Alumni

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the Founders Pledge?

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Designed for leading innovators and entrepreneurs, the University of Chicago and Univeristy of Chicago Booth School of Business Founders Pledge is a unique way to give back. The Founders Pledge allows startup founders, investors, or equity holders to make a nonbinding declaration of intent to provide philanthropic support once their ventures achieve success. After making the Pledge, the amount, timing, and designation of the gift is up to you. By signing the Founders Pledge, you are joining an exclusive group of alumni trailblazers who, from the early stages of their ventures, have publicly pledged support to the University of Chicago.

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How does it work?

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Once you have signed the Founders Pledge, you will join fellow founders in building an entrepreneurial ecosystem for students, faculty, and alumni. When you decide your venture gives you the opportunity to make a gift, our team will work with you to identify a program you would like to support. We can also help you identify the assets that allow you to make your commitment in the most tax-efficient way. After you make your gift, you will be formally recognized as a donor and stewarded through the program you choose to support.

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Why sign the Pledge?

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Help future founders achieve success while fostering the pay-it-forward mentality shared by your alumni peers. The Founders Pledge is an exciting opportunity to join a growing community of alumni innovators and leaders who share in the spirit of entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago. You understand the importance of giving back and you know that a future gift will help ensure essential support to the university’s values, pioneering research, and world-renowned programs.

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Is there a minimum dollar amount to fulfill my Pledge?

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There is no minimum dollar amount for your future contribution. Fulfillment of your Founders Pledge commitment is intended to be a “stretch” gift, marking a notable milestone in your entrepreneurial career. Annual giving is encouraged among all alumni, including members of the Founders Pledge program.

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Can I choose what my Pledge will support?

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Yes, you may direct your gift to any area of the University of Chicago or Chicago Booth. Our team will help you identify a particular unit, center, or program on campus where your gift will have the biggest impact—and align with your personal interests and philanthropic goals. The Founders Pledge contributions can support any area of the university or be the catalyst for new programs and initiatives on campus.

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What are the tax ramifications?

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There is no tax consequence from signing the Founders Pledge. It is a nonbinding expression of intent to make a gift in the future. We have dedicated staff who can work with you or your financial advisors to help you maximize the tax benefits of your gift.

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Want more information?

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Please email laura.hassett@chicagobooth.edu, and our team will provide further information or answer any additional questions you may have. We can help you decide if the Founders Pledge is right for you and discuss how this opportunity will work for your unique situation.