Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is annual giving?

The Office of Annual Giving turns individual gifts – of all sizes – into collective energy. It is alumni, along with parents and friends, all working together to make an immediate impact. Annual gifts of up to $49,999 (excluding bequests, planned gifts, grants, gifts-in-kind, and memo gifts) go directly into the University's operating budget each year

Q: I paid my tuition, so why is the University asking for more money?

The University of Miami offers each student a world of opportunities for learning and personal growth, but doing so is costly. Tuition covers only about 80 percent of what it costs to educate a UM student, so annual gifts from alumni, students, and friends are essential to help fill the gap. Gifts to the University support scholarships that attract the very best students, fund major research projects, and sustain the University’s progress as one of the fastest-rising institutions of higher education in the nation.

Q: Why does the Office of Annual Giving need my support every year?

Unlike gifts to the endowment, 100 percent of annual giving dollars are spent in the same year they are given. Annual gifts pack impressive philanthropic power for our students and the University because they are put to work immediately. An annual gift of $100, for example, has the same spending power as the earnings from a $2,000 endowment.

Q: If I can afford only a small gift, is it worth it to the University?

Absolutely! Regardless of the size of your gift, your participation as an annual giving donor directly impacts our students. It’s also a vote of confidence that shows you support your alma mater, which increases the value of your degree.

Q: How does my annual gift increase the value of my degree?

Alumni satisfaction, an important factor in national rankings, is measured by annual giving from alumni to their University. Every gift you make is a statement that you support your alma mater, which boosts the University’s place in the national rankings. Currently at #45 in the nation, according to the 2015 U.S. News & World Report, UM remains a top institution in Florida. Our annual alumni giving rate, known as “Hurricane Pride,” reached 15 percent last year.

Q: Can my annual gift be directed to a specific area?

You may request that your annual gift be directed to any school, college, department, or program at the University that means the most to you. Annual giving is a method, it is not a designation or “fund.”

Q: When should I make my gift?

The University of Miami operates on a fiscal year calendar, 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 benefits.

Q: Does UM have annual giving societies?

Yes, visit the McLamore Society and Loyalty Society web pages for more details.

Q: What are matching gifts?

Many employers will match gifts to nonprofit organizations made by their employees, retirees, and directors; 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 be recognized for the full gift amount. Example: If you give $500 to the University, and your employer matches that gift with another $500, you are recognized for the full $1,000 donation and therefore inducted into the McLamore Society.

Q: Are annual gifts tax deductible?

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. 

Q: Can I let the University know my preference for being solicited or making annual contributions?

Yes! You may let the University know your preference on receiving phone solicitations, mail solicitations, online solicitations, or any combination thereof. For example, some alumni prefer email solicitations to go “green” and help the environment. Simply call 305-284-9200 and advise Annual Giving staff of your preferences.