Editor's note: The Daily Nebraskan editor-in-chief Karissa Schmidt had no role in the reporting, writing or editing this story.
On Aug. 30, 2019, The Daily Nebraskan received $10,000 of spendable income from its fund with the University of Nebraska Foundation.
The Daily Nebraskan and the foundation signed an agreement on Sept. 10, 2018, to establish The Daily Nebraskan Editorial Support Fund. The fund was started by alumni to pay for staff salaries, according to Greg Jensen, The Daily Nebraskan’s representative at the foundation.
The University of Nebraska Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. According to its website, it manages donor funds across all of the NU campuses to “create excellence at the university not possible through state funding alone.”
So far, the fund has collected approximately $230,000 worth of donations.
“We fight every year to maintain the funds that come from student fees,” The Daily Nebraskan editor-in-chief Karissa Schmidt said. “But if those fees ever go away, it's reassuring to know that we have the Editorial Support Fund to keep The Daily Nebraskan running.”
Jensen said the foundation takes donations for the fund that are then invested and managed by a committee of the foundation’s board of directors. The interest that comes from those investments is what’s available for The Daily Nebraskan to spend, he said.
“We are the bank and The Daily Nebraskan has access to all of the account information that resides at this bank that benefits them,” Jensen said. “They can make withdrawals from this bank … as they want to, as they need to.”
The Daily Nebraskan’s spendable income is 4.5% of the fund’s average market value from over 20 quarters or five years. Jensen said using the average helps protect the fund from a drop in the market.
“If the market goes really south, you’ve got 20 quarters to even out what that market value is so you don’t take a hit,” he said. “We’re on an investment roller coaster. Our goal is to make sure as best we can that that income is as steady as we can make it.”
The Daily Nebraskan has other funds through the foundation, including the Excellence Fund and the Sports Journalists’ Travel Fund.
“I think it’s always a good idea for programs that have enormous value to the University of Nebraska to have a source of private funding that can stabilize the fiscal realities that sometimes face programs,” Jensen said.
Schmidt said she is grateful for the fund and the money the publication received.
“While the fund will not directly impact my staff during my term as editor-in-chief, I am honored to accept the fund on behalf of future Daily Nebraskan editors,” she said.