Policies and Procedures - 903 The Williams Education Fund



The need for a student-athlete scholarship program at KU was recognized early at KU. The Outland Club was organized by Dick, Skipper, and Odd Williams in 1949. The Williams family was responsible for raising more than $2 million for athletic scholarships between 1949 and 1973. In 1973, the Outland Club became known as the Williams Education Fund to honor the Williams family for its commitment to Kansas Athletics.

The Williams Education Fund (WEF) is the fundraising arm of Kansas Athletics whose primary mission is to generate funds for the overall operation of the University of Kansas Athletics Program.

To achieve this mission, the WEF staff strives to develop an on-going fundraising program which incorporates annual giving, capital projects, endowed scholarships, planned and deferred giving, capital campaigns, gifts-in-kind, matching gifts and corporate solicitations. (See Policy 902, Fundraising for additional information.) Monies generated are used to fund scholarships for qualified student-athletes, the improvement of athletics facilities and the enhancement of all sports programs.

The WEF operates according to guidelines set forth by the Kansas University Endowment (KUEA). In addition to KUEA rules and regulations, all fundraising efforts must comply with applicable University, Conference and NCAA rules and regulations. All donations made to the WEF are processed and managed according to NCAA guidelines governing booster organizations.

WEF Support
The Senior Associate Athletics Director-Development is responsible for coordinating the operations for the Williams Education Fund. Support for fundraising programs is cultivated by direct (meetings or phone calls) or indirect (advertising or mail) contact with alumni, parents, friends, corporations and foundations.

Coaches and senior administrative staff members are encouraged to participate in fundraising efforts and identifying prospective donors for the athletics program. Fundraising options are discussed in Policy 902, Fundraising, in this Manual.

Special Events
The WEF Office also sponsors special fundraising events and activities (e.g. golf outings, dinners, auctions, receptions, etc.) for the specific needs of Kansas Athletics, including capital projects.

Head coaches and administrators are encouraged to submit names of individuals to be invited to these events.

Email Mailing Calendar
The Development Staff formulates a monthly mailing calendar for sending solicitation letters, publications, brochures, newsletters, invitations, etc. in a timely manner.

Gift Acknowledgements
All pledges are acknowledged with a thank you letter from the Williams Education Fund, and all gifts are acknowledged with a receipt from KUEA.

WEF and Friends Clubs
The Associate Athletics Director/Development is responsible for coordinating the fundraising activities for the Division of Athletics including the activities of Friends Clubs (booster support groups) and the WEF.

Organizational Structure
The Senior Associate Athletics Director-Development and Associate Athletics Director/WEF work together in coordinating WEF activities.

Tax Information
Kansas Athletics is a nonprofit organization that is exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Since the Corporation is a non-profit organization, donations to the WEF may be considered charitable contributions for tax purposes if the donor waives priority points

As allowed by current tax regulations, gifts of monetary value for which the donor receives no benefit in return are fully deductible. As always, donors are advised to consult their tax advisor concerning their particular situations.

Matching Gifts Program
The KUEA has information on companies which have matching gift programs for eligible employees. Restrictions vary among companies, and a given matching program may change periodically. Donors should be advised to check with their company’s personnel or benefits office to determine if the company has a program to match gifts for athletics. To activate the matching gift program, the appropriate corporate form must be submitted with the member’s personal gift or the donor must register the gift through his/her company’s website.

Team Physician Credit
Team physicians for Kansas Athletics receive annual Williams Education Fund gift-in-kind credit as determined by the Head Team Physician on staff. They then receive the benefits associated with the respective membership level.

WEF Membership
Membership to the WEF is open to any individual (alumnus, parent, friend, etc.) who contributes a minimum of $1.00 in support of University of Kansas’ intercollegiate athletics program. Those at a minimum of $100 may be eligible for priority seating and parking. Memberships are paid on an annual basis with renewal based on the fund drive year (i.e. March 1- February 28). Donors may request in writing that their names and/or the amount of their donations be held in confidence.

Membership levels and benefits for annual giving are announced on an annual basis and may be revised as approved by the Director of Athletics. Current membership levels are as follows:

Hall of Fame$50,000+
Rock Chalk$1,000
Crimson & Blue$300


Donors may designate on their donor gift forms the allocation for one of two categories:

  • Unrestricted use, or
  • Scholarship Fund (restricted)

Membership Benefits
The University of Kansas appreciates the support of its WEF members. To demonstrate this appreciation, the University allows members to receive benefits (e.g. reserved seating priorities, parking privileges, etc.) based on each member’s membership level and priority point accumulation. The WEF staff, in conjunction with the Director of Athletics, establishes benefits and priorities in accordance with the policies and procedures of the University. In order to provide members the optimum benefits, the WEF continually “fine-tunes” its priority points system to address WEF members’ needs. Benefits are non-negotiable.

The Director of Ticket Operations has direct responsibility for the assignment of all tickets. Seating guarantees are granted with the understanding that donors gain the privilege of annually purchasing season tickets based on their membership level, accumulated points and the availability of tickets. Specifically, priority points are used for granting priority seating beginning winter season 2004 at men’s and women’s basketball games, and beginning in 2005 at football and volleyball and also for baseball box seats. The priority point system is also used to determine seating priorities at post season contests. See Policy 408D, Ticket Distribution for additional information.

All members receive invitations to WEF activities, newsletters and special mailings, and participate in the ticket priority point system if at the Outland level or above. Priority points are granted based on each donor’s level of giving, length of membership, years of KU employment, membership into KU Alumni Association, Chancellor’s Club and K-Club, and history of ticket purchases. Additional benefits are dependent on the level of membership, as noted below.

  • Members may make a written request for confidentiality of their donations on their donor gift form. The identity of the donor will not be publicly disclosed unless required by state or federal law.

Expenditure of WEF Funds
All requests to the WEF for monies from unrestricted accounts and any expenditure of monies originated by the WEF are subject to the approval of the Director of Athletics.

Accounting Procedures
Checks or deeds of gifts made payable to the WEF (or to properly designated funds within Kansas Athletics) become the property of the WEF and are housed in Endowment accounts designated for the use of Kansas Athletics unless donors provide written instructions to the contrary. All deposits are processed by KU Endowment’s gift processing staff in accordance with The KU Endowment Fund Administration and Use Handbook. Every deposit must be accompanied by a completed Official Receipt and a copy of all correspondence to and from the donor. Each donation received is posted to appropriate Endowment records.

In-house computer updates are performed on a daily basis by the WEF staff who also maintain information on the status of pledges, gifts and membership accounts. The WEF staff also prepares acknowledgement letters; KU Endowment sends the official tax receipts.

An annual audit of WEF accounting records is conducted by a certified public accounting firm as part of the financial audit of Kansas Athletics. In addition, the books and records of the WEF are open to review by Kansas Athletics.