An endowment is a self-renewing resource that the University holds in perpetuity (forever) and does not spend. Instead, endowed gifts are invested. It's the earnings from these investments that help fund the donors cause.

Questions? Contact Carrie Ummel via email or call 217-333-6277.

Endowment is our only source of income that ensures our financial future. In an ever-changing landscape here at the University of Illinois there is a lot of pressure and a definite sense of urgency to maintain the highest of standards. For our athletic department endowment is our one constant that we can count on to maintain that standard set at this university. This need for a larger amount of endowment does not come as a luxury, but out of necessity. Through endowments we will have revenue to offset costs for our student-athletes. We want to be able to ensure one thing for our student-athletes on a consistent basis and that is opportunity. Through endowments we can create more opportunity for our student-athletes in order for them to reach their highest potential. Based upon peoples' concern for Fighting Illini athletics, their income, personal needs, financial obligations, and their desire for priority season tickets...most members find it relatively easy to arrive at a level of involvement that fits their needs.

The Endowment

Philosophical statement: When establishing an Endowment one is taking on the commitment to sponsor a single student-athlete through his academic and athletic career at the U of I but, also providing the opportunity for student-athletes in the future classes at the U of I. This is truly one of the greatest gifts our program can receive, and a wonderful way for our sponsors to see their donations in action. There are also other ways to impact Athletics in general; endowments are usually created for a specific purpose. Therefore there are also ways to support operational areas within athletics, academic services, building maintenances, our Illini Jet program, and more. For information on all of the ways one can support athletics through an endowment, please contact Carrie Ummel at 217-333-6277.

Although special privileges are afforded to LCE members, the primary motivation to invest in the future of a young person is the feeling one receives from providing the opportunity for an individual to reach his or her full potential.

An endowment provides the stability necessary for the future success of the Athletic department. Planned or deferred gifts and endowments provide substantial support for future use and represent a growing source of funding for Fighting Illini student-athletes. These gifts benefit the department at some future date and are the result of careful planning which integrates a donor's charitable gift into his or her overall financial, tax, and estate planning objectives.

There are many ways to establish an endowment, for information about how to create a named scholarship in men's or women's athletics, how to contribute to an established endowment or the general athletics endowment fund, please contact Carrie Ummel, so that she may help you construct a fund agreement. This agreement is necessary to insure that your gift is directed to the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics. Without designation, your gift will be recorded as unrestricted for use and future generations of student-athletes would not benefit from your generosity.

Endowment Benefits (varies per endowment pledge)

  •   Annual Luncheon/Dinner/Event with other Endowment members and DIA representation
  •   Public Recognition
  •   Newsletter
  •   LCE members receive first priority when ordering all special event tickets, most notably the Missouri game, United Center game, men's Big Ten Tournament as well as post season bowl games in football and men's basketball.
  •   LCE members receive special invitations to athletic department events.

Endowment Levels

 Loyalty Circle Endowment$1,000,000
 Loyalty Circle Endowment$750,000
 Loyalty Circle Endowment$500,000
 Loyalty Circle Endowment$400,000
 Loyalty Circle Endowment$300,000
 Block I Endowment$200,000
 Olympian Endowment$100,000
 Oskee Endowment$50,000

Endowed funds are never spent. Instead, they're invested. And it's the earnings from these investments that go to help the programs you choose to support. That means each gift designated for endowment provides permanent financial support.

When you create an endowed fund, you give the endowment your name or the name of a person or sport or department you wish to honor.

In general, endowments are usually created for a specific purpose under a specific name, with a minimum amount required to establish a new endowment. However, on occasion, additional, smaller gifts may generally be added to an existing fund (e.g. endowments established specifically for annual donor contributions). If you have a question about making a gift to an existing endowment, please email Carrie Ummel at ceummel@illinois.edu or call 217-333-6277.

Please consider the following endowment options:

  •   Head Coaching Positions
  •   Assistant Coaching Positions
  •   Building Maintenance Endowment
  •   Other
  •   Academic Support
  •   Health and Wellness or Nutrition
  •   Illini Jet Program

How it Works

Creating an endowed fund gives you an opportunity to put your name or the name of another person or organization on the endowment in memory or tribute. A minimum amount is usually required to establish an endowment, but in some cases, lesser amounts are accepted with the understanding that they will grow to the minimum amount within a reasonable period of time.

Only part of an endowment's average annual investment return goes to fund the donor's specified cause. The remainder gets channeled back into the fund so that it grows over time.

If income in a certain year isn't enough to cover the University's budget, the necessary amount is taken from the pool. If income exceeds spending, the extra money goes back into the pool, increasing its value.

Each endowment is a source of permanent financial support above and beyond the income generated by student tuition and fees. As our endowment grows, so does our strength and stability.

Endowments Help Fund

  •   Coaching Positions
  •   Building maintenance
  •   Scholarships
  •   Operational Budgets per sport
  •   Academic support
  •   Health and Wellness or Nutrition
  •   Illini Jet Program

Creating an Endowment

An endowment can be created through an outright gift, through a bequest in a will, or through a life income gift such as a charitable gift annuity or a charitable remainder trust.

To minimize administrative costs, the minimum amount required to establish a separate, permanent endowment account is $50,000. As mentioned earlier, lesser amounts are sometimes accepted with the understanding that they will grow to $50,000 within a reasonable period, usually within three to five years.

In order to establish an endowment, you should take the following steps:

  •   Contact Carrie Ummel at 217-333-6277 or by email at ceummel@illinois.edu
  •   Identify the kind of endowment you would like to establish (e.g. scholarships, coaching position, support of operating budget, or building maintenance, etc.).
  •   Identify your short- and long-term charitable priorities.
  •   Review the various levels of endowment available and the minimum amounts needed to set them up.
  •   Decide on a planned or an outright gift (e.g. cash, real estate, stock, bonds):
         Outright gifts may be donated or pledged to establish your endowment fund and to help it grow over time.
         Planned gifts (e.g. bequests in your will, a trust, life insurance, retirement plan assets) and/or deferred gifts from life income arrangements (e.g. gift annuities and charitable remainder trusts) may also be used to create your endowment or add to it at a later time.
  •   Allow Carrie Ummel with your desire to prepare a draft agreement outlining the purpose for the fund.
  •   Review and sign the agreement along with a designated foundation official and the appropriate university administrators.