Fill the Hill is one of the most beloved traditions at UW–Madison. Each year, the famous pink lawn flamingos flock to Bascom Hill as part of a fundraising effort that brings campus lore to life in support of the university. Every flamingo on the hill represents a gift someone has made to the UW during this period. The growing flock represents the support of the extended Badger community, whose philanthropy plays a vital role in keeping the UW strong.
In 1979, students and other passersby were treated to the sight of 1,008 plastic pink flamingos placed on Bascom Hill by student government pranksters from the Pail and Shovel Party. Ever since, these lawn ornaments have become a treasured tradition of the UW.
Nope! You can also experience the fun on social media and by using our Fill the Hill digital photobooth. Plus, donors who give $75 or more will receive a special surprise in the mail — and those who give $350 or more will receive one collectible plastic lawn flamingo!
You sure do! Donors who support UW–Madison on both official days of giving in a single school year will receive a Badger Flockstar decal after Day of the Badger concludes in the spring. Launched in 2023, this collectible will feature a fun new design each year. Remember: Fill the Hill is the first of the two days of giving, so don’t miss making your gift!
Yes! When you give $350 or more, we’ll ship one collectible plastic lawn flamingo and additional goodies to your home. New this year: if you give $75–349, you will receive a smaller feathery surprise!
Yes, but we are working on reducing our plastic consumption. Starting this year, donors will now receive one flamingo total. If you give $700 or more and you still want multiple flamingos, please contact Josh Wolfgang for assistance.
There are more than 100 areas of campus participating in Fill the Hill this year. UW alumni and friends are encouraged to give to any and all funds they are passionate about.
Featured areas of support include:
Chancellor’s Annual Fund
Great People Annual Scholarship Fund
School and college annual funds
Money raised during Fill the Hill will immediately help the UW address its greatest needs.
You can make a gift by phone by calling 800-443-6162 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. CDT on October 5–6. Because of the short duration of Fill the Hill, mailed gifts will not count toward the total but will go toward supporting the fund of choice.
Yes. The Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA) respects the privacy of every individual with whom it does business. Please review WFAA’s complete Privacy Statement at advanceuw.org/privacy-policy to understand information practices, what personal data WFAA collects through interactions, and how it uses that data.
A mailed gift receipt for tax purposes will be sent out as soon as possible from the University of Wisconsin Foundation. Please consult your tax advisor to confirm whether your Fill the Hill contribution is tax-deductible.
Yes! If you’d like to make either a Qualified Charitable Distribution gift from your IRA or a distribution from your Donor-Advised Fund (DAF), you can let us know of your intention and have your gift counted towards Fill the Hill and any applicable challenges or matches through this form.
Charitable gifts are generally not refundable. Refunds will be made in the event of a mistake or if the purpose for which the gift is given cannot be fulfilled by the Foundation. Individuals who receive refunds have the responsibility of correcting any tax filings they have made reflecting the refunded amount. For questions about a gift, please contact Gift Processing at 800-443-6162.
Yes! You can help spread the word on social media. Not sure where to start? Try one or more of these sample posts below:
The Flamingos are back! Join in the flamingo fun from anywhere in the world at uwflamingos.com. #UWflamingos
What “hatched” as a playful prank in 1979 is now one of the UW’s most treasured traditions. Fill the Hill is back! uwflamingos.com
Fill the Hill 2023 is a real Wisconsin wingding! Join in at uwflamingos.com.
This year during Fill the Hill, I’m adding a flamingo to the hill in support of [cause/area]! #UWflamingos
Gifts made during Fill the Hill go toward maintaining the UW’s excellence in education. Become a UW Flockstar at uwflamingos.com.
Let’s turn the internet into a sea of pink flamingos! Join me in supporting UW–Madison at uwflamingos.com #UWflamingos
Proud to be a UW Flockstar! #UWflamingos
I love the UW because [insert reason]. Why do you love the UW? #UWflamingos
Please reach out to the University of Wisconsin Foundation by calling 800-443-6162 or by emailing email@example.com. You can also chat with us using the chat box to the right.
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