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Frequently Asked Questions



Annual Giving Frequently Asked Questions
Common Terms & Definitions

Annual Giving  – Annual giving is the act of alumni, parents, friends, organizations, and students consistently making one or more gifts to Belmont during each fiscal, or academic, year. Because our goal is to increase giving percentage, as well as total gift amounts, all designations are available and encouraged for alumni, parents, and friends support.

Belmont Annual Fund – The Belmont Annual Fund includes all gifts from alumni, parents, and other friends for current support of teaching and learning at Belmont University, for unrestricted or restricted purposes and potentially repeatable, excluding most gifts to endowments and capital projects. 

Unrestricted Support - Unrestricted support is composed of gifts used to support the most immediate needs of the students and teachers at Belmont University.  Unrestricted money is like a living university endowment that allows Belmont to remain diligent in pursuit of excellence and also provides a competitive edge in enabling the university to attract the best and brightest students through scholarships and learning resources. 

Restricted College Funds – The School and College Funds allow alumni to designate gifts to the faculty, staff, and students of any of Belmont’s outstanding schools or colleges. 

  • The College of Arts & Science
  • The Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business
  • Gordon E. Inman College of Health Science and Nursing
  • College of Business Administration
  • College of Visual and Performing Arts
  • School of Religion
  • Adult Degree Program

U.S. News & World Report Rankings – Alumni Giving Percentage - The average percent of undergraduate alumni of record who donate money to the college or university. The alumni giving rate is calculated by dividing the number of appropriate donors during a given academic year by the number of appropriate alumni of record for that year. The percent of alumni giving serves as a proxy for how satisfied students are with the school.

Questions:

What does my annual gift do?  

Your annual gift is immediately put to use to support teaching and learning here on campus. Your gift may enhance the campus learning environment by adding computers or books to the library, or it may supplement student scholarships. Every gift, no matter the size or designation, serves a very specific and important purpose by enabling our faculty and student to better fulfill our mission to transform the world through disciplined intelligence, courage, compassion, and faith. 

Quite literally, every part of Belmont benefits from your support. The most fundamental impact is on the teaching and learning enterprise as we strive to retain our student-centered educational approach in the classroom.  Annual gifts also equip our science and computer labs, helps to build the library collections and maintains our beautiful and historic grounds. If you have had a class in Fidelity Hall, studied on a pretty day in the quad, or watched the Bruins play here on campus, then you have experienced the impact of annual fund gifts.       

Where can I designate my gift?

Anywhere.  Really.  While unrestricted gifts are important to the fiscal health of Belmont, we encourage our alumni, parents and friends to give to the areas to which they feel most connected. School and Colleges, scholarships, athletics, and mission trips are always a popular choice. To learn more about areas of potential support, contact Luisa Wilsman.

What is the alumni giving percentage?

The alumni giving percentage is an indicator of alumni pride and satisfaction and measures the act of alumni giving, not the total amount given.  It is officially defined as the average percent of undergraduate alumni of record who donate money to the college or university. The alumni giving rate is calculated by dividing the number of appropriate donors during a given academic year by the number of appropriate alumni of record for that year. The percent of alumni giving serves as a proxy for how satisfied students are with the school. Also, Levels of participation among alumni, faculty and staff, and the Board of Trustees are considered by foundations and corporations when they make their funding decisions.  A gift from any individual donor could lead to other significant gifts and the collective gifts of all individuals provide sustained support to assure the future of Belmont. As an alumnus or alumna, your gift will have an immediate impact on the value of your degree as we rise in the ranks. Giving to Belmont is a great way to help your University and yourself!

What is the fiscal year?

The Belmont fiscal year follows the academic calendar and runs from June 1 to May 31.  All gifts and pledges completed before May 31 count toward the current year’s alumni giving percentage goals and budget needs.  

Does Belmont really need my money?  What about student tuition and the endowment?

While Belmont’s endowment offsets the cost of student tuition by almost $1,500 per student, the endowment still only covers about 5% of the University’s annual operating budget.  Belmont’s success, therefore, depends heavily on the support of our alumni and friends.  Annual giving is sometimes called the "living endowment" because dollars are expended in their entirety in the year they are given. In that sense, donors know the full amount of their gifts are being used for educating today's students. 

I can’t afford a big gift.  Is there any point in me giving?

Large gifts are absolutely essential to Belmont’s success. But so are more modest ones. Belmont now has more than 16,000 living alumni. Most of us will never make the cover of Fortune magazine. Many-teachers and ministers and nurses, for example-choose our life's work for love, not money. But when our gifts are combined, they add up and provide critical support for the student-teacher interaction that makes our University so special.   

How do matching gifts work? 

Many companies will match your gift to the University, thereby doubling or sometimes tripling your contribution. For most companies, you would find a very simple form in your human resources or personnel office, and return that to Belmont when you make your gift. To see if your employer is a matching company, please visit our Matching Gift Company Search. If you have any questions, please contact Laurianne Linton.

How does Belmont recognize its donors?

Recognition varies with the type and amount of the gift. All donors are sent written tax receipts and acknowledgement of their contributions. Belmont also has donor societies that carry different levels of rewards, such as discounts from the Belmont bookstore and tickets to very popular campus events.  Donors who establish endowed funds may receive annual correspondence from scholarship or research fund recipients. In addition, we encourage all of our donors to come to campus and see first-hand the impact that gifts make on current Belmont students and faculty.

Are there non-monetary ways I can support Belmont?

Absolutely! Whether it's recommending a student to Belmont, setting up a summer internship at the company where you work, or volunteering your services for the Belmont alumni group near you, we appreciate your support. There are many ways to get involved, and some of them take just a few minutes of your time. To learn more, please contact the Alumni Office.

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