Q: What is The Harding Fund?
A: The Harding Fund consists of unrestricted gifts from alumni, parents and friends. Virtually all donations to The Harding Fund go toward supporting need-based scholarships. Each year Harding seeks contributions to The Harding Fund for our fiscal year, from July 1 to June 30.
Q: What is the difference between The Harding Fund and what you've previously called the Annual Fund or the Harding Scholarship Fund?
A: The Harding Fund is the new brand for the Annual Fund or the Harding Scholarship Fund, both of which were names given to Harding's annual unrestricted gifts program. By rebranding the program, we hope to remove any ambiguity around the name and more clearly communicate what the funds are used for.
Q: Where exactly do The Harding Fund dollars go?
A: Virtually every dollar donated to The Harding Fund goes toward need-based scholarships. Harding distributes more than $26 million annually in scholarships. Through unrestricted gifts, restricted gifts that are designated for scholarships and endowment scholarships, alumni and friends’ donations help reduce the cost of attendance by one-third and make it possible for many students who otherwise could not afford their Harding education to be here.
Q: What gifts count toward The Harding Fund?
A: Unrestricted gifts to the University count toward The Harding Fund. Please note that gifts made to specific funds or purposes, such as the Jimmy Carr Scholarship Fund or endowed scholarships, are not counted toward The Harding Fund. Therefore, donors to these projects are also encouraged to participate in The Harding Fund.
Q: Why is participation in The Harding Fund important?
A: You may feel that if you can only make a small gift to The Harding Fund, it does not make much difference whether you participate. Quite to the contrary, the mere act of participation has great consequences.
By making even a modest gift, your participation will help achieve a much greater result. Your participation in The Harding Fund is also valuable as a signal to others who are considering investing. Many corporations and foundations considering a contribution to Harding look carefully at the percentage of Harding alumni and parents who support the school. By making a gift of any amount, you help Harding raise funds from other sources.
Q: With a growing endowment, why does Harding still need unrestricted gifts?
A: Thanks to many generous donors, Harding does have a growing endowment. It is important for Harding to spend from its endowment very conservatively, however, in order to ensure its continued strength.
The Harding Fund is sometimes called the "living endowment." Harding Fund dollars are expended in the year they are given to educate today's students, whereas only five percent of an endowment is awarded each year.
To put in perspective the importance of The Harding Fund:
• A $100 gift to The Harding Fund has the same impact as a $2,000 endowment gift.
• A $1,000 gift to The Harding Fund has the same impact as a $20,000 endowment gift.
Q: I am a College of Business Administration graduate. Will my gift be used to support COBA?
A: You can designate your Harding Fund gift to a specific college or department. Your gift will support scholarships for students in your designated area of the University, thereby enriching their academic experience.
Q: If my spouse is also an alumna/us of the University, will we both get credit for making one gift?
A: Harding alumni spouses will each be recognized for the entire gift amount.