Frequently Asked Questions

Making a Gift
How the Foundation and University Work Together
Foundation Operations
Foundation Finances


Making a Gift

Are there unique advantages of giving to Oklahoma State University?
How can I afford to help the OSU Foundation?
Will my company match my gift to the OSU Foundation?
What is an endowment?
If Oklahoma State University is a public institution, why does it need private financial support?
Why should I give to the OSU Foundation instead of directly to OSU?
Can I give to my favorite department or program?
Can I make a gift for buildings or facilities?
Can I make a pledge of support?
What if I want my gift to be anonymous?
Can I make a gift in honor of someone?
What is the difference between restricted and unrestricted gifts?
How should I make out my check?
I’m uncomfortable giving online. Is it really safe?
What is an SSL certificate?
How can I tell if the page I’m on is SSL Certificate Protected?
Are all gifts tax-deductible?
How do I get tax credit for my charitable deduction?
Can I receive a tax deduction for equipment or supplies I give to the university?
Can I contact someone to discuss my interest in giving?


How the Foundation and University Work Together

Why is the Foundation separate from the university?
If Oklahoma State University is a public institution, why does it need private financial support?
What is the difference between the OSU Foundation and OSU Alumni Association?
Why should I give to the OSU Foundation instead of directly to OSU?


Foundation Operations

What is the OSU Foundation?
Is the OSU Foundation a public or private organization?
Who determines the OSU Foundation’s fundraising priorities?
Who governs the OSU Foundation?
How is the Foundation accountable to donors?
When is the Foundation’s fiscal year?
Does the OSU Foundation make grants?
Why am I receiving calls from the OSU Foundation?
What information is available to the public and media?
How can I obtain additional information?


Foundation Finances

What does the Foundation do with contributions?
How is the OSU Foundation funded?
What is the Foundation’s Allocation of Donated Funds Policy?
Does this gift allocation affect the tax deductibility of my gift?
How will the Foundation use philanthropic gift allocations?
Does the gift allocation apply to all private philanthropic gifts?
How does the gift allocation apply to gifts given to OSU Athletics?
Does this impact my Posse points?
What are the investment policies of the Foundation?


Making a Gift

Are there unique advantages of giving to Oklahoma State University?

You will find many advantages to working with us to support higher education at OSU, including: We unite donor and university passions and priorities to achieve excellence, giving you the satisfaction of knowing that you influence the future by improving education and research. Responding promptly with a tax-deductible acknowledgement of your gift. Uniting your passions with OSU priorities to benefit the institution that helped you succeed. Providing information about your gift and its impact. Offering the opportunity to participate in donor recognition clubs such as Loyal and True, Orange & Black and the Heritage Society.

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How can I afford to help the OSU Foundation?

The size of your gift is entirely up to you. Each donation, regardless of its value, is gratefully accepted. Every dollar given to OSU has the potential to do great things because it helps improve the university’s most valuable resources — instruction, research, and extension — to benefit the public.

Some donors fulfill their charitable goals by making gifts that don’t require a lot of money immediately, such as a planned estate gift, naming the OSU Foundation as a beneficiary on a life-insurance policy, or donating an asset as an in-kind gift.

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Will my company match my gift to the OSU Foundation?

Many companies offer employees — and sometimes spouses and retirees — a gift-matching benefit that multiplies their donations to higher education. Your company may allow you to submit your request online, through an automated phone system or with paper forms that you submit to us. Please visit your human resources office to learn more about gift-matching or contact us to see if your gift qualifies. To view a complete list of corporations participating in a matching-gift program, search here.

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What is an endowment?

When you establish an endowment, you are making a gift that grows over time and provides ongoing support for your orange passion. The funds are invested instead of being spent immediately. Part of the investment’s earnings are directed toward the need you choose, such as scholarships, faculty development or program expenses, and a percentage of the earnings are allocated to the Foundation to support the ongoing operational costs associated with investing, managing and distributing funds to OSU. The rest of the earnings are reinvested to continue increasing the impact of your generosity.

Our endowment funds are invested and managed by our Investment Office and overseen by the Foundation’s Board of Trustees Finance and Investment Committee. Each spring, the committee meets to review the endowment’s performance and policies to determine the amount to be provided for each endowed scholarship and program.

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If Oklahoma State University is a public institution, why does it need private financial support?

OSU receives about 15 percent of its annual budget from state appropriations. That is consistent with the long, national trend of institutions becoming state-assisted rather than state-supported. OSU addresses most of its expenses from other sources such as tuition and fees, federal and state grants, and the generosity of donors. Your gifts increase OSU’s ability to offer a quality education as affordably as possible by reducing the reliance on tuition and fees. Every dollar helps OSU support students, hire and keep great professors, build world-class facilities and establish premier programs. OSU achieves excellence by uniting donor and university passions and priorities.

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Why should I give to the OSU Foundation instead of directly to OSU?

Unlike state-appropriated funds, your gift can be invested for long-term growth when given to the OSU Foundation. The gift’s return creates greater support for the university over time, and your contributions qualify as a tax-deductible gift. By giving through the OSU Foundation you are creating more flexibility for OSU as it funds areas designated through your philanthropy. By resolution of the Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents, all private gifts to OSU must be given through the Foundation.

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Can I give to my favorite department or program?

Yes. We encourage you to support your orange passion by designating your gift as you wish. That is as simple as writing a note on a check, reply card or other correspondence. Your gift’s designation is confirmed on the donor receipt.

If you need help directing your gift, our staff is happy to provide information about OSU’s greatest needs, including those for each college, campus or department.

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Can I make a gift for buildings or facilities?

Yes. Your donation can support a lab, library, lecture hall or just about anything else on campus. That includes funding for construction, maintenance, equipment, supplies and renovation. We can provide information about current projects that would greatly benefit from additional support.

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Can I make a pledge of support?

Yes. You can pledge a monthly, quarterly or annual contribution. You can establish your pledge on this site or by contacting our gift processing department.

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What if I want my gift to be anonymous?

We enjoy publicizing gifts to recognize generosity. This good news reminds others about the increasing importance of supporting OSU. Publicity could include news releases, articles in newspapers, feature stories in Foundation or OSU publications or other appropriate recognition. However, we respect your desire for anonymity to the full extent allowed under Oklahoma’s Open Records Act. Just let us know of your wishes when you make your donation.

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Can I make a gift in honor of someone?

Yes. Many donors give to honor a loved one or special individual. Just let us know that your gift is in honor or memory of another person, or if you wish to give in another’s name. If you do not wish to remain anonymous, we will then notify the honoree or that person’s family of your tribute.

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What is the difference between restricted and unrestricted gifts?

Unrestricted gifts provide funding that is not limited to a specific OSU program, college or department. These gifts address the university’s greatest needs, whatever those may be. Restricted gifts support the specific purpose you choose, such as a particular scholarship or program.

Although we greatly appreciate all gifts, unrestricted funds are critical because they allow OSU to address unexpected challenges, take advantage of unique opportunities and meet the modern challenges of higher education.

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How should I make out my check?

Your check should be made out to the Oklahoma State University Foundation. In the memo section you can indicate the fund name, department or purpose you are supporting. Our mailing address is P.O. Box 1749, Stillwater, OK 74076-1749.

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I’m uncomfortable giving online. Is it really safe?

We use an SSL Certificate to protect our online donation page. This prevents your personal or financial information from falling into the wrong hands.

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What is an SSL certificate?

An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts information that is sent to the server using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology.

A certificate serves as an electronic “passport” that establishes an online entity’s credentials when doing business on the Web. When an Internet user attempts to send confidential information to a Web server, the user’s browser accesses the server’s digital certificate and establishes a secure connection.

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How can I tell if the page I’m on is SSL Certificate Protected?

An “https://” prefix in the URL and a key or padlock icon in the browser’s status bar indicate that a website is secure.

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Are all gifts tax-deductible?

Gifts to the Oklahoma State University Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, are fully tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Please consult your tax attorney or financial adviser to determine if your gift is tax-deductible.

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How do I get tax credit for my charitable deduction?

We generate a gift receipt and mail it to you for tax purposes usually within the week we receive your gift. If you have not received a formal acknowledgement within three weeks, please contact us at 1-800-622-4678. Please consult your tax attorney or financial adviser to determine instructions and proper tax credits available for your gift.

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Can I receive a tax deduction for equipment or supplies I give to the university?

Yes. Your donation of equipment or supplies is referred to as a gift-in-kind. If you submit documentation such as a receipt, invoice or other appraisal instrument, we will establish a value for the donation. That value will be reflected on your gift receipt.

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Can I contact someone to discuss my interest in giving?

Yes. Our staff is knowledgeable, discreet and happy to assist you in any way possible. We also have development officers who work closely with OSU units and donors to unite donor and university passions and priorities to achieve excellence. For more information about giving opportunities, please call us at 800.622.4678.

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How the Foundation and University Work Together

Why is the Foundation separate from the university?

We are organized to provide the management, reporting and stewardship services that you require as a donor. Central management of these services increases efficiency. Donors also receive many benefits from this structure, including:

More freedom to designate gifts than would be possible if funds were given directly to OSU and commingled with public funds. Increased assurance of donor confidentiality since we are a separate, not-for-profit corporation that is not subject to open records laws.

An OSU Board of Regents resolution formally endorsed gifts intended to support OSU being directed to the OSU Foundation.

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If Oklahoma State University is a public institution, why does it need private financial support?

OSU receives about 20 percent of its annual budget from state appropriations. That is consistent with the long, national trend of institutions becoming state-assisted rather than state-supported. OSU addresses most of its expenses from other sources such as tuition and fees, federal and state grants, and the generosity of donors.

Your gifts increase OSU’s ability to offer a quality education as affordably as possible by reducing the reliance on tuition and fees. Every dollar helps OSU support students, hire and keep great professors, build world-class facilities and establish premier programs.

OSU achieves excellence by uniting donor and university passions and priorities.

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What is the difference between the OSU Foundation & OSU Alumni Association?

Both organizations work together as non-profits serving OSU and the OSU family, but they have different missions, goals and operations. The Alumni Association represents more than 200,000 alumni living throughout the world and 100 alumni chapters, watch clubs and societies. Its mission is to serve its members and alumni to support the serve the needs of OSU, its students, faculty, staff and friends.

The Foundation is the fundraising arm of the university, organized to provide the management, reporting and stewardship services that you require as a donor. Our mission is to unite donor and university passions and priorities to achieve excellence. While we interact primarily with alumni, our audience includes other supporter such as corporations, foundations, students, parents and many other friends of the university.

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Why should I give to the OSU Foundation instead of directly to OSU?

Your gift to the OSU Foundation is used as you request and not mixed with money provided by the state. This provides OSU greater flexibility on when and how to spend funds. Unlike appropriated funds, your gift can be invested for long-term growth. The return can allow you to provide greater support for the university over time.

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Foundation Operations

What is the OSU Foundation?

The OSU Foundation is the private fundraising organization for Oklahoma State University, as designated by the OSU Board of Regents. Our mission is to unite donor and university passions and priorities to achieve excellence. We exist solely for the benefit of OSU.

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Is the OSU Foundation a public or private organization?

We are a private, non-profit organization as determined by IRS 501 (c)(3) documentation. We are separate from Oklahoma State University.As a private corporation, we are uniquely qualified to address your specific needs and concerns as a donor.

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Who determines the OSU Foundation’s fundraising priorities?

Oklahoma State University sets our long-term and annual fundraising priorities.

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Who governs the OSU Foundation?

Our president directs operations under policies established by the Board of Trustees. These trustees are volunteers chosen for their professional expertise and support of OSU. They are elected to four-year terms by members of the Board of Governors, a group of alumni and friends who provide significant financial support and volunteer services to OSU and the Foundation. Governors are elected for six-year terms. OSU’s president participates in Board of Trustees meetings, and other OSU administrators advise various trustee committees.

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How is the Foundation accountable to donors?

We are dedicated to maintaining public confidence and private trust. In the interest of transparency, we provide information about our organization. This includes:

  1. An annual financial audit conducted by a qualified accounting firm. This report is reviewed by the audit and budget committee of the Board of Trustees and presented to the full Board of Trustees.
  2. An annual report of giving and Foundation activities
  3. Written operational policies
  4. Investment policies
  5. IRS tax form 990
  6. IRS 501 (c)(3)

Our Board of Trustees provides oversight as we maintain donor confidentiality and follow proper business practices regarding human resources, legal, real estate, financial and other matters. We also meet and often exceed all regulatory requirements at the federal, state and local levels.

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When is the Foundation’s fiscal year?

Our fiscal year begins July 1 and ends June 30. All private gifts designated to benefit Oklahoma State University are managed according to this fiscal year.

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Does the OSU Foundation make grants?

No. Since we exist solely to support Oklahoma State University, we don’t grant funds to outside organizations. Official OSU student organizations seeking funding for an academic or extracurricular expense may contact us for advice about fundraising opportunities.

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Why am I receiving calls from the OSU Foundation?

The OSU Cowboy Callers serve as our public face. They are often the only contact some donors have with the university. Student callers work year-round to seek funding for OSU’s greatest needs. These students are regularly encouraged to continue serving OSU by positive interactions with the university’s alumni and friends. Cowboy Callers can assist you with initial gift information or refer you to the appropriate development officer for more detailed information.

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What information is available to the public and media?

Our staff is dedicated to providing accurate information. This includes numerous publications offered to donors, alumni, media and the general public online and through our Marketing and Communications department. Among these publications are:

  1. Annual Report
  2. Endowment Report
  3. STATE magazine
  4. Women for OSU newsletter
  5. Doel Reed Center for the Arts newsletter
  6. Scholarship brochures
  7. Estate planning documents and Heritage newsletter
  8. Current and past news releases
  9. Miscellaneous development publications for OSU colleges or departments, as available

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How can I obtain additional information?

Simply contact us at 800.622.4678 or info@OSUgiving.com.

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Foundation Finances

What does the Foundation do with contributions?

Indicating how your gift should be spent is as simple as writing a note on a check, reply card or other correspondence. The designation is confirmed on the donor receipt. At least 95%* of each gift goes directly toward the donor’s designated area of preference, with the remaining portion allocated to the Foundation to support continued efforts to raise future gifts, and invest and manage existing private donations.

*Gift allocations apply to new contributions and commitments made on or after July 1, 2017. Donors completing pledge payments or deductions established prior to July 1, 2017, will continue with the same allocations agreed upon at establishment. This policy does not supersede existing gift allocation practices for realized estate gifts and gifts of minerals, and does not apply to gift-in-kind donations retained by OSU.

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How is the OSU Foundation funded

The OSU Foundation operates as a separate 501c3, focused on raising, investing and distributing funds for Oklahoma State University. To protect donor information, Foundation services must be completely separate from the university. The Foundation’s operations are funded through growth in endowment, philanthropic gift allocations from private donations, and university support.

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What is the Foundation’s Allocation of Donated Funds Policy?

At the Oklahoma State University Foundation, we are dedicated to supporting Oklahoma State University in accomplishing its land-grant mission. Our role in achieving this mission is to secure private philanthropic support to the university by matching donor and university passions and priorities to achieve excellence. We take great pride in our ability to effectively identify, secure and manage private resources that benefit OSU.

Private donations contributed from loyal OSU patrons provides millions of dollars annually to the university for things like scholarships, program support, building infrastructure and faculty needs. With declining state support, the Foundation’s efforts to provide stable and reliable support to OSU play a vital role in the success of the institution.

Every private dollar contributed has a significant impact at OSU, and we are proud to say that at least 95%* of each gift goes directly toward the donor(s)’ designated area of preference, with the remaining portion allocated to the Foundation for operational support. This allocation allows the Foundation to provide transparent and accountable reporting to donors and to the university, maintain accurate donor records, effectively manage and invest monies on behalf of the university, and continue connecting alumni and friends to philanthropic opportunities that benefit Oklahoma State. The maximum amount allocated toward Foundation support for any single gift will not exceed 5% of a $2 million gift. The amount of the gift in excess of $2 million will be directed fully to the donor-designated gift area(s).

*Gift allocations apply to new contributions and commitments made on or after July 1, 2017. Donors completing pledge payments or deductions established prior to July 1, 2017, will continue with the same allocations agreed upon at establishment. This policy does not supersede existing gift allocation practices for realized estate gifts and gifts of minerals, and does not apply to gift-in-kind donations retained by OSU.

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Does this gift allocation affect the tax deductibility of my gift?

Every private dollar contributed has a significant impact at OSU, whether directly funding the donor designated area of choice, or helping OSU raise future support, and invest and manage private resources. As such, donors will be recognized for the full value of the gift and 100%* of the contribution is tax deductible.

* Per IRS guidelines, tax deductibility of sponsorships and event tickets will be offset by the cost of the benefit provided to the donor (i.e. cost of the meal or sponsor advertising benefits).

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How will the Foundation use philanthropic gift allocations?

The OSU Foundation operates as a separate 501c3, focused on raising, investing and distributing funds for Oklahoma State University. To protect donor information, Foundation services must be completely separate from the university. Gift allocations allow the Foundation to raise future support, and invest and manage existing resources that benefit OSU, which is becoming ever more critical as state support declines.

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Does the gift allocation apply to all private philanthropic gifts?

Yes. We believe that OSU’s future will depend on private philanthropic support. Because of this, a portion of every private philanthropic gift will be allocated toward the Foundation’s operations to secure additional funding for the university.

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How does the gift allocation apply to gifts given to OSU Athletics?

The OSU Athletic Department partners in a unique way with the OSU Foundation by paying directly for development-related expenses. Due to differences in how the development effort for the OSU Athletic Department is funded, the amount allocated to support the Foundation’s operations from gifts designated to Athletics will be 1% of any outright gift or pledge payment*. The maximum amount allocated toward the Foundation’s operations for any single gift directed to Athletics will not exceed 1% of a $10 million gift. Any single gift amount in excess of $10 million will be directed fully to the donor-designated Athletic fund(s). This allocation allows the Foundation to continue its support of Athletics by processing all Athletic gifts, maintaining accurate donor records and effectively managing and investing portions of OSU Athletic private support.

*The gift allocation of 1% for gifts allocated to athletics, applies to new contributions and commitments made on or after July 1, 2017. Donors completing pledge payments or deductions established prior to July 1, 2017, will continue with the same allocations agreed upon at establishment. This policy does not supersede existing gift allocation practices for realized estate gifts and gifts of minerals, and does not apply to gift-in-kind donations retained by OSU

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Does this impact my Posse points?

Posse points will not be affected by the Foundation’s Gift Allocation Policy. Donors will be credited for the entirety of their gift.

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What are the investment policies of the Foundation?

When you establish an endowment, you are making a gift that grows over time and provides ongoing support for your orange passion. The funds are invested instead of being spent immediately. Part of the investment’s earnings are directed toward the need you chose, such as scholarships, faculty development or program expenses, and a percentage of the earnings are allocated to the Foundation to support the ongoing operational costs associated with investing, managing and distributing funds to OSU. The rest of the earnings are reinvested to continue increasing your generosity’s impact.

The funds are invested in our Pooled Investment Fund, which is designed to balance security of principal, current income and long-term growth. Investment policies are approved by the Board of Trustees, based on recommendations by a committee of the board, our staff and, when appropriate, outside counsel.

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