Frequently Asked Questions | Annual Giving Programs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Annual Giving and why does it matter?

Annual gifts made by alumni, parents, patients and friends on a yearly basis are an investment in the University of Rochester and its Medical Center. Annual support is important to the University because these funds immediately meet the needs of a particular school, unit, department or program.

What University of Rochester annual funds can I give to?

There are more than 200 annual funds across the University of Rochester and its Medical Center to choose from including academics, hospitals, community, and cultural institutions. There is a wide range of philanthropic opportunities at the University listed on our annual giving online form. If you do not see an area you are interested in, feel free to write a comment about your designation in the form or call (866) 673-0181. By making an annual fund gift, you can have an immediate impact on one or more areas that are meaningful to you.

What is meant by "annual" and how are annual gift used?

By definition, annual funds are unrestricted, current-use funds that provide the head of each school, unit, or department with maximum flexibility for responding quickly to new opportunities and to meet unexpected needs. These funds typically support operations, educational programs, scholarships, research, patient care, improvements to facilities, and similar initiatives. Annual fund gifts are used in their entirety during the year they are received. The University’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30, and gifts made during that time period are used to address current top priorities for the areas to which they are designated.

Why does the University of Rochester need my support every year?

Annual gifts are funds that a dean or other appropriate University leader can use immediately and can be allocated to areas of greatest need. Gifts that are in the endowment are pre-determined both in how and when they can be used. Annual gifts, however, make the important day-to-day experiences possible. There is no faster or easier way to make an immediate impact on the areas of the University that are important to you. To learn about your gift’s impact on the University click here.

Learn about your gift’s impact on the University.

If I make a gift early in the year, will I still receive additional mailings?

In most cases, you will not be asked to give again for the rest of the University's fiscal year, which runs from July 1 through June 30. However, if there is an opportunity for you to participate in a special initiative we will send you information. You may be contacted by phone a second time during the year if the area of the University you support has an immediate need for funding. We do understand that making a gift is an important, very personal choice—and we greatly appreciate your support whenever you are willing and able to do so.

Why does the University of Rochester, with its endowment and tuition fees, need my support?

Our endowment and other forms of income do not cover the entire cost of educating every student or the cost of operating the University, its schools, units or Medical Center. For example, tuition only covers less than 85% of the actual cost to educate each student. Annual private support from many sources—including alumni, parents, patients, friends, foundations, and corporations, etc.—plays a vital role in creating a high quality experience for our students, faculty, staff, patients, and community members.

When I give, do I have to commit to the same amount every year?

No. You are welcome to give an annual amount that is most comfortable for you. Please remember that it is still important to give every year as our needs increase and we continue to grow as a University.

May I make a gift in installments?

Yes. When you complete your gift form, please note the amount of your gift and the number of installments you’d like to make in the space provided or in an online giving form “comments” area.

May I make an annual fund gift in honor or in memory of someone?

Yes. Gifts can be made to any annual fund in honor or in memory of a loved one, friend, physician, nurse, or colleague. Please include the name of the individual you wish to honor in this manner in the space provided when you make your gift.

How can I learn more about giving opportunities?

If you have additional questions that are not answered here, please contact the University of Rochester Office of Annual Giving Programs at (866) 673-0181 or By making an annual fund gift of any size—to any area of the University or Medical Center you’d like—you help transform lives and make a profound impact on society. Thank you!