The percentage of Texas A&M’s budget covered by state funds and tuition has held steady throughout the decades at 57 to 59 percent. As state funds decrease, tuition typically increases. Students now shoulder more than one-third of Texas A&M’s budget, a huge jump from the late 1990s when tuition comprised only about one-fourth of the budget. Because this is unlikely to change, we must continue to strengthen our public-private partnerships that allow us to continue the quality education, research and service programs that have distinguished Texas A&M since 1876.
Each of these private entities raises and manages different types of charitable gifts on behalf of Texas A&M University.
The Texas A&M Foundation is a nonprofit corporation with its own Board of Trustees and president and not a state agency. This structure is common among public universities and results in greater effectiveness and benefits for both the university and its donors.
The Texas A&M University administration works closely with the Foundation to communicate its priorities and needs. These become the focus of Foundation fundraising efforts.
Giving through the Texas A&M Foundation allows you to direct your gift for a specific purpose. For example, you may choose to fund an endowed scholarship for students from Falls County, Texas, who are studying chemical engineering. Indeed, the majority of our donors choose to direct their gifts in a specific way.
You can document the purpose of your gift in one of two ways. For a gift of $25,000 or more, the Foundation drafts a gift agreement outlining the purpose, form, schedule and administration of your gift. For smaller gifts, you may document your preference with a letter, pledge card, note on the memo line of your check or in the comments section of the online giving form.
An endowment is a permanent fund that the Foundation invests. The Board of Trustees allocates approximately 4 percent of the fund per year to support the program or purpose that a donor designates. Investment earnings in excess of the annual amount allocated remain in the principal of the endowment. The goal of this approach is to keep pace with inflation and to ensure that gifts provide the same level of benefit in the future that they do today.
The Foundation also accepts non-endowed or “pass-through” gifts, which are used more immediately for a designated purpose.
Unrestricted gifts have no restrictions or conditions on how they may be used so that university administrators (the president, deans, department heads) can use the funds for their top priorities. Restricted gifts have limitations or conditions on how or when the resources can be used.
For example, a donor may choose to direct a gift to faculty research in philosophy. Once documented, the Foundation and university are obligated to direct those funds as the donor specifies for the future. If or when the purpose for the gift no longer exists, the donor or Foundation may redirect the funds to a closely related purpose.