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Frequently Asked Questions

We want to be certain that you have all the information that you need to make informed philanthropic decisions. The list below contains the most common questions that Howard University donors ask.

If your question does not appear in this list, please contact us at 202-238-2340 and we will happily assist you.


Alumni Giving

When does the University call alumni and parents for contributions?

Howard‘s Tele–Center makes calls throughout the academic year (September – May). Our normal hours of operation are Sunday thru Thursday evenings and occasionally on Saturday for special projects. We comply with all applicable state and federal regulations and do not call after 9 pm.

What‘s the difference between giving to the University, giving to Bison Express, and joining HUAA?

The University, Bison Express and The Howard University Alumni Association (HUAA) are all separate entities.

  • Giving to the University supports any of the academic schools, units and programs at Howard.
  • Bison Express members support University athletics and athletic facilities through scholarships, facilities and endowments. For more information,  click here.
  • The Howard University Alumni Association (HUAA) is an alumni-based membership organization that collects dues to support alumni activities and student scholarship. For more information,  click here.

I‘m already a HUAA member; does that mean I've made a donation to support Howard?

No. Membership dues for HUAA are not contributions to Howard's annual fund. Giving to the annual fund supports the schools, units and programs that you care about most at Howard.

Annual Giving

Why do you solicit for gifts every year? Doesn‘t the Federal Government provide funding for the University?

Private support makes the difference between being average and being excellent. Annual giving helps finance the University's yearly cost of operation, strengthen academic programs, support new research, and enrich the educational experience for our students. Annual gifts also boost the University‘s reputation: U.S. News & World Report considers alumni participation in annual giving when it ranks the nation‘s universities. Consistent annual giving maintains the legacy of excellence at Howard and elevates the University to new heights.

A significant portion of Howard‘s budget comes from federal allocations. However, this funding does not cover all of the University‘s operating expenses and therefore the remainder must come from other sources, such as tuition and private gifts.

Why do you conduct a telephone campaign for annual gifts?

We find that a quick friendly telephone call from a current student is a pleasant way for you to stay connected to the University, and for the student to be able to explain opportunities to support academic programs. For more information,  click here.


What percentage of endowment earnings is spent?

The amount of earnings that are spent each year varies because it is based on the market value of the endowment. The average spending rate for the past 5 years has been approximately 4 – 5%. For additional information,  click here to review the University‘s Endowment Fund Statement of Investment Objectives and Guidelines.

What is the minimum gift to establish and name an endowed fund?

The minimum gift required to establish a named endowment fund varies depending on the type of program it supports. Currently the minimum level for scholarships and other forms of student aid is $100,000. Endowment gifts can be pledged and paid over a period of three (3) to five (5) years. For more information about naming endowed scholarships, fellowships, professorships, or lectureships,  click here or contact 202-238-2340.


How do I make a gift to Howard University?

Howard University can accept gifts via many different methods. Online giving and gifts by mail are the most common. For more information, please visit our Methods of Giving page.

Online gifts: Howard's secure online giving form is the easiest and quickest way to make your gift.  Click here to get started.

Gifts by Mail:
For U.S. Mail
Howard University 
P.O. Box 417853
Boston, M.A. 02241-7853

For Overnight Delivery Mail Only (services that cannot be delivered to a PO Box address): 
Bank of America Lockbox Services
Howard University Operating Account 417853
2 Morrissey Blvd.
Dorchester, MA 02125

Please make checks/money orders payable to Howard University. Please include your desired designation in the memo line of your check or in a cover note with the check. Please do not include individual specific student or faculty names on check.

Who can I call if I need help making a gift?

If you have questions, you can contact the Division of Development & Alumni Relations at 202-238-2340 and we will be happy to assist you.

Do I have different options in making a gift to Howard?

You may choose the type of asset (cash or non-cash) to contribute, the giving method (direct or planned), and the initiative you would like to support (a fund, program, scholarship, department, and so on). For additional information on giving, please  click here.

Can I choose where I want my gift to go?

Yes. While unrestricted funds are always needed, many alumni choose to designate a gift to any department, college, scholarship fund, or other academic program at the University. If you would like help in matching your interests to a gift program, please look over our giving opportunities, or call us at 202-238-2340.

Can I make a confidential gift?

Yes. Please let us know if you wish for your gift to remain confidential.

Can I make recurring credit card gifts?

Yes. Howard accepts recurring credit card gifts in any amount on a monthly or quarterly schedule. Recurring credit card gifts can enable you to make a larger gift than you might otherwise be able to afford at one time. You can set up your recurring gift using the online giving application by selecting "Monthly Draft" and then selecting the gift schedule that is most convenient for you.

If I can only make a small contribution, does that really help?

Absolutely. It is not how much you give, but that you give. Alumni participation, especially loyal participation from year to year, not only aids the University financially, but also factors into Howard's national ranking.

Maximizing Contributions

Will my employer match my gift?

Many employers offer a charitable matching-gift program. This can double or even triple your gift to the Howard University. Contact your Human Resources Office for details OR use our easy  matching gift service to find out if your employer or your spouse‘s employer offers a charitable match, as you may be able to double or triple the size of your gift to Howard. Note: spouses of employees, retired employees, and board members are often eligible for the match as well.

How can I make a gift that will last forever as a tribute to someone?

You may endow your gift so that it lives in perpetuity. The gift's principal will be invested soundly and a percentage of the income generated will be designated as you wish. For more information or a confidential discussion, please call us at 202-238-2340.

What does Howard‘s endowment provide for?

The 800+ individual endowments that comprise Howard University‘s consolidated pooled endowment provide perpetual funding for instructional and research support, professorships, scholarships and other forms of student aid, and facilities.

My employer is interested in partnering with Howard University. How do I help them do that?

If your employer is interested in partnering with Howard University, please contact David Bennett, Vice President for Development & Alumni Relations at 202-238-2340 or e-mail at

What is the University's fiscal year? How does that affect my gift?

Howard's fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. Giving numbers and participation data are calculated based on gifts processed between those dates.

I‘m a Howard graduate and I already give annually, what more can I do to help?

1. Giving annually is the most important thing you can do for Howard. Thank you!

2. Increasing the amount that you give annually is the second most important thing that you can do, as costs associated with running the University increase every year.

3. Work with your employer to provide support for Howard and/or internships for talented students.

4. Get involved with HUAA and become a mentor to potential Howard students.

5. Encourage your fellow alumni to give back to alma mater.

Named Gifts

Can I make a gift to recognize or memorialize someone?

Yes, you may make your gift in recognition of a special loved one, friend, or colleague, or to memorialize someone who is deceased. For more information or a confidential discussion, please call us at 202-238-2340.

How can I establish a student scholarship at a school/college?

To establish a scholarship at a school/college, please contact the Director of Development for that particular school/college. He/she will present you with your options for the scholarship and aid you with completing the process. For a listing of school/college development directors,  click here.

Planned Giving

Can I make a gift through my estate or will?

There are numerous ways to use your estate as a means to take care of loved ones after you're gone, while realizing your philanthropic goals. For more personalized information or a confidential discussion, please contact the Office of Planned Giving at 202-238-2518.

Are there other tax breaks or income-producing opportunities for me through my gift?

There are various ways of structuring your gift whereby you will be provided with a stream of income in addition to a tax break. Please contact your finance or tax professional directly, or contact the Office of Planned Giving at 202-238-2518.


Is my gift tax-deductible?

Yes. In most cases the full value of your gift is tax-deductible. Please consult with your personal tax advisor to determine the full value of your deductions.

Do I get a receipt for my contribution, and how long does it take to receive it?

Yes, you do get a receipt for your gift. Gifts made via the online giving website are receipted immediately by email. Additionally, all gifts receive a physical receipt through the mail within five to ten business days of deposit. During peak seasons, please allow a few additional days.

Division of Development & Alumni Relations
Howard University
1851 9th Street NW, 3rd Floor
Washington, DC 20001