Foundation Announces New Name And Annual Fund



March 1, 2013

Infographic | VIDEOS: Introduction | Annual Fund

OXFORD, Miss. – As Rebel Athletics’ fundraising efforts continue to reach new heights, the development department will do so with a new name, the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation, and a new structure for the annual fund.

Founded on July 1, 1969, the organization was first known as the Loyalty Foundation before rebranding itself as the UMAA Foundation on May 31, 2006. The new name, Ole Miss Athletics Foundation, also comes with a new web address, www.GiveToAthletics.com.

“It is important that our athletics foundation’s name and mission be clear and recognizable,” said Ross Bjork, Ole Miss Director of Athletics. “As part of this rebrand, we are reorganizing our giving levels and introducing a new annual fund program, which will deliver on our promises of simplicity and inclusiveness while maximizing the membership experience.  From day one, we have asked the Ole Miss family to give at their maximum capability, and we believe that the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation is one of the best vehicles to make this happen.”

The new annual fund is comprised of philanthropic giving and priority seating contributions such as per seat and parking requirements for football, basketball and baseball. Membership is based on any combination of these, thereby giving Rebel fans flexibility in their membership level.

Memberships now start at just $50, and there is a level for every Ole Miss fan. Each new level gives the member additional benefits such as invitations to special events, exclusive gifts, priority points, opportunity to purchase postseason tickets and more. As in the past, members receive one point for every $100 donated and for each season ticket purchased.  

A membership form will be sent each year with information regarding the member’s previous year’s gifts and will combine them as one annual membership to the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation.  Members will have the opportunity to fulfill their total gift or pledge the annual amount with a tailored donation schedule.

“With this new simple and inclusive model, our goal is to raise our membership to 10,000,” said Keith Carter, Executive Director of the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation. “While continuing to recognize the contributions of our current donors with a consistent stewardship program, we are creating a ‘give what you can’ philanthropic option for all fans to invest in the future of Ole Miss Athletics.”

The mission of the foundation remains the same, which is to provide the necessary resources for Ole Miss student-athletes and coaches to compete for and win championships.  The two primary reasons for the resources are operating dollars and capital projects.

The operating dollars that come from fans’ donations help offset expenses like scholarships, academic counseling, sports medicine and more. Additional revenue can provide a competitive edge by enabling a national reach in recruiting, providing salary support for coaches and allowing the athletics department to properly maintain and modernize facilities.

The second function of the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation is to fund capital projects such as the Forward Together Campaign that is focused on creating championship-level facilities. This funding comes directly from donors in two forms. 

First, capital gift agreements, more commonly referred to as “CGAs”, are donations tied to long-term seating benefits. Second, the Vaught Society seeks to gain members that wish to go above and beyond any annual giving or CGA requirements. Since its inception in 2010, close to 180 Vaught Society members have contributed over $20 million.

“Ole Miss Athletics cannot succeed without our loyal members and the support they provide our student-athletes and coaches,” Carter said. “With so many simple ways to get involved, all Rebel fans can be part of Ole Miss Athletics and help define our future.”

For more information on how to get involved, visit www.GiveToAthletics.com or call the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation at (662) 915-7159.