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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the University of Rochester Annual Funds?

The school, unit, and department annual funds across the University are known collectively as the University of Rochester Annual Funds. This “family” of funds presents a view of the full range of philanthropic opportunities at the University. Alumni, friends and supporters are encouraged to make an impact in one or more of the areas that are important and meaningful in their lives.

What is meant by “annual?”

Annual fund gifts are the type of gifts donors typically make every year out of their current income. These gifts are used in their entirety in 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 should I make an annual fund gift?

Annual fund gifts have a significant impact in every area of the University, but more importantly on the world beyond. Each $1 gift to one of the University’s annual funds is the equivalent of $20 in endowment. There is no faster or easier way to make an immediate impact on the areas of the University that are important to you. For more reasons to give, please visit the Why Give page.

How are annual funds 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 venture-type funds typically support operations, educational programs, scholarships, research, patient care, improvements to facilities, and similar initiatives.

If the University of Rochester has an endowment, why do you need my annual gift?

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, and units. Annual private support from many sources—including alumni, parents, grateful patients, friends of the University, foundations, and corporations, to name a few—plays a vital role in creating a high quality experience for our students, faculty, staff, patients, and community members.

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

Yes. We provide additional mailings because  you will find valuable information in these mailings that you won’t see in other publications. Our mailings help to keep you informed about all of the exciting things taking place at the University, and you may decide you would like to support more than one program.

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 and for your family’s budget. 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. For your convenience, we will send payment reminders based on the schedule you have selected.

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.

Does my gift count toward the Campaign for the University of Rochester?

Yes. All gifts count toward The Meliora Challenge, a University-wide fundraising campaign that was launched in October 2011 and runs through June 30, 2016. Click here for more information about The Meliora Challenge.

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 (800) 598-1330 or