8 Important Questions every donor can (and should) ask
No matter the size, no matter the program,
every gift counts. That's why before you give
your hard earned dollars to any organization
you should ask the following questions.
Any donation request should clearly spell out the reason your support is needed. Is your gift helping fulfill a special need or is
it part of a capital campaign? Is the gift part of the organization's annual budget (sometimes called the Annual Fund)? Both are
entirely acceptable uses for your donation, but you need to know which it is so you can feel confident about your gift.
A gift to the Concordia Fund (our Annual Fund) is the most comprehensive commitment you can make to Concordia University and is necessary for the
annual financial health of the university. It supports every student, professor, program, and department on campus. It provides the flexibility to respond
to changing circumstances and to take advantage of new opportunities. It provides a "silent scholarship" to all students by keeping tuition costs as low as
How much should I give?
Donors often wonder if the amount of their gift makes a difference. Many times participation is more important than the size
of the gift because it encourages larger gifts from foundations. Sometimes a special appeal needs just a little boost. It is important
to think about each donation before you make it.
At Concordia we know "where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:21) The Bible teaches us to give not just to help our neighbors,
but for our own blessing, from a cheerful heart. Never once does it state a specific amount. To that end, your gifts matter to us, because they matter to you.
Can I give in installments?
You pay bills monthly, why not consider making your donations monthly? Many organizations offer automatic payments on
a monthly or quarterly basis via credit card or bank account to help you make the impact on the organization at a rate that is
convenient for you. For example, a monthly gift of $85 equates to a $1000 annual gift! When an organization is flexible to
your needs, it shows they honor and respect your input.
Concordia University Irvine is thrilled to offer a monthly giving option online for our donors. Visit cui.edu/give to set up an automatic monthly
commitment to the university. Most banks also offer electronic funds transfer that can be set up on an installment schedule.
What is the organization's history?
Most appeals will share the organization's vision for the future. But do you know the organization's history? As an investor, it's
important to have an understanding of both. How far an organization has come is an indication of how far it may go.
The story of Concordia University dates back to the mid-1950s when a small group of southern California Lutherans began to plan for a Lutheran college
to serve the people of the Pacific Southwest. An extensive search for the "perfect" site led to Irvine, California. In 1976, classes were held for the first time at
Christ College Irvine, the original name of the institution.
Today, Concordia University Irvine is a U.S. News Top Tier Regional University that prepares students for their vocations—their calling in life. CUI offers
undergraduate, graduate, and adult degree programs in a beautiful Southern California location, with online and regional cohort options. Concordia's
undergraduate program is distinctive among Christian universities in the region because of the University's innovative and engaging Core Curriculum, and
its Lutheran heritage that provides a thoughtful and caring Christian community that lives out "Grace Alone. Faith Alone."
Who else is giving?
You may question why this is important, but as a donor you need to know you are not alone. Is the organization working hard
to share the message about which you are passionate?
Funding for student aid, programming needs and special projects come from a variety of sources at Concordia. While some funds come from churches,
corporations and foundations, the majority of gifts come from individuals. When you make a gift to the Concordia Fund, you join thousands of alumni,
parents, friends, students, faculty and staff who all want to help fulfill God's purpose and plan for Concordia University Irvine.
Is my gift tax deductible?
If you want to take a charitable deduction for federal income tax purposes, make sure the organization is tax exempt as a charity
under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. A charity appeal will usually include a reference to this.
Concordia University is a 501(c)3 organization and gifts to the Concordia Fund are 100% tax-deductible to the extent provided by law. Any variation will
be communicated to you in a timely manner.
How much of my donation will reach its intended destination?
Many times an organization has administrative costs (sometimes known as a "cost recovery fee") that are taken out of donations.
While this practice is fairly common and somewhat reasonable, some organizations are more efficient than others – an
organization should always inform you when outside restrictions will affect your gift.
In Concordia's case, the vast majority of donations made to the University are used exactly as the donor intended (e.g. Concordia Fund, student aid).
However, there may be circumstances where a nominal administrative cost recovery fee of no more than 10% of your gift may be assessed, but that does
not affect the tax deductibility of your gift.
How will I be treated?
Every donor should be acknowledged for their gift. You should expect follow-up communication, including a thank you letter
or receipt for your donation. You may also be asked if you prefer your gift to be anonymous or publicly listed as an encouragement
for others to give.
We want every donor to feel a part of the Concordia community, so in addition to our thank you letters, your gift may entitle you to wide variety of
invitations, newsletters, and communications from the university so you can see how your gift is being used. We want to ensure you have the information
you need to not only feel good about your gift, but to also serve as an ambassador to others who may be considering a gift to Concordia.
For clarification on these or any other questions regarding gifts to Concordia University Irvine, please feel free to contact us:
E: [email protected]
P: 1(877)GIVE-CUI (448-3284)