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Below you will find answers to commonly asked questions about the Willamette Fund. If you have additional questions, please contact our office toll-free at (866) 444-2239 or email us at annualgiving@willamette.edu.

  1. What is the Willamette Fund and why should I make an investment?
  2. Does the Willamette Fund support all of the colleges?
  3. I can afford a small gift, will that actually help?
  4. Doesn't tuition cover expenses?
  5. May I make a gift in honor or memory of someone?
  6. What are matching gifts and will my employer match my gift?
  7. Can I make a gift over time?
  8. What is the Leadership Circle?

1. What is the Willamette Fund and why should I make an investment?

A strong annual fund is important to every university. The Willamette Fund (Willamette's annual fund) has been called a living endowment, providing essential support each year to Willamette's students, professors and facilities. The Willamette Fund is the cornerstone of philanthropic support at Willamette University. The generosity and support of alumni, parents, staff, friends and current students allows the university the ability to budget wisely, utilizing the Willamette Fund to support all areas of the university.

Your gift goes to work immediately to help provide financial aid, needed resources for professors, improved classroom technology, building upgrades, library enhancements, support for athletic team travel and equipment and so much more.

It would take an additional $30 million in Willamette's endowment, or an additional tuition charge of $1,200 annually per student at each of the schools to equal the support provided by the Willamette Fund each year. Simply put, your investment makes a difference.

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2. Does the Willamette Fund support all of the colleges?

Yes. The Willamette Fund consists of eight designation areas of which you may designate your support:

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3. I can afford a small gift, will that actually help?

Definitely! A gift of any size directly supports our students and professors. Your gift says that you believe in them and Willamette University. Some foundations and other grant-making organizations look at giving participation rates when awarding grant requests. Participation rates are also a factor in national college rankings, such as US News and World Report. Your gift, viewed as a vote of confidence, could help us secure many more dollars in external funding.

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4. Doesn't tuition cover expenses?

Like nearly all colleges and universities, Willamette faces a gap between tuition income and expenses. At Willamette, tuition provides only 75 percent of the cost of educating a student at all of our colleges. If we increased tuition to fill the gap, fewer students and their families would be able to afford the excellent education we provide. Your Willamette Fund gift supports the distinctive educational experiences that define Willamette and makes them accessible to a broad range of students.

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5. May I make a gift in honor or memory of someone?

Yes. Some parents choose to honor their son or daughter or their child's favorite professor or staff member. Quite a few alumni make gifts in honor of a classmate, spouse or fondly remembered professor. You may also make your gift in memory of someone. We will notify the honored individuals or their families that your gift--without reference to the amount--was made.

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6. What are matching gifts and will my employer match my gift?

Many companies match the charitable contributions of their employees. In this way, the impact of your gift to Willamette may be doubled or even tripled. To have your gift matched, request a matching gift form from your human resources department, complete what's necessary, and send it along to us with your gift. We'll take care of the rest. Visit our website to find out if your company has a matching gift program.

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7. Can I make a gift over time?

Absolutely! Giving monthly is easy and lets us know that we can depend on your support throughout the year. Just let us know how much you want to pledge, how much you are giving now and what you would like to give in the future. You can do this via credit or bank card or you may send a check each month. It's up to you. We can even remind you through our pledge reminder system. Learn more by visiting our website about monthly giving.

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8. What is the Leadership Circle?

The Leadership Circle provides increased giving level recognition for cumulative gifts of $2,500 or more, each fiscal year. Leadership Circle members enjoy regularly VIP events and the knowledge that they are at the forefront of Willamette's cornerstone fundraising project, the Willamette Fund. Learn more about the Leadership Circle here.

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