Advancement Division Development
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Chase Simpson
Cordova, TN


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Office of Development?

The Office of Development raises funds for the University.  We develop relationships alumni, parents, students, faculty/staff, and friends of the University, as well as corporations and foundations.  As those individuals and groups become more engaged, we present the University’s needs and answer questions as they choose how they want support the University.


Why does U of M need private money if it is a public University?

Currently, approximately 61% of the University’s funding comes from tuition & fees and state funding.  The remaining 29% must be donated from loyal alumni, friends, companies, foundations, parents and even students.


What is the difference between Common Cents and the FAM?

Both Common Cents and the FAM are based out of the Office of Advancement.

Common Cents, the student giving program at the University of Memphis, enables you to contribute to the University as a student. We want to help everyone understand the important role our donors have in sustaining the University, and want you (our future alumni!) to learn the importance of giving back. 

The FAM provides programming and services for current University of Memphis students that will aid in developing stronger connections with the institution as well as with its alumni. The FAM is a membership-based organization and carries an annual fee of $20 for students.


I already pay tuition, why should I give the U of M more money?

Tuition and fees provide about 32% of the University’s annual revenue.  As with state funding, the University relies on donations to help fill the gaps where financial support is needed but can’t be provided by state funding and tuition and fees.


What will my gift of $5, $10, $20.10, or even $100 really do?

All gifts make a difference.   Even gifts that may seem small to you will combine with similar gifts from tens of thousands of other students, alumni, parents and friends of the University to create a large impact.  Last year, the Annual Fund raised over $700,000 from over 5,000 donors.  More than $7,000 was from students alone!  Those donors may have thought their gifts were small, but when combined, they were able to provide a lot of support for the University of Memphis.  


Why is my participation important?

You can make a difference!  Your $25 gift might be all we need to complete a major initiative.  Also, seeing that our students and alumni have enough confidence to support the University will help encourage others to contribute, too.  Additionally, our alumni participation figure weighs into the U.S. News and World Report’s annual ranking of national universities. 


What is the Common Cents Student Giving Society? How do I become a member?

The Common Cents Society for student donors only.  To be recognized, you must make a gift to the University.  You will be recognized in our Student Donor Honor Roll and might receive invitations to special campus events.


What is the Student Campaign, and why should I give?

Led by the Common Cents Council, our Student Campaign spreads the awareness of the importance of your financial contributions to the University.  We ask students support the University with a gift that is comfortable for them: $5, $10, $20, $25, $50, $100…  We hope that every student leaves the university knowing their gifts, of any size, truly make an impact. 

Someday, we hope to reach 100% student body participation every year.  What an impact we could make if every student contributed to the University each year! Contribute to your school or college, or whatever fund interests you, and see your name in Student Donor Honor Roll as a member of the Common Cents Student Giving Society.


What is the Senior Campaign, and why should  I give?

Also, led by the Common Cents Council, our Senior Campaign is a united effort during your senior year to encourage and enable all seniors to support to the University with a financial gift. 

In addition to knowing you did something to make an impact at your alma mater, all senior donors will be recognized as members of the Common Cents Student Giving Society in the Student Donor Honor Roll and in the commencement booklet.  Graduates can stop by the Common Cents table during Cap and Gown Distribution to get involved.

More questions?  E-mail us!

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Last Updated: 3/15/12