Annual Giving

The Annual Fund

The annual fund is the foundation of Aquinas College’s development program and the only other significant source of revenue after tuition and endowed funds. It is the most important source of unrestricted funds available to the College. Most donors begin their charitable giving relationship with the College through their support of the annual fund. Funds from annual giving provide operating monies that support the ongoing work at the College and bridge the critical gap between tuition and the actual cost to educate a student.

Your gift to the annual fund helps Aquinas College continue its history and mission of fostering intellectual achievement and personal growth in a socially and economically diverse population. A successful annual fund drive helps keep tuition as affordable as possible for students and their families.

Donations to the annual fund are fully tax-deductible, and can be paid by cash, check, credit card, online, or through stock transfers. Pledges can be paid in monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annual installments.


You may designate your gift to the annual fund in the following categories:

  • Aquinas College Excellence Fund
  • School of Nursing
  • School of Business
  • School of Arts & Sciences
  • School of Education

For more information about these or any other possible designations, please contact Jesse W. Fortney, Vice President for Institutional Engagement, at (615) 297-7545 x442 or at

Annual Giving Frequently Asked Questions

What is the annual fund?

Tuition and fees do not cover the full cost of an Aquinas College education. The annual fund covers the day-to-day expenses at the College and helps bridge the gap between tuition and the actual costs of educating each student. Tuition only covers 76% of a student’s cost, the remainder comes from the annual fund and earnings from the general endowment. More than 86% of our students receive financial aid.

What does the annual fund support?

The unrestricted funds from the annual fund have an impact across campus. The annual fund helps bridge the gap between tuition revenue and the actual costs of educating our students. More than 86% of our students receive some form of financial assistance and this is made possible through your support of the annual fund.

Investing in professional development is one of the best ways to impact the instructional program and to attract and retain the best faculty. The faculty has a great impact on the quality of the education of an Aquinas College student. Your gift affords our faculty the opportunities to learn and grow in order to enhance their skills.

Your gift to the annual fund also permits technology upgrades that give students access to the world of information beyond the campus.

Why should I support the annual fund?

The annual fund provides critical dollars for the daily operating expenses and priorities such as financial aid. Contributing to the annual fund is perhaps the easiest and most important thing you can do to help the College.

Every gift counts, whether large or small. Even a small increase in the percent of participation can have a big impact in securing additional gifts. When seeking grants from foundations they want to know that Aquinas College is widely supported by its own alumni, parents, faculty and staff.

It’s also easy to give to the annual fund. You can give online or read about our other methods.

When does the annual fund take place?

The annual fund drive runs concurrently with the fiscal year, July 1 through June 30.

Why doesn’t the College just raise the tuition if tuition alone does not cover the cost of educating each student?

If the tuition were raised to cover the full cost it would exclude many talented students from our College.

What is a matching gift?

A matching gift is an employer-sponsored program to encourage philanthropy among company employees in support of their chosen charity or organization. The matching gift program enables many donors to increase the impact of their contributions as most companies will match dollar for dollar, and some will double or triple match employee gifts. For more information, please contact the Office of Advancement at (615) 297-7545. Please visit the Matching Gift search page to see if your employer will match gifts to Aquinas College.