Gift Fee FAQ

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What is the UofM Foundation's Development support fee?

The fee on non-endowed, non-scholarship/fellowship gifts supports overall Development efforts for the University of Memphis including the cost of being accountable to you and other donors. This accountability includes our commitment to provide timely gift receipts, and accurate donor records and reports. In addition, the Development support fee will allow the UofM Foundation to better support the University's overall investment in fundraising.

How much is the support fee?

Effective July 1, 2015, the fee is 5 percent of the gift value and is applied toward current expendable gifts (non-endowed). Gifts to scholarships/fellowships are excluded.

Why does the UofM Foundation have a development support fee?

The development support fee allows the UofM Foundation to reduce the University's reliance on state funding for fundraising operations, thus freeing University funds for education, research and community service programs. The support fee revenue is directly related to the cost of doing business—as gifts to benefit the University of Memphis increase, the costs of fundraising, gift receipting and reporting increase.

How are fundraising operations funded?

Fundraising operations are currently funded through a combination of direct University support (state funding), a portion of Foundation revenue from earnings on short-term funds, and a portion of Foundation endowment management fees. The Development support fee adds another very important funding source.

Do other universities charge gift management fees?

A fee of 5 to 10 percent of gifts is common at university foundations throughout the country. As a matter of fact, the majority of public research universities, like the UofM, assess a fee on gifts.

The local non-profit organizations I support don't charge gift management fees. What's the difference?

The difference is primarily one of terminology. All community organizations have operating costs. In general, revenue from contributions helps to support them—whether or not a formal gift "fee" is identified. In the non-profit sector, best practice standards hold that operating costs in the range of 15-20 percent are considered to be excellent; assuring that approximately $.80 of every dollar contributed goes to providing direct services. By comparison, $.95 of each current expendable fund dollar you give to the UofM Foundation for purposes other than scholarships/fellowships gets put to work by the University. The entire amount of your gift toward an endowment or for a scholarship/fellowship is directed in accordance to your wishes.

How often does the Development support fee change?

Changes to the UofM Foundation's funding sources are typically approved by our Budget, Finance & Audit Committee and our Board of Trustees. The Budget, Finance & Audit Committee routinely reviews all Foundation fees on an annual basis.