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Giving FAQs

Why does Ohio University need my support?

Ten years ago, state funding accounted for 34 percent of Ohio University’s operating budget. But times have changed. Today, only 24 percent of the budget is state-funded. In order to keep the burden of dwindling state support from falling on the shoulders of future Bobcats, we depend on private gifts from you - our alumni, donors, and friends - to help bridge the gap and keep tuition costs down.

Your gifts helps increase student financial aid, bolster research and creative activities, keep OHIO’s equipment and technology up-to-date, and enhance the Bobcat student experience - everything you do makes a huge difference in the life of our university!

Can I choose what my gift supports?

At Ohio University, we believe that you should be able to support what matters most to YOU. You can designate your gift to any area of the University. From academic departments and colleges, to varsity sports and student activities, the choice is yours! To view a list of options, please click HERE.

Is my gift tax deductible?

Yes! The Ohio University Foundation is an institutionally-related, nonprofit, tax exempt, 501(c)(3) organization, and is the repository for all private gifts to Ohio University. Contributions to The Ohio University Foundation are tax deductible to the full extent provided by law. Click HERE to access The Ohio University Foundation's tax exemption letter.

Can I make my gift in installments?

Yes. Donors often make gift pledges that can be paid over time. For example, if you pledge $1,000, you might fulfill the commitment with two $500 payments over the course of a year. Or if you pledge $8,000, you might fulfill the commitment with an annual gift of $1,000 over the course of eight years. We are here to assist you in making those decisions.

What is gift-in-kind?

Gifts of goods or services to the university are referred to as gifts-in-kind. Please consult with Tom Hoffman or Jess Storm Steele if you are interested in making a gift-in-kind donation.

How do I set up a scholarship?

If you’d like to create a scholarship, please speak with Tom Hoffman or Jess Storm Steele or contact us by phone 740.593.9372. We’ll work with you to lay out how you want the scholarship to be awarded (for example, how much you want to be awarded annually and GPA / major requirements). You’ll need to make an initial gift of $1,000 to open a new account.

What is an endowment?

Just like a savings account, endowment funds generate income from the principal investment. Endowments create the foundation upon which universities build lasting financial strength and ensure academic quality. Once in place, endowments provide permanent support for teaching and research, student aid, and an abundance of other academic programs and activities.

These dollars can support scholarships, equipment and software upgrades, student research, and more. Distribution of funds will be subject to a specific set of guidelines formulated by The Ohio University Foundation in conjunction with you, the donor. You can create an endowment that will bear your name or the name of someone you wish to honor.

Because the financial requirements for various endowment and naming opportunities differ, donors are encouraged to discuss their ideas with a staff member from the Office of Development.

For more information please contact please speak with Tom Hoffman or Jess Storm Steele or by phone 740.593.9372.

What is the Undergraduate Scholarship Investment Program?

Ohio University is committed to making a significant investment to support the University’s core mission of providing access and opportunity for students seeking a college education. To this end, $25 million is being dedicated to strengthening the University’s endowed scholarship program through the Undergraduate Scholarship Investment Program and the Targeted Scholarship
Investment Program. In order to maximize the impact of this opportunity, the University will provide $.50 for every dollar committed to eligible scholarship endowments starting July 1, 2013.

What is the match criteria?

Undergraduate Scholarship Match Criteria

  • Designated for domestic, undergraduate students on the Athens Campus;
  • Based on merit, need or talent as defined by the University; 
  • Endowed, renewable scholarships; and
  • University-wide or College-wide
  • Scholarships must be in one of the existing targeted – high-merit and/or special population – scholarship programs and must conform to the guidelines governing those programs at the time of inception.

Additional notes

  • To be eligible for the match, gifts/pledges must be new.
  • Gifts may be made to existing accounts if they meet the Scholarship Investment Program criteria as determined by The Foundation.

How are endowment gifts managed?

Gifts to The Ohio University Foundation are managed in accordance with the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (“UPMIFA”) adopted by the State of Ohio on June 1, 2009. UPMIFA provides guidance to charitable organizations for the management and investment of endowment funds. Spending authority for endowment accounts not underwater will be the product of a 4 percent spending rate and a 36-month moving average of fair market value. These accounts will also be subject to a 2 percent administration fee. Should market performance result in an unsustainable change in available spending, the Investment Committee of The Ohio University Foundation Board of Trustees will address altering the spending rate accordingly. In the event that endowed accounts are underwater, spending will be restricted to an amount equal to 1 percent of the 36-month moving average of fair market value. These accounts will not be assessed the 2 percent administration fee.

2013 Ohio University Foundation Annual Audited Report

What’s the difference between an endowment and a restricted gift?

An endowment is kind of like a bank CD; after it’s been invested for a certain period of time (typically a full fiscal year), it generates returns that can be used in accordance with the account guidelines. The interest earned is the only portion that is ever spent. For example, if the John Doe Scholarship Endowment has positive returns in a given year, the university will use the interest it generates to award the scholarship in the following fiscal year. The benefit to this type of gift is that it continues in perpetuity; the drawback is that it takes a lot more money to have a big annual impact.

A restricted gift, on the other hand, is designed to be used as soon as the unit needs it. As a donor, you can limit where the gift goes (a school, college, department, or scholarship, for example). The benefit to this type of gift is that it provides funding immediately for the cause you want to support. The drawback is that after the money is used, it is gone. So, for example, if you want to make a gift to create a scholarship, you would have to fund it annually if you’d like it to continue to be awarded.

Does Ohio University offer naming opportunities?

Naming opportunities exist at various giving levels to allow our donors to leave a legacy based on their individual desires. You can leave your print on Ohio University in your name, or in the name of someone you wish to honor or memorialize.

Several naming opportunities exist including:

  • Academic Programs: Your gift can name a college, school, department, center, institute or special dean's fund. The endowments established by these gifts provide a margin of excellence for the programs they support.
  • Endowments: Just like a savings account, endowment funds generate income from the principal investment. Endowments create the foundation upon which universities build lasting financial strength and ensure academic quality. Once in place, endowments provide permanent support for teaching and research, student aid, and an abundance of other academic programs and activities. These dollars can support scholarships, equipment and software upgrades, student research, and more. Distribution of funds will be subject to a specific set of guidelines formulated by The Ohio University Foundation in conjunction with you, the donor.
  • Facilities: Some gifts last a lifetime, while others last forever. Naming a building, laboratory or other available space is a remarkable way to leave your legacy at Ohio University. Gifts of that support facilities allow us to offer up-to-date environments for teaching, learning, community life, recreation and spiritual growth.
  • Faculty Support: Faculty support provides competitive compensation that supports recruitment and retention of faculty since the prestigious rank adds not only a salary supplement via carefully managed endowment earnings, but also discretionary funds.
  • Scholarships, prizes and awards: Scholarship incentives often play a crucial role as students make decisions about where to attend college and what major to pursue. Prizes and awards allow Ohio University to recognize outstanding work by undergraduate and graduate students. Your gift to scholarships, prizes, and awards will support the University's most precious resource: its students.

The financial requirements for naming opportunities differ, so donors are encouraged to discuss their ideas with a staff member from the Office of Development.

For information on OHIO's naming policy or establishing an endowment, please contact us via phone 800.592.3863 or via email at giving@ohio.edu

When will I receive a receipt for my gift?

You can expect to receive a receipt within 14 business days after The Ohio University Foundation receives your gift.

How do I obtain a copy of my tax receipt?

To obtain a duplicate copy of your tax receipt, please contact us by phone 800.592.3863 or via email at giving@ohio.edu

Who do I contact to find out information about a gift I’ve already made?

For questions about gifts, please contact Donor Relations at 740.593.4222 or the Development Office for the College of Business at 740.593-9372

How are donors recognized?

Ohio University is grateful for the support it receives from alumni, parents and friends. Public recognition of support is frequently expressed through honor rolls that may be in electronic or printed forms. If you prefer that your name not be listed in an honor roll or other recognition vehicles, please contact Donor Relations at 740.593.4222 if you have not already done so.

What are my rights as a donor?

Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life. To assure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the not-for-profit organizations and causes they are asked to support, it is declared that all donors have these rights.

  1. To be informed of the organization's mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes.
  2. To be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization's governing board and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities.
  3. To have access to the organization's most recent financial statements.
  4. To be assured gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given.
  5. To receive appropriate acknowledgment and recognition.
  6. To be assured that information about donations is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law.
  7. To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature.
  8. To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers or employees of the organization or hired solicitors.
  9. To have the opportunity for the donor's name to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share.
  10. To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful, and forthright answers.

The text of this statement in its entirety was developed by the American Association of Fundraising Counsel (AAFRC), the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

What is a planned gift?

A planned gift is made through a separate legal instrument that is often deferred until a future date, such as a will, revocable trust, gift annuity, charitable remainder trust, charitable lead trust or life insurance. An outright cash gift or pledge is not considered a "planned gift."

Ohio University's Office of Gift Planning can assist you in making a planned gift. There are a number of donors who are benefiting from life income gifts, gift annuities and other plans that provide favorable tax benefits.

What kind of assets can be used to make a planned gift to Ohio University?

Almost any asset can be used to make a planned gift to Ohio University including cash, stocks, bonds, real estate, and even retirement assets and life insurance policies. For more information on gift options, please click HERE.

How do I include Ohio University in my will or living trust?

A charitable bequest is one of the easiest ways you can leave a lasting impact on Ohio University. A bequest may be made in your will or trust directing a gift to Ohio University. With the help of an advisor, you can include language in your will or trust specifying a gift to be made to family, friends or charity as part of your estate plan. Please click HERE for more information.

What are the benefits of a bequest?

In addition to the legacy you will leave on Ohio University, you will also receive an estate tax charitable deduction and lessen the burden of taxes on your family. A bequest is one of the easiest gifts to make. Learn more HERE.

What if I intend to give a gift in the future but need some income for the present?

Ohio University offers several planned giving vehicles that can provide income for life or for a term of years. Examples include Charitable Gift Annuities and Charitable Remainder Trusts. LEARN MORE.