Endowing Your Gifts

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What is an endowment?

An endowment to The University of Alabama is a gift that is intended to permanently support a University program chosen by the donor. The endowment fund remains intact in perpetuity, while its earnings support students, faculty, and/or programs, as designated by the donor.

How does The University of Alabama benefit from endowments?

Endowments allow the University to create and maintain excellence in academics beyond what can be accomplished with funding from the state. Endowments provide the funds for scholarships, fellowships, professorships, academic chairs, libraries, and programs that serve as crucial elements in student and faculty recruitment and retention. Visit scholarships.ua.edu for more information on scholarships at UA.

How can you benefit from creating an endowment?

Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of establishing an endowment is that it allows you to directly accomplish your philanthropic goals while helping the University fund its initiatives. The reasons for creating a named endowment are varied: the satisfaction of supporting academic excellence; the gratification of furthering important research; the pleasure of honoring a spouse, family member, or colleague in a way that is meaningful to him or her; the comfort of memorializing a loved one with a living legacy. Additionally, creating an endowment may result in tax savings and other financial benefits that may enable you to give more than you might have thought possible.

How does one create an endowment?

The gift for endowment purposes may take any of several forms. It can be an outright gift of cash; appreciated properties such as securities, real estate, tangible and intangible personal property (art, books, copyrights, oil and gas interests, etc.) acceptable to the University. Endowments can also be created through a gift by will; a charitable trust or other life income plan; retirement plan assets; or an insurance policy.

Gifts may be given or pledged over a number of years. You can also add to your endowment, beyond the initial funding level, through lifetime gifts, bequests, and beneficiary designations from life insurance or retirement plans. Many businesses and corporations have matching-gift programs through which they match – and may double, triple, or increase by even more – donations made by employees. Participation in such a program enables your endowment to reach higher levels faster. The University of Alabama development officers are available to assist you in selecting a gift arrangement to best meet your financial and charitable goals.

How are endowments managed?

When the gift or pledge is received, a Memorandum of Agreement will be executed between you and the University. The memorandum outlines the terms and conditions of your endowment gift. The University will then administer your fund in adherence to the terms of agreement. The University cannot change the memorandum without the expressed consent of the donor or the donor’s designated representative.

Your fund will be officially endowed by a Resolution of The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama when the base funding requirement is fulfilled. You will receive a copy and the resolution will be entered into the minutes of the board to become part of the historical record. You will receive an annual report on the use of your endowment funds from the president of the University.

Your endowment will be invested in the University’s Pooled Endowment Fund. This fund is invested utilizing the expertise of a number of external fund managers and is administered and reviewed by the investment committee of The Board Of Trustees of The University of Alabama.

The following are funding levels established by the University for various endowments. These may be modified from time to time to meet the rising costs of education and programs.

Endowment Fund Base Funding Level
Academic Chair $1,500,000
Professorship $500,000
Faculty Fellow $200,000
Scholarship $25,000
Program Support Fund $10,000