By Renee Shields
The Baldwin family established the Wisconsin Idea Endowment Fund with the hopes that the recipients of the grant would give back to their communities. The endowment funds projects that embody the Wisconsin Idea, ranging from humanities to scientific projects. Both students and faculty are eligible to apply for the competitive grant, which goes through a six month process to pick grant recipients.
The grant’s funds stem off of the Baldwin family’s $18 million dollar gift. The UW Foundation handles and invests the money to collect interest on the funds each year. The interest from the original gift are what grant recipients receive to fund their projects.
The Wisconsin Idea Endowment Fund is one of many endowment funds on campus that the foundation manages. Once a donor’s gift becomes an endowment, the UW Foundation is under legal obligation to use those funds in a way that fits the donor’s original criteria.