Annual Giving FAQ
Why do you solicit money every year?
Private support makes the difference between being average and being excellent. Annual gifts to the University strengthen academic programs, support new research, and enrich the educational experience for our students. Annual gifts also boost the University’s reputation: “U.S. News & World Report” considers alumni participation in annual giving when it ranks the nation’s universities.
Doesn’t the state of Texas provide funding for the University?
The state does provide money to run a public university in Austin. It doesn’t provide adequate funding for a renowned research institution of the caliber of The University of Texas at Austin.
Is my gift tax-deductible?
Yes. In most cases the full value of your gift is tax-deductible.
What are matching gifts?
Many employers offer a charitable matching-gift program. Use our easy matching gift service to find out if your employer or your spouse’s employer offers a charitable match, as you may be able to double or triple the size of your gift to UT Austin.
What is the time frame of your annual campaign?
Our campaign runs from September through the following August.
Who calls me on the phone?
Our callers are all students at UT Austin. They phone you from our campus call center.
Students Hooked on Texas FAQ
The University already receives money from the state of Texas. Why are you seeking private support?
The University of Texas at Austin is more than an average public university; it is one of the nation’s best. The reason is private support. UT would be a much different place if it operated solely on state funding, which provides just 14 percent of the University’s annual budget. Private support makes it possible for UT to recruit and retain the best students and faculty, to acquire important cultural treasures and works of art, to conduct research that changes the world, and to keep its classrooms, labs, and technology on the cutting edge.
I heard that higher education in Texas is rich from oil money. Doesn’t that provide ample funding?
The state of Texas does use some oil revenue to help fund higher education, just as other states draw upon their industries to support public services. The Permanent University Fund (PUF) is a public endowment, and its income is derived from revenue generated by West Texas land provided by the state as a financial investment in higher education. Proceeds result from oil, gas, sulfur, and water royalties, rentals on mineral and grazing leases, and gains on investments. The PUF isn’t “extra” money — it’s part of the state’s higher-education funding structure.
The annual investment return on the $10.7 billion PUF is known as the Available University Fund, or AUF. Revenue from the AUF does not go exclusively to The University of Texas at Austin but to 18 institutions and six agencies in the Texas A&M and University of Texas Systems. UT Austin’s share for fiscal 2010-11 is $158 million out of the University’s total budget of $2.26 billion — about 7 percent.
While the University’s share of the AUF has remained relatively steady through the years, other sources of state funding have shrunk. Two decades ago state appropriations provided 47 percent of the University’s budget. Today that share is only 14 percent.
I already pay tuition. Why should I give UT more money?
When you give, you’re part of what makes the University great. That, in turn, increases the value of your degree. Even more important, you become part of something larger than yourself. You feel the satisfaction of supporting a cause that matters to you.
Tuition and fees account for less than one-fourth (24 percent) of the University’s 2010-11 budget. At the same time, the University continues to offer tuition and fees that are lower than many of its peers. Resident tuition and fees at UT Austin rank eighth out of a peer group of nine state universities.
Tuition is only part of the University’s financial picture. UT will continue to stress the importance of investing in higher education to the Texas Legislature, it will continue cost-savings measures, and it will continue to seek additional resources from donors. Ultimately, if additional revenues are not collected, many proposed enhancements to the education experience at the University will not be implemented.
I can’t give much. Why bother?
Every gift counts, no matter the size. Many small gifts make a big difference when combined. Annual gifts strengthen academic programs, support new research, and enrich the educational experience. Annual gifts also boost the University’s reputation: U.S. News & World Report considers alumni participation in annual giving when it ranks the nation’s universities.