Fill the Hill 2021

What is Fill the Hill?

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.

Where did this tradition come from?
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.

Will Fill the Hill be different this year?
In 2020, Fill the Hill became a fully virtual experience for the first time. This year, the flamingos are back in person!Although Fill the Hill is no longer virtual only, 2020 taught us that digital flamingos can be a lot of fun, too.So, just like last year, those who give will be able to access special online extras to keep the feathery fun going. That way, anyone in the world can enjoy the Fill the Hill

I’ve heard there are some red flamingos this year. What do they mean?
It’s true! You may see somes pecial-edition red flamingos dotting the hill this year.These flamingos are part of our celebration of the All Ways Forward campaign—and the incredible generosity of our supporters,who have helped UW–Madison remain one of the world’s leading institutions of higher education and research.

Why are you holding Fill the Hill this year?
Fill the Hill offers an opportunity for the Badger community to enjoy the silliness of a cherished, annual UW tradition —something we could all use right now. Furthermore, at its core, Fill the Hill is an important fundraising event that helps the university address critical needs and advance its mission.

Fill the Hill 2021 Logistics
Date: Fill the Hill 2021 begins Thursday, Oct.28, at 5 p.m. CDT and concludes on Friday, Oct.29 at 6 p.m. CDT
•Hashtag: #uwflamingos
•Filling the Hill: 1 gift = 1 flamingo on the hill
Premium gift levels:

For every $250 you give, we’ll ship a collectible red plastic lawn flamingo to your home. That’s one flamingo if you give $250, two flamingos if you give $500, and so on. (Be sure to tell us if you don’t want all your flamingos.)

Participation: All alumni, students, and friends are invited to join in the feathery fun while raising critical funds to help the UW remain a world-class educational institution.

Can individuals choose where their Fill the Hill gift goes? 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
•Raimey-Noland Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Fund Money raised during Fill the Hill will immediately help the UW address its greatest needs.

Can gifts be made by phone or mail?
You can make a gift by phone by calling 800-443-6162 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. CDTon October 29. 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.

Is it safe to make a gift online?
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 to understand information practices, what personal data WFAA collects through interactions, and how it uses that data.

Are Fill the Hill contributions tax deductible?
A mailed gift receipt for tax purposes will be sent out from the University of Wisconsin Foundation. A receipt can be expected to arrive in the mail roughly two weeks after a gift is made.Please consult your tax advisor to confirm whether your Fill the Hill contribution is tax deductible.

What is the refund policy?
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.

Are there other ways I can help the UW during Fill the Hill?
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
•Join me in the feathered fun at #UWFlamingos
•What started as a playful prank more than 50 years ago is now one of the UW’s most treasured traditions. Fill the Hill is back!
•Fill the Hill 2021 is unflappable! Join in at
•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
•Let’s turn the internet into a sea of pink flamingos! Join me in supporting UW–Madison at #UWFlamingos
•Proud to be a UW Flockstar #UWFlamingos
•I love the UW because [insert reason]. Why do you love the UW? #UWFlamingos

Giving-related questions?
Please reach out to the University of Wisconsin Foundation by calling 800-443-6162 or