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Ways to contribute

The easiest way to contribute is with a simple, secure online gift.

UT employees can set up a recurring or one-time payment that will be deducted automatically.

With smart planning, you may actually increase the size of your estate and/or reduce the tax burden on your heirs.

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Giving definitions

An annual gift is a pledge payment, gift or matching gift received on a yearly basis that is either designated for use within that calendar year.

A gift is a voluntary transfer of assets (e.g., cash, securities, books, equipment) from an individual or non-governmental organization made without consideration (that is, the donor does not expect to, and does not in fact, receive any goods or services from UTFI or UT in consideration of the gift). The following criteria generally identify a gift:

  1. A gift is motivated by charitable intent.
  2. Except in the case of Charitable Lead Trusts, a gift is an irrevocable transfer of assets.
  3. Except in the case of life income payments made to donors or other life income beneficiaries of Charitable Trusts or Annuities, a gift is not subject to an exchange of consideration or other contractual duties between UTFI/UT and the donor.
  4. The donor may specify the use of the funds, or the gift may be unrestricted for use in meeting needs identified by the UTIA.

*Gifts should be made payable to the University of Tennessee Foundation Inc., the private gift repository of the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture.

Current gifts are made in the current year and can be utilized immediately. They are commonly referred to as “outright gifts” or “immediate gifts”. Current gifts may be designated to help fund opportunities for today and can be assigned to benefit a specific area of interest to the donor, including all mission areas of UTIA. These funds are designated to be disbursed on a one-time basis. These are generally expected to be expended within twelve months of the fund’s establishment. These earn no return from investments and no fees are assessed.

Deferred gifts are often called “planned gifts” because they are integrally connected to financial and/or estate plans. They range in size from smaller bequests to multi-million dollar trusts. They are called deferred gifts because even though they are given today, the benefits will not be realized until sometime in the future.

A donor may choose to designate a gift to any mission area within UTIA (Herbert College of Agriculture, CVM, AgResearch, and/or Extension). For example, a gift may be designated for local operations and/or state-wide support, undergraduates and/or graduates, faculty and/or programs, etc.

Examples of non-programmatic objectives include conference sponsorships and regional/national meetings. All non-programmatic gift solicitations must be coordinated with UTIA Office of Institutional Advancement.

Examples of programmatic objectives are student enrichment funds and scholarships, faculty and staff support, capital improvements, commodity field days, and extension training and workshops. Any planned programmatic gift solicitations greater than $5,000 must be coordinated with UTIA Office of Institutional Advancement.

An endowed fund is one which the original principle is never invaded and the gift exists in perpetuity. Endowments are generally funded within five years of the initial contribution. Income is distributed annually pursuant to spending policies adopted by the University of Tennessee Foundation and no income will be distributed until the endowment is fully funded. There is no limit for donating gifts to already-existing endowments, but UTFI’s minimum requirement for establishing new endowments is $25,000. Each endowment will be supported by an accompanying fund agreement which is signed by UTFI and the Donor or Donor Representative. All fund agreements explain the gift’s purpose and use. Approval by the appropriate Dean(s) and Chancellor must occur prior to signatures by the UT Foundation and the Donor. All fund agreements for UTIA are coordinated by the Office of Institutional Advancement

Non-endowed funds consist of funds of which both principal and income may be expended, but only for purposes specified in the accompanying fund agreements. Donors may choose to execute gift agreements for non-endowed funds.

A quasi-endowment is established to function as an endowment in that the principal is to be retained and invested. However, the entire principal and income may be spent at any time at the discretion of the governing board.

All gifts and pledges of $25,000 or more must be documented in a written gift agreement signed by the Donor(s) and the UTFI President and pre-approved by UTIA (see above under Endowed Funds). Donors may choose to execute a gift agreement for non-endowed funds as well.

A pledge is a promise from a Donor to invest funds into UTFI to support the mission of the Institute. Pledges are generally paid within five years of the initial agreement.

Donated tangible and intangible property such as real estate, art, rare coins, books, equipment, software, and other physical assets or materials which represent value to UTIA are often received. Gifts in-kind valued over $500 cannot be accepted without prior approval of UTIA.

For assistance with private giving, please contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at 865-974-5779.

For more detailed information concerning UTFI policies, please see

about your gift

Gifts to the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture are made through and payable to the University of Tennessee Foundation, Inc. (UTFI), an independent not-for-profit 501(c)3 that manages all alumni, development, and philanthropic endeavors of the University of Tennessee and its related campuses and institutes.

visit the UTFI website