FAQ



Q: What is the Annual Fund?

The Annual Fund is the sum of all annual gifts made to Connecticut College in a given fiscal year. (The fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.) Annual gifts provide general, unrestricted support for the College's current operations instead of being added to the endowment. They are the best way to consistently and broadly show support for Connecticut College.

Annual gifts help the College offer the very best educational environment for students. They support student organizations, financial aid and faculty salaries. They also buy computers, books and journals for the library; underwrite student art performances; provide athletic equipment for Camel teams; and supply classroom materials and lab equipment for student researchers.

Q: What is the endowment?

The endowment is the sum of the College's long-term investments; interest earned on those investments is a source of revenue for the College. A certain percent of the endowment is added annually to the College's revenue stream. This "spend rule" is set by the Trustees. It is currently 5 percent of the endowment’s value averaged over 12 quarters.

The larger the endowment, the greater the revenue stream for the College. Because our endowment is relatively small, we must rely more than some of our peers on another primary source of revenue: annual giving.

Endowed gifts are perpetual, but only the 5 percent from the "spend rule" is available to the College as revenue. That means a $50 annual gift that is repeated yearly provides the same annual income as an endowed gift of $1,000. Because every dollar of an annual gift is available immediately, an annual gift can have immediate and substantial impact - especially when it is pooled with other gifts.

Q: Are annual gifts tax-deductible?

Yes! Any gift to Connecticut College, a 501c(3) charitable organization, is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Gifts of stock, mutual funds or other appreciated securities can be an especially tax-friendly way of giving to the College, since donors are able to avoid paying a capital gains tax on the appreciation of their securities. For more information, call Advancement Services, at 800-888-7549, or email stockgifts@conncoll.edu.

Q: Can I make a pledge over several years?

Absolutely! We'd love to talk with you about this; contact annualfund@conncoll.edu. You can also effectively make a pledge by committing to a credit card payment schedule. Information about credit card options is on our remittance forms or you can find out more by going to http://giving.conncoll.edu/.

Q: If I can only afford a small gift, is it worth it to the College?

Every gift is important, no matter the size. Your participation says you care about the College and want to see it thrive. Many corporations and foundations use alumni giving as a factor in deciding whether to make grants. You can support Connecticut College's efforts with these organizations by giving each year. Annual gifts can be as small as a few dollars or as large as $100,000 or more. Together, these supporters make a tremendous difference in the lives of our students. We value every gift, large and small.

Q: Can I dedicate my Annual Fund Gift to someone?

Yes, you can make a gift in honor of (or in memory of) someone special to you.

Q: What are matching gifts?

Some corporations or companies will match an employee's gift to the College on a one-to-one, a two-to-one or even a three-to-one basis. These programs enable a corporation or company to support the institutions in which their employees are most interested. Your human resources or employee relations office can tell you if your employer has a matching gift program in place and provide you with any necessary forms. How to make matching gifts.

Q: Why does the College need my support every year?

Quite simply, because Annual Fund dollars are spent every year. With each new fiscal year comes a new operating budget, and with each new operating budget comes the need for renewed support.

Q: How often can I expect to be asked for a gift during the fiscal year?

Solicitation usually begins in late summer and goes right up to the end of the fiscal year on June 30. During this period you might be asked several times to support the College. Once your gift is received, you won't be approached again for the rest of the fiscal year. If you make a pledge, though, you will receive reminder notices until the pledge is fulfilled.

Q: What are the different ways I might be asked to give?

Alumni are solicited in a variety of ways: letters, brochures and postcards through the mail, email, phone calls and personal visits. Student callers ask alumni and parents for support. Alumni volunteers, called class agents, also contact classmates about giving. Throughout the year, you might be contacted by a student caller, a classmate, a staff member, or perhaps a member of the Board of Trustees, asking you to make a gift.

Q: Why am I encouraged to make a larger gift in a Reunion year?

Reunion is a special time to reunite with old friends and share the excitement of being back on campus together. It's a natural time for a class to affirm its commitment to Connecticut College. Classes traditionally set ambitious dollar and participation goals in an attempt to make a gift that reflects the strength of the class and its loyalty to the College. During the year leading up to your Reunion, you probably will be contacted by a class volunteer who will ask you both to attend Reunion and to make a "stretch" gift in honor of the anniversary. We encourage you to give at a level that you honestly feel is right for you.

Q: What is The 1911 Society?

Named for Connecticut College's founding year, the 1911 Society honors those who make annual gifts of $1,911 or more in a given year. There are five recognition levels within the 1911 Society:

Centennial Circle ($100,000 or more)
This gift society was formed in 2005 to honor the College's annual leadership supporters and the momentum they provide as the College approaches its Centennial in 2011.

Morton Plant Circle ($50,000 to $99,999)
Morton Plant was the first chair of the Board of Trustees and the College's first major benefactor. He started the endowment with a gift of $1 million and provided gifts for several College buildings, including Plant, Blackstone and Branford houses.

President's Circle ($25,000 to $49,999)
This gift society honors the College's presidents. The leadership of each has shaped the College and moved it forward.

Harkness Circle ($10,000 to $24,999)
Mary Stillman Harkness was one of the College's most devoted supporters in the 1930s and '40s, when it was transformed into a national institution. Harkness House and Harkness Chapel are legacies of her philanthropy.

The Laurels ($1,911 to $9,999)
The laurel leaf, a symbol of academic achievement, is a fitting tribute to Connecticut College alumni, parents and friends.

More about giving societies.

Q: What is the Synergy Society?

The College launched the Synergy Society to recognize the support and commitment of young alumni who give at a leadership level. This is the first giving society that specifically recognizes graduates of the last decade. To learn more, visit synergy.conncoll.edu.

More about giving societies.

Q: What is the Parents Fund? What's the Senior Giving Program?

The Parents Fund and the Senior Giving Program are components of the Annual Fund. The Parents Fund provides a special way for parents to support the education of their sons and daughters. The Senior Giving Program likewise is a way for seniors to show their support for the College and say thank you for the education they've received.

More about the Parents Fund.

Q: Who do I contact if I have more questions?

Call the Annual Fund office at 800-888-7549 or send us an e-mail at annualfund@conncoll.edu . Or view the list of Annual Giving Staff to find the name, extension and email address of a particular person.