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 Consecutive years of giving points are withdrawn from a donor account if membership is not renewed annually.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.
2016-17 Tennessee Fund Guidebook
One annual gift to the Tennessee Fund qualifies you for season tickets for football, men's basketball, and/or women's basketball. Based on the current per seat donation requirements, the seat location varies by sport.
Your contribution to the Tennessee Fund is tax-deductible. 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 received. Contact your financial advisor for detailed information.
Tennessee Fund Calendar
- Football Signing Day event
- Final Annual Fund donation renewal/mailing for 2016
- Bristol Ticket Balances Due - February 29th
- Contribution deadline for Football ticket renewals - March 1st
- Rank for Football parking and away game ticket assignments
- Football home/away season ticket application mailing (order optional Vol Cushions on this application)
- Football parking application mailing
- Orange and White Game
- Donor Thank-A-Thon
- Football ticket application deadline – April 29th
- Coca-Cola Big Orange Caravan
- Football parking application deadline – May 6th
- Football donor seat relocations begin – May 19th
- Football donor seat relocations end – June 6th
- Contribution deadline for basketball benefits – June 30th
- 2015-2016 fiscal year ends
- 2016-2017 fiscal year begins
- Basketball ticket and parking application mailing
- Rank for Basketball parking assignments
- Basketball ticket and parking application deadline - July 29th
- Football tickets and parking passes are mailed
- Men's and Women's Basketball seat relocations begin - August 23rd
- No deadlines or events for this month
- Basketball tickets and parking passes are mailed
- Rank for SEC/Bowl Game ticket assignments
- First Annual Fund donation renewal/mailing for 2017
- Year-end donation deadline – December 31st
- Pledge reminders/statements mailed
- Rank for SEC/NCAA Tournament ticket assignments
Demand for benefits such as tickets and parking passes created the need for a fair system to be established in 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.
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, as well as for the total cumulative contributions that they have made. This system seeks to reward both a donor's 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 Vol Rep
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
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 account. It is important that our donors keep their email addresses updated with our office, as we primarily use electronic communication for this process. All donors will be assigned a date and time to enter the online virtual seat map to explore seat upgrade/relocation opportunities based on their Tennessee Fund donor rank. The priority point system determines rank and therefore establishes the order in which seat improvement opportunities can be explored each offseason. This same process is used for football, men’s basketball & women’s basketball season tickets.
Football and Basketball Parking Pass Assignments
The Tennessee Fund uses the point system during the parking allocation process within priority giving level. Contributors giving $10,000 and above annually will be assigned in priority I by donor rank as determined by the point system. Contributors donating between $5,000- $9,999 annually will be assigned in Priority II by donor rank. Lastly, contributors giving $100-$4,999 annually will be 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. With nearly 500 student-athletes on campus, your donations play a critical role in the success of UT Athletics programs. Click here to learn more.
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 in which these benefits couldbe 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 nonrenewal requires donors to contribute at the current donation level.
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org.