About the Tennessee Fund

 

Since 1986, the Tennessee Fund has helped support UT student-athletes and athletic programs thanks to the passion and loyal support of our generous members. Through the generosity of nearly 12,000 donors, the Tennessee Fund provides for all expenses associated with all of Tennessee's intercollegiate sports. As we strive to win championships in the nation's best conference, your support is more important than ever. By factoring in other direct expenses such as travel, academic support and sports medicine, the complete student-athlete package reaches over $100,000 annually. These expenses add up, as UT supports nearly 500 student-athletes.

Tennessee Fund members receive ticket, parking, and other benefits as a result of their continued commitment to UT Athletics. 

Please review the current Tennessee Fund Guidebook below or explore this website for more detailed information on how to support Tennessee Athletics.

 

Our Mission

To inspire and support our student-athletes in the pursuit of comprehensive excellence.

Our Vision

To represent the University of Tennessee among the nation’s premier athletic programs by developing student-athletes who graduate, compete for championships and conduct themselves in a first-class manner, honoring and fulfilling the Volunteer spirit.

Our Core Values

I ntegrity without compromise
N ational leadership
S ervice to our students, fans and community
P ersonal accountability
I nclusion and respect for the individual
R elentless competitiveness
E xcellence in education

 


2016-17 Student-Athlete
Cost of Experience

Through the generosity of over 14,000 members, the Tennessee Fund provides support for expenses associated with 20 intercollegiate sports. As we strive to win championships in the nation’s best conference, your support is more important than ever. By factoring in other direct expenses such as travel, academic support and sports medicine, the complete student-athlete package reaches nearly $100,000 annually. These expenses add up, as UT supports over 500 student-athletes.
Your continued passion and generosity for Tennessee Athletics is essential to ensuring all student-athletes are provided the necessary resources to achieve comprehensive excellence on the field and in the classroom. YOU make the difference in their success!

Student-Athlete Average Annual Expense Chart

 

Student-Athletes and Donors by State

Other Territories Represented

Australia: 3
Bermuda:  1
Canada: 7
Colombia: 1
Congo:  1
England: 4
Germany: 5
Guatemala:  5
Israel: 2
Italy: 1
Mexico: 1
Netherlands:  1
New Zealand: 1
Peru:  1
Puerto Rico: 1
Saskatchewan:  1
Serbia:  1
Slovenia: 1
South Africa: 1
South Korea:  1


Thank You

 

 

Ways to Contribute

There are several ways to become a donor to the Tennessee Fund. Here are just a few of the ways to support Tennessee Athletics.

Online Giving Pledge
Cash/Check Donations Credit Cards
Recurring Payments Matching Gifts
Gift-in-Kind Become a Vol Rep

Planned Giving

Endowments

SouthEast Bank Renewing Academic Commitment Program

 

Also See:

 
Tax Information  NCAA Compliance
 
Pledge

You may pledge to join the Tennessee Fund at a specific level and pay the pledge in full or in installments, completing your pledge by March 1. Statements will be sent periodically throughout the year reminding you of the March 1 deadline and the contribution balance remaining.

 

Making the Donation

Donations can be made to the Tennessee Fund by cash, check and credit card. It is important to make all donations payable to the University of Tennessee Foundation. The Tennessee Fund accepts American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa credit and debit cards. The Tennessee Fund accepts e-checks and credit cards online at tennesseefund.org. It is important to list the name, account number and routing number as it appears on your bank account when using an e-check.

 
Monthly Credit Cards & E-Check Payments

Donations can be made by monthly installments. Monthly installments can be paid by either recurring credit/debit cards or automatic bank drafts. By signing up for monthly installments, you may have your credit/debit card or bank account charged monthly. In order to stop monthly installments, you must submit a letter to the Tennessee Fund notifying us of your decision. If there are two failed payments, the ability to use monthly installments will be discontinued. Each year, donors must resubmit the account information needed by the Tennessee Fund office to continue paying by bank draft.

By signing up for recurring payments (credit card, debit card, or bank draft from a checking or savings account), you may make your donation over a few months instead of all at once. To set up payments from a checking or savings account, we will need a voided check or deposit slip along with your completed contribution form. Recurring payments must be set up each year; they do not not roll over from a previous year.

The balance must be paid by 9/1. The first payment is due on the day of signup and can be fulfilled on a schedule of equal payments. Donors must complete the Tennessee Fund ACH Letter of Intent outlining the schedule of payments and acknowledging their agreement to the guidelines of the ACH program. This form will be submitted to Gift Processing to set up their plan. The minimum monthly payment that can be set up on a payment plan is $40.

If the draft via check or credit card does not go through, the donor will be contacted to determine if their method of payment has changed. After the first decline, a letter will be sent to the donor letting them know that after a second decline, they will no longer be allowed to participate in the program. After two declines, the donor will no longer be able to participate in the ACH program and must complete the remainder of their pledge before tickets are sent. If tickets have already been mailed, the donor can potentially have their tickets voided if payment cannot be given before the season begins.

 

Matching Gifts

Many companies will match your gifts to The University of Tennessee. Please consult the benefits office at your place of employment. You may be able to double or triple the value of your gift and benefits. Your initial gift and matching form must be received by March 1, but the matching gift may be completed throughout the year. Some companies may not match gifts if the donor receives any benefit as a result of the gift. Please check with the Tennessee Fund and the matching company to be sure that the matching sum can be used for donor benefits. If the company chooses to stop matching a donor’s gift, the donor is responsible for the entire annual contribution to maintain the benefits provided by the matching gift.

 

Online Giving

The Tennessee Fund offers the ability to make gifts online. New donors making first-time gifts and existing donors looking to renew their gifts should visit tennesseefund.org.

All Tennessee Fund donors have an online account. If you are visiting the site for the first time and are a current Tennessee Fund member, please call the Tennessee Fund office to submit an online request to receive your account number, and then register using a valid email address. All new Tennessee Fund members can register directly online.

Visiting your account online allows you to:

  • View your priority points
  • View your current seat location
  • Update your mailing address

Contributing online is secure, saves time and postage, and provides immediate confirmation that your gift has been received. Gifts for premium seating such as Skybox, East & West Club, Terrace, Basketball Luxury and Loge seats or any capital campaign gift can be made directly to the Tennessee Fund office by phone, mail or online at tennesseefund.org.

Matching Gifts

Many companies will match your gifts to The University of Tennessee. Please consult the benefits office at your place of employment. You may be able to double or triple the value of your gift and benefits. Your initial gift and matching form must be received by March 1, but the matching gift may be completed throughout the year.

Some companies may not match gifts if the donor receives any benefit as a result of the gift. Please check with the Tennessee Fund and the matching company to be sure that the matching sum can be used for donor benefits. If the company chooses to stop matching a donor’s gift, the donor is responsible for the entire annual contribution to maintain the benefits provided by the matching gift.

 

Gift-In-Kind

A gift-in-kind is a contribution of tangible property such as products, services, equipment or merchandise in place of a cash donation to the Tennessee Fund. These gifts provide budgetary relief for the athletic department while providing tax relief and other benefits for donors including priority to purchase season tickets and parking. All gift-in-kind pledges must be approved by the Tennessee Fund staff before qualifying for priority benefits. For more information, please contact the Tennessee Fund office at (865) 974-1218.

 

Become a Vol Rep

The Volunteer Representative Program is open to any active Tennessee Fund donor that wishes to serve as an ambassador for Tennessee Athletics and the Tennessee Fund in their community. This program was originally founded in 1993 in seven major cities and has since grown to over 250 Vol Reps across the entire state of Tennessee and other states across the country. The Vol Rep Program is successful due to the generosity of our volunteers who donate their time and resources year round to advance the vision of Tennessee Athletics.


VOL REPS:

  • Assist Tennessee Athletics in the pursuit of comprehensive excellence by facilitating connections between their personal contacts and the Tennessee Fund with the goal of helping to identify potential new donors
  • Communicate news and updates about Tennessee Athletics to fans and Tennessee Fund donors in their communities
  • Earn rewards based on the success of their individual fundraising efforts, such as unique on-campus experiences, official Tennessee gear, Tennessee Fund priority points, and much more

The Tennessee Fund is always looking for more donors to serve as Vol Reps. Sign up today at volreps.com or call the Tennessee Fund at (865) 974-1218.

 

Planned Giving

Several options exist for donors to make gifts to UT Athletics outside of cash donations. These gifts are classified under planned giving and are typically made from assets in your estate, rather than disposable income. These options include:  gifts of appreciated property, charitable remainder trust, bequests/living trusts, retained life estate, IRA, retirement assets, charitable gift annuity, life income gifts, etc. For more information on planned giving, please click here or contact the Tennessee Fund office at (865) 974-1218.  

 

Endowments

To provide funding for future Vol and Lady Vol student-athletes, endowments are essential. The opportunity to fully endow a scholarship with the Volunteers exists at the $250,000 level and entitles you to membership in the Nathan Dougherty Society. These gifts can be made over a ten-year period in equal installments. The Tennessee Fund office will provide the appropriate agreements to complete the gift. Benefits for these gifts must be evaluated on an individual case basis.  For more information on endowments, please Click Here or contact the Tennessee Fund office at (865) 974-1218.  

 

SouthEast Bank Renewing Academic Commitment Program

The University of Tennessee Athletic Department is firmly committed to the academic success of our student-athletes while providing them with the tools and resources necessary to earn their undergraduate degrees.  In 2001, the UTAD celebrated the opening of the Thornton Center for Student Life, a center devoted to fostering academic achievement and assisting our student-athletes in their efforts to complete their undergraduate degrees.

There are times, however, when circumstances require that our student-athletes leave school without completing their degrees, either for personal or professional reasons.  With the understanding that life presents occasional challenges and opportunities for our student-athletes that compel them to postpone their studies, the UTAD created the SouthEast Bank Renewing Academic Commitment (RAC) program, designed to encourage and assist former student-athletes to return to the University to complete their undergraduate studies. SouthEast Bank RAC participants are eligible to receive 100% of their tuition, fees, and books.  Without such financial support, many former student-athletes would not have the opportunity to earn their undergraduate degrees. Currently, the program has helped over 70 former student-athletes. For more information on the SouthEast Bank RAC program, please Click Here or contact the Tennessee Fund office at (865) 974-1218.  

 

Tax Information

Disclaimer: The following information is not intended to constitute legal advice or other tax counsel and may not be relied on as such. Please consult a personal tax advisor concerning the deductibility of any contribution to the Tennessee Fund.


Under applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), the amount of a contribution that is deductible for federal income tax purposes is limited to the excess of the amount contributed over the value of any goods or services provided to the donor by the University. The Athletic Department will notify you as to the value of any such items. Under current IRC provisions, no more than 80 percent of an amount paid to or for the benefit of an institution of higher education may be treated as a charitable contribution if, as a result of the payment, the donor receives the right to purchase tickets for seating at an athletic
event in an athletic stadium at the institution. You should consult your tax advisor to determine whether these provisions apply to you. If you choose to waive all applicable benefits, you must sign a written waiver at the time you make your Tennessee Fund donation.

 

“PLAYING BY THE RULES” NCAA COMPLIANCE

The University of Tennessee Athletic Department (UTAD) and individuals affiliated with the department, including donors, are governed by the rules and regulations of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Ensuring compliance with NCAA and SEC rules is a top priority for the UTAD. Compliance should be everyone’s responsibility, especially for our donors. Rule violations involving donors may adversely impact the eligibility of current student athletes as well as prospective student-athletes (recruits). Additionally, violations involving donors may prevent any future association with the UTAD. Your participation and acceptance of benefits and privileges available from the UTAD is your acknowledgement and agreement to abide by the rules and regulations of the NCAA, SEC and the UTAD. The UTAD Compliance Office serves as a resource for everyone affiliated with the UTAD.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Compliance Office at 865-974-3871 or utcompliance@utk.edu.