Search within:

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does Ohio University need my gift?

Ohio University and its students, faculty and staff are deeply appreciative of the alumni and friends who invest in OHIO and its endeavors through charitable giving. While there was a time when state funds covered almost every dollar Ohio University needed to operate, today less than one-quarter of the University’s total budget comes through Ohio’s state share of instruction (SSI). Increases in SSI have not been enough to keep up with inflation.  

Private philanthropy helps to fill this funding gap and provides the resources Ohio University needs to support student success, promote access and inclusion, and grow its reputation as a nationally recognized, comprehensive public university.  

Learn More About Why Alumni and Friends Give to OHIO

What is The Ohio University Foundation?

Established in 1945 by President John C. Baker, The Ohio University Foundation serves as the fundraising arm of Ohio University. The Foundation is an institutionally related, nonprofit, tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization, and is the repository for all private gifts to Ohio University through annual giving programs, capital and special campaigns, and planned or deferred gifts such as bequests and trusts. Contributions to The Ohio University Foundation are tax deductible to the extent provided by law. 

Learn more about the Ohio University Foundation

When I receive a mailing or give online, I see “-EN” or “-SP” – what does that mean?

These are characters that the Foundation uses in our system to help identify donor intent for charitable giving. When a donor makes a donation to a fund that uses “EN”, those gifts will be invested in the Endowment. When a donor makes a donation to a fund that uses “SP”, those gifts will be made available for current use (immediate use). 

If you have questions about what endowment or current use mean in more detail, please see “What is the difference between giving to an endowment or current-use fund?" below.

What is the difference between giving to an endowment or current-use fund?

Ohio University's endowment is an aggregation of assets invested by the University to support its educational mission, in perpetuity. An endowment allows donors to transfer their private dollars to public purposes with the assurance that their gifts will serve these purposes for as long as the institution continues to exist. 
Endowments serve institutions and the public by providing stability over time - the principal of the gift is not spent, while endowments generate earnings year after year that can be spent. This spending allocation can enhance financial aid and scholarship packages; encourage research and creative activity; and inspire program innovation. Endowment gifts keep on giving. 

When you make a gift to an existing endowment at Ohio University – whether $15, $500, or $5,000 – it is directed towards the endowment principal. This is the portion of the endowment that is invested, allowing the account to grow over time.  

Alternatively, you may also make a gift to a current-use fund. These funds exist as operating accounts for colleges, programs, and other University areas, and also as separate funds related to endowments that are set aside for immediate use. Rather than being invested to continue in perpetuity, your gift to a current-use fund may be used immediately to support student scholarship awards, basic needs programs like the Cats’ Cupboard food pantry, and ongoing programmatic support.  

Whether you choose to give to an endowment or current-use fund, your gift (of any amount) makes an incredible difference – providing a lasting legacy while supporting immediate and urgent needs at OHIO.  

Learn More About Endowments

What is Ohio University's nonprofit and tax-exempt status? Where can I find the Ohio University Foundation tax exempt letter?

The Ohio University Foundation, then known as The Ohio University Fund, was incorporated in October 1945 and was granted 501(c)(3) status as a non-profit organization by the Internal Revenue Service in 1955. Contributions to The Ohio University Foundation are tax deductible to the extent provided by law.

The Ohio University Foundation’s EIN: 31-6402269


How do I set up a monthly gift to Ohio University?

You can make recurring monthly gifts to any fund. To set up a monthly gift to Ohio University, check the box marked "Make this gift recurring," set the frequency and complete your transaction.  

Give Now

How do I modify or cancel my monthly gift to Ohio University?

To modify your monthly gift, including changing the amount or fund designation, or cancel your monthly gift, contact the Office of Annual Giving at 800.592.3863 or  

Does the size of my gift matter to Ohio University?

Every gift makes an impact. In previous years, gifts of less than $100 collectively added up to more than $1 million, and more than 1,200 privately funded scholarships are awarded annually to Ohio University students because of the support small gifts. Gifts of any size ensure that students and faculty will continue to be successful today and into the future. 

Give Now

How do I find a fund to designate my gift to?

Ohio University alumni and friends can support the cause that matters most to them. Our donation form allows donors to search funds by keyword to find a specific fund.

You may also choose to simply give to a general fund. 

With thousands of funds at OHIO representing scholarships, programmatic support and other giving opportunities, the choices can seem overwhelming. If you’d like to speak to a member of the Annual Giving team to help find a fund that best connects with your philanthropic interests, please call 800.592.3863 or email

Give Now

What is the Unrestricted Gift Rule?

The Unrestricted Gift Rule requires that a small percentage of most gifts made to current-use (non-endowed) accounts be directed to The Fund for OHIO. The purpose of the rule is to enable The Ohio University Foundation to support its mission of securing provide philanthropy in support of Ohio University. The rule increases the impact of every gift by providing resources to address the opportunities of the future and to grow OHIO’s base of private support. 

How is the Unrestricted Gift Rule applied?

The rule is applied as non-endowed gifts are received by the Foundation, in accordance with the following rates: 

  • 5 percent of all gifts and pledge payments up to $1 million (e.g. a $100 gift would result in $95 being directed to the non-endowed fund of the donor’s choice, and $5 being directed to The Fund for OHIO). 
  • 3 percent on the portion of any gift or pledge payments that exceed $1 million, but are less than or equal to $5 million. 
  • The rule will not be assessed on the portion of any gift or pledge payment that exceeds $5 million. 

For gifts of cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities, including payments by check, credit card, electronic funds transfer, and publicly traded stocks and bonds, calculations will be based on the gift’s market value as of the date of receipt by the Foundation.  

For gifts that must be held for a period of time prior to liquidation, including gifts of real estate and non-marketable securities, or gifts delivered via a charitable gift annuity or charitable trust, calculations will be based on the value of the cash proceeds received from the liquidated gift. 

Are any gifts exempt from the Unrestricted Gift Rule?

The following gifts are exempt from the rule:  

  • Gifts or pledge payments directed to the corpus of an endowment. Endowments are subject to an administrative fee calculated in accordance with the Foundation’s Endowment Spending Policy. 
  • Real estate or in-kind gifts, if the gift is to be retained (i.e. not liquidated or converted to cash) for use by the Foundation or University. 
  • Gifts or philanthropic grants from private foundations the governing boards of which prohibit the assessment of such a fee as an established organizational policy, which can be documented in writing. This exclusion does not apply to recommended grants received from donor advised funds. 
How do I find out if my employer has a matching gift program?

Your employer may double or triple your impact by matching your gift to Ohio University, and some employers even match gifts made by retirees and spouses. When you make any online gift to Ohio University, search for your employer by name in the “Matching Gift Information” section.

Learn more about employer matching

I am an OHIO faculty or staff member. Is there an option for payroll deduction?

OHIO employees can take advantage of the Ohio University payroll deduction program, which will deduct a recurring gift from each paycheck.

Learn more about Payroll Deduction

Who can I contact if I have questions about my gift?

Please contact the Office of Annual Giving at 740.593.2636 or  

Does Ohio University have a crowdfunding platform?

Yes! You can explore our current crowdfunding projects and learn how to submit your own crowdfunding idea (for students, faculty, and staff). 

Explore crowdfunding

How do I make a planned gift to Ohio University?

Knowledgeable staff in the Office of Gift Planning are able to discuss which planned gift vehicle is best for you.  

More information about gift planning

I represent a foundation or corporation. Whom should I contact about making a gift?

Corporations who are interested in partnering with Ohio University are welcome to explore opportunities.  

More information about corporate partnerships

I’m an Ohio University graduate. How do I update my information with the University?

Alumni can update their information through the Ohio University Alumni Association. 

Update your info

I can’t make a gift right now, but I’m interested in getting involved in other ways. Can you tell me more?

Absolutely! There are so many opportunities for alumni to engage with OHIO, including volunteering with Alumni Networks, recruiting future Bobcats through VAAN, mentoring and connecting professionally through the Bobcat Network, and much more.  

Explore all the ways you can re-connect with your alma mater

Ask Us A Question

Couldn't find your answer? Ask us directly! 

What can we help you with?
How else can we assist you?
Please check the box below if you are not a robot.