The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Foundation was chartered in 1966 as a charitable, educational foundation to support the education, research, patient care and other programs at the Medical University. The foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, contributions to which are tax-deductible.
Since its beginning the MUSC Foundation has encouraged such worthwhile academic enterprises as endowed professorships, scholarships, the acquisition and development of campus facilities to serve student, teaching, research or clinical needs, and awards in honor of academic excellence. In addition, it has encouraged achievements in biomedical research.
Most gifts to MUSC are handled by the foundation, which ensures that benefactors receive proper acknowledgment. Gifts of all sizes and types are accepted from alumni, parents and friends of the university as well as corporations and foundations. These gifts have led to a broad range of improved facilities and programs. For although MUSC is a public institution, only private gift support can establish superiority in teaching, research and clinical service. The Medical University currently receives less than 8 percent of its annual operating budget from the state of South Carolina. The remainder is self-generated through tuition, patient fees, federal grants and private contributions. As the search for private dollars becomes more intense every year, gift support through the HSF provides the margin that distinguishes a very good institution from an excellent one.
The foundation is governed by a 43-member board of directors. The president of the Medical University is an ex-officio, non-voting member of the board. Three members of the university's board of trustees also serve on the board. The remaining 27 at-large directors are not directly affiliated with the university. Five are alumni of MUSC.
More than 600 different funds operate under the auspices of the HSF. These funds are either restricted or unrestricted. A restricted fund receives gifts for a specific purpose or area within the university. Unrestricted gifts are used to meet critical, but unbudgeted, priority needs as determined by the foundation's board of directors. These two types of funds may be either expendable or endowment in nature. With an expendable fund, all gifts received, as well as the investment income earned, may be used at any time for the stated purpose of the fund. With endowment funds, only the investment income may be used. By board policy, only a portion of investment income is expended, so that the foundation's endowment funds will grow over time. The corpus is never invaded, thereby ensuring existence of the endowment fund in perpetuity.
The foundation's funds are invested and managed by professional money managers selected by the foundation's Finance and Investment Committee. This committee uses a professional investment advisor to assist in evaluating its managers.