The Anonymous Fund was established to benefit UW-Madison programs in the arts and humanities. Funded by an anonymous donor, the bequest is charged to “strengthen and enlarge the cultural and artistic undertakings of the University.” Since its inception the fund has been used to support public programming in the arts, humanities, and descriptive social sciences for the betterment of campus and the community.
The Anonymous Fund supports programming by individual units and especially units collaborating on conferences, film screenings, exhibitions, and other kinds of events strongly centered on the arts and humanities. The Anonymous Fund Committee looks favorably upon applications to support programming that is accessible to the greater Madison community. Further, it suggests that whenever possible, programs should include both graduate and undergraduate students. Ideally, events will also be tied into current offerings in the curriculum.
Anonymous Fund monies may not be used to support projects administered by student groups. Consequently, proposals submitted by student groups will not be considered.
Members of the Anonymous Fund Committee are selected by the dean of the College of Letters & Science to represent arts and humanities constituencies across campus. In addition, the committee includes representatives from the chancellor’s and provost’s offices to ensure coordination and stewardship of the gift fund. Please see below for definitions and specifics of Anonymous Fund grant categories including Single-Event, Series, and Block grants. You may also wish to consult the report of the past five years of allocations of the Anonymous Fund.
The Committee strongly encourages applicants to seek additional funding from other sources in order to strengthen their request. In general, the Anonymous Committee is reluctant to fund a particular project more than once.
The Committee asks that all proposals be submitted electronically as a single PDF file to Laura Dunnum at firstname.lastname@example.org. Once the Committee has reviewed and granted funding, the primary sponsor of the application will be notified by e-mail about the funding outcome. If an application is funded, the primary sponsor will receive an electronic letter with a funding account number as well as with other administrative details.
Please use the Anonymous Fund cover page (available in Word or fillable PDF) when submitting your proposal. Proposals must include a memo indicating the rationale for the request, likely audiences and estimate of turnout; additional sources of support applied for and obtained; the extent of community and student involvement; summarized CVs (at most a page for out-of-town guests); a budget page and letters of co-sponsorship. The budget page must comply with university guidelines. The Anonymous Fund will pay for economy air travel only.
Anonymous Fund allocations absolutely must not be overspent.
All applicants that receive funding must acknowledge the Anonymous Fund in promotional materials and at the event(s). Within a month of the close of the event, the primary sponsor must file with the dean’s office a summary of the activities held, the size of the audience in attendance, and a brief statement as to how the requested budget was distributed.
Please remember that University Policy prohibits UW-Madison faculty from receiving payment as a participant for events held at UW-Madison. This includes funds from grants such as the Anonymous Fund.
Monies not used by the end of the fiscal year (June 30) must be returned to the Anonymous Fund unless an extension is requested and granted. (Contact Mary Machaj at email@example.com.) You may wish to consult the report of the past five years of Anonymous Fund awards, which can be found on the Anonymous Fund webpage.
Over the years, the Anonymous Fund has proudly allocated millions of dollars to support high-quality programming of benefit both to our campus and the broader community. Our ability to support applications at the level requested is affected by the quality of proposals, the amount of money available in the fund which fluctuates with the stock market, and the number of applications received. The Anonymous Fund Committee encourages all departments and programs with creative ideas in the arts, humanities, and descriptive social sciences to apply for our funding and to reach out with any questions you may have about our guidelines.