Giving FAQ

Why Give?

Supporting American University enable us to meet the many challenges facing higher education today. Contributions from alumni, friends, parents, faculty, and staff help us build on AU's rich history while providing world-class opportunities for today's students.

Philanthropic support helps attract and retain the finest faculty, increase scholarship support, create and endow research and policy centers, ensure state-of-the-art resources in all of our schools and colleges, expand global programs, and secure the long-term financial health of the university by boosting the endowment.

May I choose the area my gift will benefit?

Yes. You can view a list of funds to choose the program or fund at AU that most interests you. If you do not see an area that interests you on this list, or would like to speak with someone regarding a gift to an area not listed, please contact us.

I'd like to learn about naming opportunities. What level of commitment does naming something require?

There are many opportunities for members of the AU community to make a naming gift, and to honor or memorialize a friend or loved one with such a gift.

Naming gifts generally range from $10,000 to $10 million for spaces and buildings, and $50,000 and more for endowments (such as scholarships, program or book funds) that will honor a donor in perpetuity. Faculty positions may be endowed at $500,000 for visiting professors, $1 million for distinguished professorships, and $2 million for chairs.

What if I can't make a large gift? Will my gift of $50.00 really make a difference?

Yes. It is important for us to engage as many friends of AU as possible. If you are an alumna or alumnus, your annual gift or pledge payment of any size helps increase our alumni participation rate which factors into US News & World Report rankings and other important evaluations of the university’s financial health.

Can I make a pledge, or make my gift in installments?

Absolutely. Some donors find it more convenient to complete their gift over a number of payments. For example, a gift of $5,000 can be completed over five years, with payments of $1,000 each year. You can also make a pledge or gift to AU online, and choose from different payment options, or contact us to speak with someone on the development staff to discuss the pledge and payment options that are most comfortable for you.

How can I make a planned gift?

American University encourages alumni, faculty, friends, and neighbors to consider including the university in their estate plans, and offers many vehicles for tax-wise gifts, including those that offer life income. Learn more about your options at our planned giving website.

Who do I contact if I have questions, or if I want to discuss a major gift to AU?

You can contact us via e-mail to submit your inquiry, which will be directed to the appropriate person on the development staff. To contact the Office of Development, please write or call:

American University
Office of Development
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016

Phone: 202-885-5900
Toll free: 1-800-270-ALUM
Fax: 202-885-5964

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