Frequently Asked Questions

Q What is the Annual Fund?

A The Annual Fund supports every aspect of the Lewis & Clark experience. Gifts to the Annual Fund support students, faculty, and programs and is the most direct way to make an impact on the educational experiences that Pioneers are having right now.

Every annual fund dollar is spent immediately so your gift goes to work today making a difference across campus.

Gifts to the Annual Fund provide financial aid; fund overseas study programs; purchase science equipment, resources for the library, and instruments for the music department, and so much more.

Simply put, your gift together with thousands of others helps meet the college’s greatest needs every year.

Q Why should I give?

A There are so many reasons to give to Lewis & Clark!

  • I want every student to experience a college that will allow them to grow as a person and help prepare them for the future.Michael Anders ’91

  • Giving back is my way of staying connected to campus and my college experience.Kirk Reynolds ’86

  • Lewis & Clark’s emphases on writing and critical thinking and its ability to nurture a curiosity about the world have all served me well.Dan Drazen ’01

  • I love Lewis & Clark. I want to keep our institution strong and help it grow.Daena Goldsmith ’86

Here are just a few reasons that people give:

  • When more alumni donate to LC, it increases alumni participation. Higher alumni participation improves our college rankings with organizations like the U.S. News and World Report, which in turn determines funding that we receive and helps us to attract new students and faculty to our community.
  • There are tax incentives! When you give to LC your gift is tax-deductible.
  • You can show your support for the programs that were most important to you during your time at LC or the new programs that have been brought about since you graduated.
  • Supporting efforts of diversity and inclusion in higher education.
  • It helps people feel connected with the LC community and the memories they made.

Q How can I give? What are the different possible ways to donate?

A There are several ways to give including online, through the mail, over the phone. And by making a gift of stocks or bonds. You can learn about these options and by clicking the link here.

Q How is LC using my gift?

A It’s up to you how LC uses your gift!

When you designate your gift to a certain fund, your gift is only spent as the fund allows because your gift is restricted to only what that fund covers. For example, if you give to a specific scholarship, your gift will only go towards that specific scholarship.

If you donate to the Annual Fund, your gift is unrestricted and goes to the greatest need of the college at that time. And since every annual fund dollar is spent in the year it was given, your gift today goes to work right away making a difference across campus. 

Q Doesn’t tuition cover expenses?

A Nearly all colleges and universities face a gap between tuition income and expenses, and Lewis & Clark is no exception.

At Lewis & Clark, tuition only pays for about two-thirds of the cost of a student’s education. And this is one of the many ways that the Annual Fund provides for students. Your Annual Fund gift supports the distinctive educational experiences that define Lewis & Clark and makes them accessible to a broad range of students.

Q What if I want my donation to support something specific?

A You may designate your gift to an area or program that is most important to you, such as financial aid, a specific academic department, a sports team, or the overseas program.

Annual Fund gifts made without restriction give us the flexibility to use the money where it is needed most.

Q Can I give in honor of someone else?

A Yes!

Quite a few alumni make gifts in honor of a classmate, spouse, or fondly remembered faculty member or coach. Some parents choose to honor their child or their child’s favorite faculty or staff member.

You may also make your gift in memory of someone. We will notify the honored individual or the family that your gift—without reference to the amount—was made.

Click here to view a list of people who have had gifts made in their honor.

Click here to view a list of people who have had gifts made in their memory.

Q Will my employer match my gift?

A Many companies match the charitable contributions of their employees. In this way, the impact of your gift to Lewis & Clark may be doubled or even tripled.

Find out if your company will match your gift by visiting and then follow up with your company to find out details on their process.

Q Do smaller gifts really make a difference?

A Absolutely! A gift of any size directly supports students and faculty, and your gift says that you believe in Lewis & Clark.

Smaller gifts are especially important because some foundations and other grant-making organizations look at giving participation rates when awarding grant requests.

Your gift is a vote of confidence and helps us secure external funding. Alumni participation is a factor in many of the national college ranking organizations.

Every gift really does count.

Q I can’t afford a larger gift all at once but would like to make smaller gifts towards my gift goal. Can I give multiple gifts?

A Of course! Giving incrementally is easy. If you’d like to set up a monthly gift, you can do so by clicking the link here.

Q What is the Leadership Society?

A The Leadership Society recognizes donors giving $1,867 or more in a year, with adjusted levels for young alumni. Leadership Society members receive additional information on the impact of their generous gifts and invitations to special events throughout the year. To learn more, click here.

Q What is the Fir Acres Society?

A The Fir Acres Society recognizes the devoted Lewis & Clark donors who invest in our undergraduate students and faculty through consistent annual giving. These individuals understand that their foundational support helps Lewis & Clark students thrive and succeed in a rapidly changing world.

Becoming a member is easy! Give ($5 minimum) or multi-year pledge to any undergraduate fund at Lewis & Clark for three or more consecutive fiscal years and you’re in!

Q What is the Heritage Society?

A Lewis & Clark celebrates anyone who informs the college of an intended gift through their estate as members of our Heritage Society.

When you name Lewis & Clark as a beneficiary in your will, trust, life insurance, or retirement plan—or establish a life-income gift with us—you become a member of our planned giving societies.

If you would like to learn more about planned giving with Lewis & Clark, please contact Rebecca Holt at

Do you still have more questions?

We love questions and we’re always happy to help! Email Julie Newsome, Director of Donor Engagement, at or (503) 768-7963.