About Us

The Office of Philanthropic Giving at the University of Miami engages alumni, families, staff, faculty, friends, and students to celebrate the success of the institution and sustain its excellence through regular giving. This vital support provides the foundation for student scholarships, research opportunities, and classroom innovations.

The mission of the Office of Philanthropic Giving for the University of Miami Health System – UHealth – is to bolster support for UHealth’s life-changing and innovative health care efforts. Gifts to UHealth provide financial support for all areas across the health system, including the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, South Florida’s only NCI-designated cancer center, and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, the nation’s number-one eye care institute.

Contact Us:

Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Main Telephone Line: 305-284-9200
Fax Number: 305-284-3897
Email: philanthropicgiving@miami.edu

Meet the Staff

Heather Anne Kopec Asst. VP, Alumni Relations hxk484@miami.edu 
Saudia Aleema Hack Administrative Assistant sxh2841@miami.edu 
Laura White Director of Philanthropic Giving laura.white@miami.edu
Walleska M. Lacayo Philanthropic Giving Associate wlacayo@miami.edu
Stephanie Zapata Associate Director, Multi-Media Marketing szapata@miami.edu
Victor Miguel Collado Next Generation Giving Associate vcollado@miami.edu
Meghan Matthews Associate Director of Philanthropic Giving, UHealth m.matthews@med.miami.edu
Rachel Tuning Development Proposal Writer rxt582@miami.edu


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  • Q: What is philanthropic giving?

    The Office of Philanthropic Giving turns individual gifts – of all sizes – into collective energy. It is alumni, along with families, friends, faculty, staff, and grateful patients, all working together to make an immediate impact. Gifts of up to $49,999 (with some exclusions) go directly into the University's operating budget each year.

  • Q: What is digital engagement?

    The Office of Digital Engagement is responsible for building and growing digital communities throughout the globe. They are also responsible for engaging with University of Miami and University of Miami Health System community members across all digital platforms such as our alumni app, social media, online education courses, and other channels to encourage further volunteerism, giving, and other avenues of connection.

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

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

  • Q: If I can afford only a small gift, is it worth it?

    Absolutely! Regardless of the size of your gift, your participation as a donor directly impacts our institution. Over this past year, gifts up to $25 provided over $160,000 in total, supporting an array of activities across the institution. Gifts of any amount are also a vote of confidence that shows you support your alma mater, which increases the value of your degree.

  • Q: Why does the Office of Philanthropic Giving need my sustained support?

    Unlike gifts to the endowment, 100 percent of gifts to the Office of Philanthropic Giving are spent in the same year they are given. In total, these gifts pack impressive philanthropic power for 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: 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 at the same time every year or to the same campaign, such as a Giving Day. Whenever the gift is made in the fiscal year, it will be used in that fiscal year.


  • 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: Does UM have giving societies?

    Yes, visit the McLamore Society web page for more details.

  • Q: Are gifts tax-deductible?

    Gifts to the University of Miami, a 501c (3) charitable organization, are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Please consult a tax advisor for further details.

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

    Yes! You may let us know your preference for 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 Philanthropic Giving + Digital Engagement staff of your preferences.