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Giving to University of Calgary


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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make a donation to the University of Calgary?
We are pleased to offer step-by-step guidelines on how to make a gift to the University.

Where do I call for more information?
For information about giving to the U of C, please call 403-220-5854 or e-mail

What is the difference between the University of Calgary and the University of Calgary Foundation (1999)?
Very simply, current gifts are accepted through the University of Calgary and deferred gifts are managed through the University of Calgary Foundation (1999), an arms length body that accepts and grants gifts to the University of Calgary.

I'm a U of C graduate. Is my gift handled any differently?
All donations to the University of Calgary are managed with the utmost professionalism and care. Gifts from U of C alumni are credited to the Alumni Annual Fund goal and, when undesignated, directed to one of the priorities selected by the University of Calgary Alumni Association.

What types of gifts are accepted?
The University of Calgary accepts many different types of charitable gifts, ranging from gifts of cash to gifts-in-kind. Visit our Make a Gift page for details. And your donation need not be restricted to monetary contributions. The University considers volunteers to be its most valuable ambassadors.

I don't have the means to make a large gift. Do you accept more modest investments?
Both the University of Calgary and the University of Calgary Foundation (1999) are pleased to accept gifts of all sizes. Every investment from every donor is valued for its thoughtfulness and generosity.

What happens to my gift after it is received by the University?
Your donation is transferred to a designated account in keeping with the priority you selected. If you prefer to make an undesignated gift, the funds will be allocated to the University’s most urgent funding need.

I'd like to set up a scholarship or bursary. How do I do this?
We suggest that you contact the Development Office to discuss a donation toward a scholarship or bursary. We would be very pleased to learn more of your interests to assist in the creation of a new award and to forward relevant information. Donors have the option of contributing to an existing scholarship or bursary or creating a new award; supporting undergraduate or graduate students; and establishing an endowed or limited-term award. Additional information is available here. Through discussions with the donor, terms of reference will be prepared.

How are endowments established?
Endowments are wonderful opportunities to create lasting legacies. A donor’s gift is invested and the interest earned is used to support a designated project, such as a scholarship, chair or research program. At present, the University’s endowment policy is to award annually the interest earned to a maximum of the equivalent of five per cent of the capital. Any additional interest earned is recapitalized to ensure the fund grows in perpetuity. We would be pleased to discuss endowment opportunities and the amount of funds required. The amount will vary and is dependent on the specific designation. Once you have decided to create an endowment, the U of C will prepare an endowment agreement detailing the terms of the gift. We ask that you sign the document as confirmation of understanding.

Are there any forms that need to be signed?
While signed forms aren’t generally required to accept a donation, in specific situations certain documents may be necessary or preferred by the donor. These would include documents such as terms of reference for a scholarship or bursary, or an endowment agreement for the establishment of a new endowment. Forms of this nature represent a commitment from the U of C to the donor that we will use your gift as intended. They are signed by donors to ensure we have correctly captured all the information about their gift and its designation. These forms are not legally binding and, in consultation with the U of C, can be changed by the donor at any time. In some instances, legal documents are necessary. These would be required for more complex gifts such as charitable remainder trusts and interest-free loans, and are intended to protect both the donor and the University.

Is it possible for my gift to remain anonymous?
We are aware that many individuals prefer their gift to remain anonymous. We will certainly respect and honour your wishes in this regard. Knowing that some individuals have different ideas on what anonymity means, we prefer to consult directly with you or your advisors to determine the level of privacy that would be most appropriate.

Will I receive a tax receipt?
An individual making a charitable donation is eligible to receive a tax receipt. The U of C is committed to forwarding tax receipts as soon as possible following receipt of the donation. The receipt value is based on the current fair market value of the gift.

Deferred gifts, in which the funds are to be received at a future point in time, may be eligible for a tax receipt now, but the value would be subject to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) rules. Deferred gifts made to the U of C Foundation (1999) will receive a receipt from the Foundation. Examples of deferred gifts include gifts of life insurance and RRSP assets. Other types of planned gifts, such as gifts of publicly listed securities and gifts in kind are also receipted at a value based on CRA guidelines. Bequests and estate gifts are receipted and issued to the donor’s estate.

I have very specific ideas about how I would like my gift spent. Can you accommodate my wishes?
Donors are encouraged to designate their gift to an area that is important to them and in keeping with the University of Calgary’s mission and vision. In order to ensure the viability of the proposed gift, we recommend that you or your advisor contact the University Development Office early on in the decision-making process. Should the proposed designation be unacceptable as per the University’s Gift Acceptance Policy, we can suggest an alternative designation that closely matches your needs and interests.

I want to support the U of C, but would like suggestions on what to support. Can you do that?
In consultation with you and/or your advisor, we will provide information on University funding priorities based on specific areas of interest and the University’s most urgent needs. After consultation, you may prefer to leave your gift as undesignated. In this instance, the funds will be transferred to an account in support of the University’s most urgent funding priority as chosen by the University President and Board of Governors.

How did the University identify its fundraising priorities?
The University’s fundraising priorities reflect the institution’s key academic strengths and areas of focus as outlined in Raising our Sights, our four-year academic plan. The University of Calgary places a top priority on attracting donations in support of people, projects and programs in the areas of Energy and the Environment; Technologies and Information; Understanding Human Behaviour, Institutions and Cultures; and Health and Wellness.