The ASU Foundation, officially known as the ASU Foundation for A New American University, is a nonprofit corporation created to support Arizona State University, located throughout the metropolitan area surrounding Tempe, Arizona. The ASU Foundation is one of five distinct nonprofit entities governed by ASU Enterprise Partners and its volunteer board of directors. Tax exempt under section 501(c)(3), the ASU Foundation raises and manages money through philanthropic efforts.
In fiscal year 2015, the ASU Foundation generated more than $207 million in new gifts and commitments for the benefit of ASU, while increasing its overall endowment to more than $643 million.
The ASU Foundation's mission is "To advance, through philanthropy, the success of Arizona State University as A New American University."
The ASU Foundation was incorporated on June 22, 1955, as the Arizona State College Foundation. The foundation drew inspiration from the 1885 philanthropic offering of George and Martha Wilson of 15 acres of land to create the Tempe Normal School, which would later become Arizona State University. These first donors to ASU were recognized in 1956 with the naming of a new women's residence facility, George W. Wilson Hall.
The Arizona State Teachers College, as ASU was known in the 1930s, relied on the Bulldog Boosters organization for private support of its athletic programs. In the mid-1940s, the fundraising group changed its name to Sun Angels, concurrent with the renaming of the college's mascot to the Sun Devils.
In 1947, Grady Gammage, president of the newly named Arizona State College, established the Agricultural Advisory Council to advocate for and raise funds on behalf of the school's agricultural activities. In 1955, the council was incorporated and renamed the Arizona State College Foundation, with its philanthropic mission broadened to serve the entire college. A state referendum in 1958 renamed the college Arizona State University, with a concomitant name change for the foundation to Arizona State University Foundation, more commonly referred to as the ASU Foundation. In 2008, the foundation was renamed the ASU Foundation for A New American University to reflect the vision laid out for the university by President Michael M. Crow.
As of July 1, 2016, the ASU Foundation for A New American University underwent restructuring to create ASU Enterprise Partners. The fundraising component retained the name "ASU Foundation for A New American University," becoming one of the five entities or partners of the larger enterprise, focusing its efforts solely on philanthropy and development.
The ASU Foundation supports the university with funds provided by private and corporate philanthropy. Philanthropy through the foundation is based on each donor's areas of interest. The foundation's guiding principle states, "Financial support is best advanced by determining and aligning the motivations and aspirations of our investors with the university's mission." The foundation works to connect donors with the ASU colleges, institutes, or programs that share their interests.
Funds raised by development activity become part of a foundation portfolio invested by an outsourced chief investment officer model, currently served by Perella Weinberg Partners.(PWP website) The foundation provides more than $80 million annually to ASU from its nonendowed funds. The work of the OCIO is overseen by an investment committee appointed by the Enterprise Partners board of directors, comprising board members who are assisted by advisers from the university, the ASU Alumni Association, and the financial community.
The ASU Foundation is rated a four-star charity by Charity Navigator and is a silver-level GuideStar Exchange participant in recognition of its commitment to transparency. The foundation was recognized as one of the Top Companies to Work for in Arizona by AZcentral.com in 2014, 2015, and 2016.