Each Tennessee Fund member’s priority and ability to obtain various benefits is determined by a combination of annual giving level and donor rank as determined by the Tennessee Fund point system.
Donor point totals are ranked each year as of gifts received by 5:00 pm on March 1st. The donor with the most accumulated points is ranked number 1, the next highest point total is ranked number 2 and so on. Consecutive years of giving points are withdrawn from a donor account if membership is not renewed annually. Regardless of rank, a donor's annual gift must be made in order to receive the opportunity to purchase priority tickets or parking.
2017-18 Tennessee Fund Guidebook
Each Tennessee Fund member’s priority and ability to obtain various benefits is determined by a combination of annual giving level and donor rank as determined by the Tennessee Fund point system (see below for more information on priority points).
The Tennessee Fund uses a priority point system to help fairly allocate donor benefits. Donors receive points based upon the consecutive number of years that they have given to the Tennessee Fund and the cumulative amount of their contributions. This system seeks to reward both longevity and gift amount when establishing priorities. With the point total, the Tennessee Fund can “rank” all donors regardless of giving category.
Points are allocated as follows:1 pt. Awarded for each $100 donated to the Tennessee Fund* since 1986
1 pt. Awarded for each $100 donated to Capital/Endowment funds since 1986
1 pt. Awarded for each $1,000 in new annual money raised by a Volunteer Representative
5 pts. Awarded for each consecutive year of giving to the Tennessee Fund since 1986
10 pts. Awarded for UT Alumni (one-time award per account)
50 pts. Awarded for UT letterman (one-time award per account)
50 pts. Awarded for gifts given prior to 1986 (one-time award)
50 pts. Awarded for 20 consecutive years of giving (one-time award)
*Formerly VASF and Lady Vol Boost-Her Club
Academic supporters who previously received athletic benefits were converted to the Tennessee Fund in 2010. They were given a one-time point award for those gifts based on a similar scale. Moving forward, gifts must be made directly to the Tennessee Fund in order to improve point total and rank.
Tennessee Fund Priority Point Rankings
The Tennessee Fund ranks donors four times annually. The donor with the most accumulated points is ranked number 1, the next highest point total is ranked number 2 and so on. Consecutive years of giving points are withdrawn from a donor account if membership is not renewed annually. Regardless of rank, a donor’s annual gift must be made in order to receive the opportunity to purchase or renew priority tickets or parking.
Post-March 1 Ranking Used for football parking and away game ticket assignments
Post-June 30 Ranking Used for Vol and Lady Vol basketball parking assignments
Post-November 1 Ranking Used for SEC Championship/Bowl Game assignments
Post-January 1 Ranking Used for Vol and Lady Vol SEC/NCAA Tournament assignments
Use of the Point SystemSeason Football and Basketball Ticket Improvements
Season ticket upgrade opportunities take place online using our virtual stadium & arena seat maps. Donors are put in rank order and given a selection time at the end of May (football) and at the end of August (men’s & women’s basketball) in order to log in and view available season tickets in which to upgrade. The point system is used to prioritize between donors in the same giving category when season ticket requests are reviewed. Donors belonging to the same annual giving category hold different ranks based upon their accumulation of priority points. Thus, a $5,000 donor with an overall rank of 4,000 would be reviewed after a $5,000 donor with a rank of 1,000.
Football and Basketball Parking Pass Assignments
The Tennessee Fund uses the point system during the parking allocation process with the priority giving levels. Contributors at $10,000 annually are assigned in Priority I by donor rank as determined by the point system. Contributors donating between $5,000- $9,999 annually are assigned in Priority II by donor rank. Lastly, contributors donating $100 - $4,999 annually are assigned parking in Priority III by donor rank. Click here for more information.
Away Football Games, SEC Postseason Games / Tournaments, and Bowl Game Ticket Assignments
The Tennessee Fund uses donor rank, as determined by the point system, in two ways when managing the assignment of away football games, SEC postseason games/tournaments, and bowl tickets. The donor’s annual giving category is the primary factor in determining the quantity of tickets the donor may receive. Once it has been determined who will receive tickets to these games, the actual ticket locations are assigned strictly in donor rank order. Click here for more information.
How is my gift to the Tennessee Fund used?
Your gift to the Tennessee Fund is used for student-athlete scholarships, facility upkeep and general operating budget needs. Over 500 student-athletes on campus, your donations play a critical role in the success of UT Athletics programs.
Does my Tennessee Fund donation qualify me for both football and basketball season tickets?
The cumulative annual donation qualifies you for season tickets to football and men's/women's basketball. The gift amount corresponds to seating locations that each donor is eligible for based upon giving level and availability.
Why is it necessary to become a donor in order to receive season tickets?
Demand for benefits such as tickets and parking passes created the need for a fair system to be established through which these benefits could be distributed fairly. The Tennessee Fund was created, in part, to help address the needs of our growing donor base. The donor priority point system allows us to track support and award benefits as a way to say thank you for the support. Donor generosity has allowed Tennessee Athletics to be 100% self-funded without financial support from tax or tuition-derived dollars.
How are season tickets assigned and how can I improve my current season tickets?
Once season ticket priority is established, donors must maintain or increase their giving level on an annual basis to retain their season ticket location. If ticket holders wish to improve a seat location, they must be active Tennessee Fund donors and will be notified of opportunities to do so via their email accounts. It is important that our donors keep their email addresses updated with our office, as we primarily use electronic communication for this process. Donors may review seat opportunities through our online virtual seat maps of Neyland Stadium and Thompson-Boling Arena.
I am a $1,000 donor with a Tennessee Fund rank of 2,800 and season tickets in section X2. My friend is a $2,500 donor with a Tennessee Fund rank of 5,000. She is purchasing season tickets for the first time. Who would have their ticket request reviewed first? If I wanted to move my tickets to sections R or W, would this be possible?
Based on her higher annual giving level, your friend would have her ticket request reviewed first. However, if you chose to increase your annual giving level by March 1, your request would be reviewed first because of your higher point ranking. Relocating your seats to R or W would most likely require you to increase your giving level. Based on last year's requirements, a new donor who received tickets in sections R or W was a $2,500 annual donor.
My friend tells me that his season football tickets are grandfathered. What does this mean?
The Tennessee Fund was founded in 1986. Anyone who was already purchasing season tickets at that time was not required to make an annual Tennessee Fund gift to retain these tickets. Beginning with the 2006 season, grandfathered season ticket holders on the sidelines were given the opportunity to begin making a donation at a reduced rate or move their seating location to the end zones and have those remain grandfathered. Grandfathered tickets still remain in the upper and lower level end zones at Neyland Stadium.
Why does my friend donate less than I do, yet he has a more desirable seat location?
The Tennessee Fund aims to reward the loyalty of long-time donors. To do so, we allow individuals to renew their seats at the donation level that was in place when they began purchasing season tickets. The demand for superior seats has increased over time; therefore, the minimum annual donation for these seat locations has also increased. Your friend is able to renew his seats at a lower cost because he began purchasing his seats before the donation level associated with his section increased.
Once I have priority football or basketball season tickets, how do I keep them?
Once you purchase season tickets through the Tennessee Fund, you will have the option to renew the same seats each year. The gift amount associated with your seats when you first purchased them will become the minimum annual donation required to retain the same location. As long as you continue to maintain the same annual gift, you will maintain the priority to purchase your tickets. For donors to continue renewing at their initial donation level, they must renew their seats each year. Any year of non-renewal requires donors to contribute at the current donation level.
Is my contribution to the Tennessee Fund tax-deductible?
Yes, the Internal Revenue Service allows a full deduction on contributions where there is no tangible or intangible benefit to the donor. Otherwise an 80% deduction is allowed when the benefit is recieved. Contact your financial advisor for detailed information.
I still have questions.
The Tennessee Fund staff may be contacted Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm by phone at 865-974-1218, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by chat at www.tennesseefund.org.
“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 email@example.com.