Frequently Asked Questions
Giving to UM
Q: What is the Annual Fund?
A: The University of Miami’s Annual Fund is the most popular way that alumni, parents, students and friends support the University. The Annual Fund is composed of gifts (excluding bequests, planned gifts, grants, gifts-in-kind, memo gifts) of up to $25,000 that go directly in to the University’s operating budget each year.
Q: Why does the Annual Fund need my support every year?
A: Unlike gifts to the endowment, 100% of Annual Fund dollars are spent to provide immediate support to our students and the University. Annual Fund donations pack impressive philanthropic power and advance UM’s vitality, diversity, and quality by supporting key priorities. These gifts have an increased benefit to UM because they are put to work immediately. Example: An annual gift of $100 has the same spending power as the earnings from a $2,000 endowment.
Q: If I can only afford a small gift, is it worth it to the University?
A: Absolutely! Regardless of the size of your gift, your participation in the Annual Fund is very important. And most importantly, a gift of any size directly impacts our students and is a vote of confidence that shows you support your alma mater.
Q: I hear a lot about “alumni participation” and “Hurricane Pride”. Why is this important and how does it increase the value of my degree?
A: Alumni satisfaction is measured by annual giving from alumni to their institution. Our “Hurricane Pride” or annual alumni giving rate reached 19%. Our goal is to reach 20% and continue to climb. Every gift an alumnus makes counts as a statement to ranking publications that you support your alma mater.
Q: Can my Annual Fund donation be directed to a specific area?
A: You may request that your Annual Fund gift be directed to any school, college, department or program at the University that means the most to you. The Annual Fund is a method and type of gift; it is not a designation or “Fund.”
Q: When should I make my gift?
A: The University of Miami operates on a fiscal year which begins on June 1 and ends on May 31. Many donors choose to make their gifts closer to the end of the calendar year, in order to take advantage of the IRS tax benefit.
Q: Does UM have annual giving societies?
A: Yes, visit the President's Circle web page for more details.
Q: What are matching gifts and how can I make sure my gift is matched? Am I recognized for my matching gift?
A: Many employers will match gifts made by their employees, retirees, and directors to non-profit organizations; some even offer a higher than 1 to 1 match. You can check online to see if your company is a matching gift company, or you may contact your company's human resources department. By spending a few short minutes filling out a simple form, you can often double the power your gift. Example: If a donor gives $500 to the Annual Fund and his/her company matches that gift with another $500, the donor is recognized for the full $1,000 donation, and then becomes a member of the President's Circle.
Q: Are Annual Fund gifts tax-deductible?
A: Yes! Any gift to University of Miami, a 501c (3) charitable organization, is fully tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Gifts of stock, mutual funds or other appreciated securities have special tax benefits. Please visit Estate and Gift Planning for more information.
Q: How often can I expect to be solicited for the Annual Fund during the fiscal year?
A: The solicitation period for the Annual Fund usually begins in late August and goes right up until the end of the fiscal year on May 31. Throughout this period, you can expect to be solicited several times by the Annual Fund program until you make your first gift that year. For special projects, some alumni may receive a “second ask.” If you make a pledge, you will receive reminder notices until the pledge is fulfilled.
Q: What are the different ways I might be solicited for an Annual Fund gift?
A: Throughout our fiscal year (June 1 to May 31), alumni receive mailings and e-mails from the University of Miami Annual Fund, as well as phone calls from our student callers, the Calling ‘Canes, that provide opportunities to support your school, college, or area . The Office of Alumni Relations also has a staff of three regional directors dedicated to visiting alumni and soliciting gifts by geographic region.
Q: Can I let the University know my preference for being solicited or making annual contributions?
A: Yes: You may let the University know your preference on receiving phone solicitations, mail solicitations, or online solicitations, or any combination thereof. For example, some alumni prefer e-mail solicitations to Go GREEN and help the environment. You can call 305-284-9200 and advise the staff of your preferences.
Q: Why am I encouraged to make a larger Annual Fund gift in a Reunion year?
A: Reunion is a special time for members of a class to reunite with old friends and share the excitement of being back on campus together. It is also time for a class to reaffirm its ongoing commitment to the University.