Annual Giving: Frequently asked questions


What is annual giving?
This yearly campaign provides critical support for Berry students in the form of tuition assistance and wages available though the college's Work Experience Program. These gifts also support many student-life activities and are used for such things as purchasing books and journals for the library, providing athletic equipment for athletic teams, and supplying lab equipment for student researchers. Typically, annual gifts are used to benefit students in the same year they are given. Year after year, they help keep a Berry education both accessible and exceptional for hardworking students.

Are annual gifts tax-deductible?
Yes! Any gift to Berry College (a 501c(3) charitable organization) is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Gifts of stock, mutual funds or other appreciated securities can be an especially tax-friendly way of giving to Berry, because donors are able to avoid paying capital-gains taxes on the appreciation of their securities.

Can I make a pledge over several years?
Absolutely! We'd love to talk with you about this; contact Jennifer Schaknowski at 706-290-2167 or jschaknowski@berry.edu or make your gift online.

If I can only afford a small gift, will it really matter to Berry?
 Gifts of any size are important for many reasons, but here are two major ones:  

  1. Annual gifts of all sizes and types unite to make a tremendous difference in the lives of Berry students. Thanks to this collective display of generosity, more than $2 million is available for Berry students each year. Every gift – large and small – contributes to this important total and is greatly valued. 
  2. Your participation says you care about Berry and want to see it thrive. Many corporations and foundations use the overall percentage of Berry alumni who give each year as a factor in deciding whether to make grants. Also, alumni participation is a component of highly publicized college ranking systems. A high percentage increases the perceived value of a Berry degree. 

Can I dedicate my annual gift to someone?
Yes! You can make a gift in honor (or memory) of someone special to you.

What are matching gifts?
Some corporations or companies will match an employee's gift to Berry on a one-to-one, two-to-one or three-to-one basis. These programs enable a corporation or company to support the institutions in which their employees are most interested. Your human resources department or employee relations office can tell you if your employer has a matching gift program in place and provide you with any necessary forms. 

Why does Berry need my support every year?
Annual gifts normally are used for students in the year in which they are given; the fund starts over each year. These gifts directly support student scholarships and the work program, as well as other important student needs. When you give annually, you are helping to assure that every student has the opportunity to work on campus every semester. You also are helping to keep the firsthand experience at Berry College affordable and accessible to deserving students from all walks of life. Because of people like you, the cost borne by students for their Berry experience is significantly less than the overall actual cost of a Berry education. Giving back for the next generation of students is a longstanding Berry tradition. 

What are the different ways I might be asked to give?
Alumni are solicited in a variety of ways, including calls from student workers, letters and postcards, e-mail, and personal visits. Student callers also ask parents for support, and alumni volunteers sometimes contact classmates about giving. Over the course of a year, you might be contacted in several ways about making a gift. Why? Because alumni participation in annual giving is so very important.

Why am I encouraged to make a larger gift in my class reunion year?
Your class reunion is a special time to come together with old friends and share the excitement of being back on campus together. It's a natural time for a class to affirm its commitment to Berry. During the year leading up to your class reunion, you probably will be contacted by a class volunteer who will ask you both to attend your reunion and to make a "stretch" gift in honor of the anniversary. Classes traditionally set ambitious dollar and participation goals in order to make a gift that reflects the strength of their class and its loyalty to the school. We hope you’ll join in. 

What are giving clubs?
Giving clubs are based on the size of gift you actually make to Berry (not an amount pledged) during a given year. They are: 

Martha Berry Society
    Pilgrim Society: $25,000 or more
    Founder’s Associates: $10,000 to $24,999
    Oak Hill Associates: $1,000 to $9,999
Opportunity Club: $500 to $999
Second Century Club: $100 to $499
Count Me In: $1 to $99 

What if I have more questions?
Contact Jennifer Schaknowski at 706-290-2167 or jschaknowski@berry.edu.