognized distinctiveness of Northwest – academic excellence, affordability, retention, profession-based learning experiences, career placement and student satisfaction, to name a few – speak volumes to alumni, friends and organizations wishing to engage, donate and elevate a highly influential culture at Northwest.”

Among the Foundation’s FY18 highlights, with the support of last year’s lead gift by the Hughes Family Foundation, is the completion of the Carl and Cheryl Hughes Fieldhouse, a 137,250 square-foot, $21 million facility designed to serve a multitude of social, recreational and economic needs for the University and region.

Northwest will celebrate the opening of the Hughes Fieldhouse during a dedication ceremony at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, and open house from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, that will include tours of the facility, inflatables, music and opportunities for children to interact with Bearcat student-athletes. The events are free and open to the public.

As one of the largest public-private partnerships ever in the region, the Hughes Fieldhouse project also has secured the largest amount of donor funding for a capital project in Northwest’s history. The Foundation secured nearly $14 million in gifts and pledges for the project, and more than 650 donors have contributed. The Founding 50, a group of lead donors who have committed gifts of $50,000 or greater to the project, grew to a membership of 74 donors whose gifts represent 94 percent of the dollars raised.

The Foundation secured an additional $205,950 for the project through the sale of bricks, pavers, trees and benches to beautify the landscape surrounding the Hughes Fieldhouse. Supporters interested in purchasing bricks, pavers and trees at the facility may do so by visiting

Scholarship support also remains a central mission of the Foundation, which awarded $934,000 in financial assistance for 1,217 students during FY18. This represents the second-highest dollar amount awarded in the history of the Foundation, as well as the highest number of donor-funded scholarships awarded.

Furthermore, the Foundation achieved an 11.8 percent increase in funding raised through its 1905 Society during FY18. The 1905 Society, which saw its membership increase by 3.8 percent to 161 members, is the premier giving society for annual gifts, recognizing supporters who make an annual unrestricted gift of $1,000 or more. Meanwhile, the average gift supporting the Foundation’s annual giving program increased by 23 percent.

In April, for the fourth consecutive year, Northwest students celebrated alumni and friends who contribute generously to the University in support of scholarships, campus facilities and the value of a college degree during “Thank a Donor Day” activities on the campus. The annual event educates Northwest students about the importance of private giving by alumni, family and friends. It also draws attention to the impact alumni support has throughout the University and actively engages the student body in the stewardship of alumni donors.

On Sept. 16, the University also hosted its annual Powering Dreams celebration of donors and scholars.

“The support from our alumni and friends to the University really speaks to the culture of pride and commitment Bearcats have for Northwest,” Bob Machovsky, Northwest’s director of alumni relations and annual giving, said. “Our success in FY18 and into the future is because of those that continue to lift Northwest up when investing their time, talents and treasures to this deserving place.”

In addition to its annual giving programs and donor stewardship, the Northwest Alumni Association recorded increased attendance through its engagement activities, and volunteer hours dedicated to organizing and hosting events increased by 29 percent from FY17. Northwest counts more than 70,000 alumni and friends of the University as members of the Alumni Association.

The Northwest Foundation, a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit corporation, is responsible for receiving, investing, stewarding and disbursing private support on behalf of the donors of Northwest Missouri State University for the benefit of the University, its students, faculty, staff and alumni. The Northwest Foundation, governed by a 39-member volunteer board of directors, is staffed by members of Northwest’s Office of University Advancement.

The Foundation’s total assets under management increased 4 percent to $36.4 million while its endowment stands at $25.6 million. In FY18, the Foundation provided $4.7 million to the University to support various needs; the Foundation’s University support during the last two years totals $11 million.

The Foundation’s total assets under management increased 4 percent to $36.4 million while its endowment stands at $25.6 million. In FY18, the Foundation provided $4.7 million to the University to support various needs; the Foundation’s University support during the last two years totals $11 million.

For more information about the Northwest Foundation or to make a gift to support Northwest, contact the Office of University Advancement at 660.562.1248 or visit