Leadership gifts to Amherst entail gifts of six-figures or more, that usually are pledged over a period of time. These gifts often support major priorities of the College, such as scholarships, faculty and student programs, community service, and buildings/facilities.
The objective of most donors who make leadership gifts is to support Amherst in perpetuity, through the establishment of an endowed fund, the capital support necessary for a building, or the specific donation of a major tangible asset, such as art, a musical instrument, or rare books.
Because of the complexity of these gifts, and because they often entail transfer of significant assets, most donors have individual discussions with college gift officers about purpose, timing, impact, and gift credit.
During the Lives of Consequence campaign, alumni, parents, and friends support Amherst through leadership gifts, representing 90% of the $502 million raised.
For more information, contact Gretchen Dwyer, Director of Leadership Giving.
- Gifts to the endowment
- Gifts to facilities and plant
- Gifts in kind (e.g. art)
- Naming opportunities
As of June 30, 2014, the Amherst College endowment was valued at $2.149 billion, and supported 48.3 percent of the College's operating budget. Through wise investment management, the endowment has grown to these impressive values, yet the impact of gifts over the years is critical.
Donors who wish to make gifts to the endowment usually understand that their gift will assist Amherst in perpetuity. Their gift is invested along with others in a wisely managed portfolio that spends only a portion of its earned income each year so as to preserve assets for generations.
Gift purpose can be specified by a donor to restrict its use (e.g. for scholarships or faculty salaries) but most donors understand the greatest flexibility for the College is to make their gift unrestricted.
To establish a specific endowed fund requires a minimum gift commitment of $200,000, which usually is pledged over a five-year period. These funds can be named, or not, and at the time of gift the fund purpose, its spending requirements, and investment requirements are clearly spelled out in a Memorandum of Understanding between the donor and the College.
A complete listing of endowed funds can be found in the annual treasurer's report.
Gifts, and pledges, also can be made in support of buildings and plant.
These capital gifts usually are made for a specific purpose (e.g. to assist with the renovation of dorms, the athletic facility, classrooms and faculty offices, and function-specific buildings such as the music building, or the science center). However, capital gifts also can be unrestricted, enabling the college to direct the funds for the greatest need.
There is no minimum gift amount required to support facilities, unless a donor is interested in a specific naming opportunity (see section on Named Giving Opportunities).
The College welcomes gifts of tangible property, such as art work, rare books, or musical instruments. So as to meet Amherst's mission and need, all of these gifts must first be accepted by the College. Once accepted, a Deed of Gift is prepared so as to officially transfer title of the property to Amherst. For more detail, please contact the appropriate College department, or the Director of Leadership Giving.
The specific gifts above all can be named for the donor or in honor/memory of someone else. Donors wishing a specific naming opportunity should consult the college gift officer with whom they are engaged, or contact the Director of Donor Relations or the Director of Leadership Giving.
Donors who wish to make their endowment or capital gift over time can do so with a formal pledge. Most pledges are for five years, but can be extended for seven in special circumstances.
All donors who pledge elect a payment schedule, and receive yearly reminders regarding pledge balance and amount due.