Designated Giving FAQ

FAQs for Williams Alumni Fund volunteers

Designated Giving within the Alumni Fund

The Alumni Fund and Parents Fund of Williams support the highest priorities of Williams and together cover about 6% of the college’s operating budget. Since the fall of 2012, Williams has offered donors the opportunity to direct their annual gifts to any one of six designated areas of the budget.
Following are some FAQs that may help you answer classmates’ questions about designated giving options, including gifts to athletics.
What are Alumni Fund gifts?

The Alumni Fund recognizes annual gifts made by alumni to support Williams’ highest priorities. Alumni Fund gifts are immediately put to use to fund approximately 5 percent of each year’s operating budget. They support faculty salaries, financial aid, library acquisitions, sports equipment and transportation, student health services, classroom and science technology…every imaginable building block of an unparalleled undergraduate experience.

All gifts to the Alumni Fund are unrestricted, current gifts that Williams spends at its discretion.

Why do we have Alumni Fund gift designations?

A growing number of Williams alumni want to indicate their preference for how Williams will use their gifts. In keeping with best practices employed by our peer schools, Williams currently has eight designations of high priority within the college’s operating budget; your designated gift will be applied towards to the financial need of that area.

What are the different designations?

The Alumni Fund designations are:

What about undesignated and unrestricted gifts? Are they still important?

Yes! Three out of every four gifts to the Alumni Fund are undesignated. They are automatically designated to Highest Priorities, where they help Williams flex and adapt to meet new priorities and embrace exciting opportunities as they arise. Examples include initial planning and design in advance of major funding for new Sawyer Library and replacing piecemeal, team-based efforts with full funding of varsity athletics.

So, why would someone wish to designate their Alumni Fund gift?

Designating your Alumni Fund gift is a great way to let Williams know what you care about most as an alum and a member of the Williams community.

Do designated gifts enhance the budget in those specific areas?

No. Designated gifts are applied towards the highest priorities of each area that have already been approved and accounted for in the current year’s budget.

Can I designate my gift on a more granular level within Student Life, the Arts, or Academic Excellence, say to support a particular student organization or academic program?

Not at this time.

Can a single gift have multiple designations?

A single gift made by phone or by mail may be applied towards multiple designations and will be divided evenly among the selected designations. In order to select multiple designations on, donors must enter multiple gifts, one per designation. A single gift made at may be designated toward multiple varsity sports teams as detailed in the Athletics Giving Policy.

As an agent, how can I see if one of my assignments has made a designated gift?

Gift designations are included in the My Assignments report.


Have more questions? Contact the Alumni Fund team.

November 2014