Thank you for your expressed interest in joining our program and supporting the many student-athletes at the University of Illinois. What does it take to have a championship program? The obvious response includes a great institution dedicated to academic excellence, outstanding coaches with high integrity, first class facilities and an unrelenting commitment to the welfare of our gifted student-athletes. Under the guidance of Director of Athletics Ron Guenther, our strategic plan has addressed those issues, leaving us well positioned for the future. Additionally, we know that a large part of our success is due to the tremendous financial support of our main friends and alumni, people just like you. These pages are designed to give you an in-depth perspective of our annual giving program, appropriately named the I FUND. It is our hope and desire to add your name to our growing membership of more than 4,000 friends. I look forward to seeing you at a Fighting Illini event soon!
Director of Development
There are three components of the Office of Athletic Development:
1) PLANNED GIFTS / ENDOWMENTS - Planned or deferred gifts and endowments provide substantial support for future use and represent a growing source of funding for Fighting Illini student-athletes. These gifts benefit the department at some future date and are the result of careful planning which integrates a donor's charitable gift into his or her overall financial, tax, and estate planning objectives.
2) CAPITAL PROGRAMS - In order to provide quality, state-of-the-art training and competition facilities for student-athletes, medical and rehabilitation facilities, coaches' offices and meetings rooms, proper recognition for student-athletes of past generations, and administrative office space on campus...private funding is required, and those gifts are coordinated through the Office of Athletic Development.
3) I FUND -- Formed in 1946 (called Grants-In-Aid until 1988, and called Fighting Illini Scholarship Fund until 2002), the I FUND is the primary support group for varsity athletics at the University of Illinois. All private support for the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics is directed through and managed by the I FUND offices in Champaign and Chicago. The purpose of the I FUND is to unite, in an organized effort, the alumni and friends of the University of Illinois in order to raise funds to meet the rising costs of athletic scholarships. In addition, it provides academic support services for student-athletes of diverse characteristics and backgrounds at the University of Illinois. We support the University's mission by providing student-athletes with exceptional educational and athletic opportunities that allow each student-athlete to grow as a total person, and better meet the challenges of a rapidly changing society. Scholarship expenses for student-athletes include room, board, tuition, fees, and books during the pursuit of a degree. This past year, nearly $4 million was allocated for this purpose to approximately 500 student-athletes in 19 men's and women's varsity sports. The University of Illinois is one of only two Big Ten Conference institutions that fully fund their varsity sports (provides the maximum amount of scholarships allowed under NCAA rules).
You may reach the I FUND offices in the following manner:
1700 S. Fourth St. / Bielfeldt Athletic Administration Bldg.
Champaign, IL 61820
Illini Center-First Floor
200 S. Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606
MISSION / ROLE OF THE I FUND
FINANCIAL IMPACT OF PRIVATE GIFTS
The I FUND receives no financial support for scholarships from taxpayers, the State of Illinois, the University of Illinois, or U of I students. Private support, regardless of the amount, brings us closer to meeting the financial commitment to our student-athletes. Current members of the I FUND assist in assuring student-athletes are better prepared for today's challenges and tomorrow's opportunities. When members join or renew their memberships in the I FUND, they participate directly in providing support and assuring continued growth and success for Fighting Illini athletics.
The impact of these gifts is multiplied as the contributed monies go back to the University of Illinois for the payment of tuition and fees for student-athletes. Those monies are part of the annual educational budget of the University, and they enable the campus to continue to provide the best educational experience through excellence in teaching, research activities, operations and service.
Your annual gift makes a difference!
NCAA Champion and Academic All-American John Lockhart celebrates another victory.
Student-athletes at the University of Illinois are among the best and brightest in the Big Ten and the nation. Not only do they strive for honor and championships in athletic competition, they also achieve success in the classroom. Over one-half of student-athletes carry a B average or better, and they graduate at almost the same rate (72%) as the general student population.
Also, our student-athletes understand and appreciate the financial contributions of the members of the I FUND. They know that without the generous support of more than 4,000 individuals and businesses involved in the program, many of them would not have the opportunity to attend and earn a degree from the University of Illinois.
While on campus, they learn of Illinois loyalty and its lifetime impact. The enthusiasm, pride, and traditions student-athletes experience while in Champaign-Urbana result in many former letterwinners becoming members of the I FUND after graduation (approximately 25% of the membership is made up of former Fighting Illini student-athletes).
REASONS TO JOIN
No two members have identical reasons for joining the I FUND. However, some of the more common reasons include:
There's nothing else like a fall afternoon at beautiful Memorial Stadium.
Membership is open to anyone with an interest in Fighting Illini Athletics. Although many members are alumni, former letterwinners and staff, many are not...they are interested fans. All interested parties are welcome and are encouraged to become members. If helping young student-athletes succeed sounds like something you would be interested in, then the I FUND is for you!
Anyone making a pledge or contribution to the I FUND at one of the established club levels will automatically become a member.
In addition to helping dreams come true for this generation of Fighting Illini student-athletes, members are eligible to receive exclusive benefits (based upon their club level), such as priority season tickets (based on availability), complimentary parking, and invitations to exclusive Fighting Illini events.
Private gifts represent a powerful resource, enabling the University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics to provide a rewarding and memorable collegiate experience to our student-athletes. With this in mind, I FUND members are responsible for fulfilling their annual pledge amount within 12 months of making the pledge.
Annually, the I FUND office receives an invoice from the University that includes the costs of tuition and fees, room and board, and books for the student-athletes at the University of Illinois. Those amounts increase every year. The I FUND does not have the flexibility to pay only a portion of the financial commitment made to a student-athlete. The I FUND is responsible for the entire amount; therefore it is important that members fulfill their pledges in a timely fashion.
As a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the University of Illinois is responsible for the actions of its "representatives of athletic interests." All members (both present and former) of the I FUND are defined as "representatives of athletic interests" by the NCAA.
The Division of Intercollegiate Athletics values the interest and support of I FUND members, but must remind all that an inappropriate action on the part of a member can jeopardize the eligibility of a prospect, student-athlete and/or the compliance of the University with Big Ten and NCAA regulations. All members are annually provided with "An NCAA Rules and Regulations Guide." In addition, members may visit www.fightingillini.com or contact the compliance office directly at (217) 333-2009 with questions.
The University of Illinois appreciates its alumni and friends (representatives of athletic interests) who strive for the highest level of ethical conduct while supporting the student-athlete's goals for both athletic and academic success.
I FUND members are expected to engage in conduct within all rules and guidelines of The Division of Intercollegiate Athletics, the University of Illinois, the Big Ten Conference, and the NCAA. Members violating these guidelines as they relate to rules compliance for student-athletes at the University of Illinois will have their membership revoked, their benefits cancelled, and their name removed from all mailing lists.
LATE PAYMENT- MEMBER COMPLAINTS - LOSS OF BENEFITS
In the interest of time and for the benefit of its membership, the I FUND provides priority benefits immediately upon one's making of a "pledge," as opposed to actually waiting until the donation is received. Many times, this "pledge" takes place with a handshake or a verbal agreement by phone while discussing ticket locations.
While it is understood that many gifts to the I FUND are philanthropic in nature, when members receive benefits (priority season tickets, special event seating priority, parking pass, etc.) and fail to fulfill their pledge, it causes a loss in planned revenue for the I FUND. In addition, it makes it look as though inconsistent distribution of benefits may have taken place (if people are receiving benefits without paying their annual membership).
From time to time, I FUND members will delay their payments, or consider resigning. When asked about the reason for the delay, some will tell us the reasons they are considering resigning include: they feel a particular team is not performing as well as they would like for it to perform, or they are disappointed in a decision that was made from within the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics, or they feel as though their involvement isn't appreciated as much as they would like.
Please remember, the I FUND is not about winning and losing on the field, court, mat, track, etc. It is about being an integral part of building futures for promising student-athletes, and a commitment to provide an educational opportunity for those very same Fighting Illini student-athletes. Not only is it critical for members to honor their pledges in a timely fashion, but it is also important for members to go beyond, and strongly consider annual increases in their involvement in order for us to continue to meet the increasing costs associated with those educational opportunities.
In order to be fair to the members who do fulfill their pledges in a timely fashion, contributions received from members whose accounts have unpaid balances will be applied towards overdue balances from the previous year. (One may not contribute towards next year's fund drive until the prior year's donation is fulfilled...if priority benefits were received.) When the account no longer has an outstanding balance from the prior year, the upcoming year's pledge (and donations) may be recorded, and benefits begin.
If the account is still unpaid 2 months after the renewal month, a reminder letter will be sent. If the account is still delinquent after 1 more month, the account will be deemed "not current."
If an account is assigned "not current" status, the following steps take place:
a) If priority season tickets have been ordered in the past in the account, tickets are reassigned to members whose accounts are "current / active" (after these tickets are reassigned, members will not be able to reclaim their exact same priority seats from the previous year, even if they then make full payment).
b) If inactive members have already made payment for season tickets for an upcoming season, they will have the choice of: reassigned locations for their season tickets in a non-priority area of the stadium or arena, or a refund of their ticket payment.
c) Customers will no longer receive mailings and communications detailing offers of priority benefits for season tickets, special single game priority tickets, parking passes, bowl game or NCAA tournaments, golf outings, Illini caravans, and special I FUND member events.
Please remember, the I FUND is the primary support group for financial assistance for the student-athletes at the University of Illinois. It has nothing to do with winning and losing. It has to do with a commitment to our student-athletes.
Under IRS section 170(l), donors may deduct 80 percent of contributions to higher education institutions for which the donor is given the opportunity to purchase priority tickets and receive priority benefits for seating at an athletic event. Members may decline priority tickets and benefits and deduct 100% of their contribution. Please contact the I FUND office if you choose to decline benefits or have questions. An official receipt for IRS purposes is issued by the University of Illinois Foundation.
I FUND members enjoy the best tailgating in the Big Ten.
The most important benefit of membership in the I FUND is the satisfaction of realizing that your financial assistance is helping to directly fund educational and developmental opportunities for Fighting Illini student-athletes. In addition, there are a number of tangible benefits available for members, based upon their involvement. Please see the Benefits Chart for more information.
SEASON PARKING PASSES
I FUND members purchasing season football tickets and/or season basketball tickets are provided one complimentary parking pass in a reserved lot as a benefit of membership. This pass will be mailed with the season tickets.
Members not purchasing season tickets also qualify for a season parking pass in an I FUND lot. Members wishing to receive the pass must make the request in writing to the athletic ticket office. This pass will be mailed two weeks prior to the first home game.
The parking spots within the I FUND lots are first come / first served (exception: Loyalty Circle members have reserved spaces identified by a special recognition sign displaying their names...and are not released for others to park in, regardless of the demand). In order for the maximum number of I FUND members to enjoy the game-day experience, we ask that members take into consideration those around them, and not take up more space than needed for their tailgate.
Passes for these lots are only available with a membership. Additional passes for these lots are not available for purchase.
Lost or destroyed passes may not be replaced.
ADDITIONAL SEASON PARKING PASSES
Members with a need for more than one parking pass have two options: 1) Establish an additional I FUND account at the level required for parking in the lot you desire, or 2) purchase additional season passes through the athletic ticket office (for football) in Lot A, and the Southwest and Southeast quadrants of Assembly Hall, and (for basketball) in Lot A. Payment for these passes can be made when ordering season tickets. These passes will be mailed after the season tickets are mailed.
SINGLE GAME PARKING PASSES:
I FUND members needing parking passes for a single game (additional family, clients, or guests are planning to attend as your guests for a special game) may request one single game parking pass for that game by contacting the nearest I FUND office. The offices have a very limited number of such passes, but will be happy to provide a pass for your use, if passes still remain at the time your order is placed. Please keep in mind, there is no guarantee that a pass will be made available.
Among the benefits of membership is the medallion program. Annually, in late December, members in the top four clubs are mailed a medallion (Platinum: Loyalty Circle; Gold: Block I and Tribal Council; Silver: Chief Club), which commemorates significant accomplishments of our student-athletes over the past school year. A display plaque for the medallions is awarded to these same members in their first year of eligibility/activity.
Based upon peoples' concern for Fighting Illini athletics, their income, personal needs, financial obligations, and their desire for priority season tickets...most members find it relatively easy to arrive at a level of involvement that fits their needs. The I FUND offers seven (7) club levels to choose from, and each has a unique set of benefits to consider. There is a club for every level of interest...and budget. General information regarding each club is listed below.
THE LOYALTY CIRCLE (LC) ($10,000 and above):
Philosophical statement: Established in 1993 with 15 "pioneer members", the Loyalty Circle is a family of exceptional donors who have chosen to sponsor a single student-athlete through his academic and athletic career at the U of I. This is truly one of the greatest gifts our program can receive, and a wonderful way for our sponsors to see their donations in action. Although special privileges are afforded to LC members, the primary motivation to invest in the future of a young person is the feeling one receives from providing the opportunity for an individual to reach his or her full potential.
Members wishing to sponsor a student-athlete may do so in one of three ways: (1) a $10,000 annual contribution, (2) a $50,000 lump sum contribution every five years, or (3) establishing a $250,000 endowed scholarship which lasts in perpetuity.
Special Benefits: Stadium Club access (up to 8 people) at home football games (includes complimentary pre-game buffet, complimentary beverages including full-service bar, private rest rooms, coat room, hosted by a Fighting Illini head coach and I FUND staff members), personalized/named parking space at home football and home basketball games, invitation to the annual LC banquet, and special invitations to unique athletic department functions. Additional benefits include the mailing of football and basketball fan guides along with a commemorative platinum medallion (annually), a display plaque (for the medallions), and #1 priority for ticket allocations.
Each time members celebrate five consecutive years of membership, they are recognized in a special manner. At the annual LC banquet, they are introduced to the student-athlete which they have sponsored and are presented a special memento by that student-athlete to commemorate the association. Most recently, the memento has been a bronze sculpture created by Peter Fagan, a well-known artist who is also a professor/faculty member in the University of Illinois College of Fine Arts.
BLOCK-I COUNCIL ($6000-$9999):
Philosophical statement: A member participating at this club level contributes substantially to our student-athletes welfare by providing support for their annual room and board expenses. Also, members providing vehicles for coaches and athletic staff members as part of the "Illini on Wheels" program receive membership in the Block I Council. Special Benefits: Varsity Room access (up to 8 people) at home football games (includes complimentary pre-game buffet, non-alcoholic beverage service, climate controlled environment, and private rest rooms, hosted by a Fighting Illini head coach and I FUND staff members). Additional benefits include the mailing of football and basketball fan guides (upon request), a season parking pass in the Red Lot for football and men's basketball, a commemorative Gold medallion, a display plaque (for the medallions), and #2 priority for all ticketing needs.
TRIBAL COUNCIL ($3000-$5999):
Philosophical statement: A member at this club level contributes substantially towards the cost of tuition for our student-athletes.
Special Benefits: Football and basketball fan guides upon request, a season parking pass in the Gold Lot for football and men's basketball, the #3 priority for all ticketing needs (based on availability), a commemorative Gold medallion, and a display plaque (for the medallions).
CHIEF CLUB ($1000-$2999):
Philosophical statement: A member at this club level contributes substantially towards the cost of books and fees for our student-athletes.
Special Benefits: Commemorative silver medallion (annually), and display plaque (for the medallions), and an Orange Lot parking pass for football and men's basketball.
WARRIOR CLUB ($500-$999):
Philosophical statement: A member at this club level contributes toward the cost of student-athlete Life Skills Education and Academic Support Services.
Special Benefits: Blue Lot parking pass for football and men's basketball.
BRAVE CLUB ($250-$499):
Philosophical statement: A member at this club level contributes toward the cost of student-athlete Life Skills Education.
Special Benefits: Brown Lot parking pass for football and men's basketball.
TOMAHAWK CLUB ($100-$249):
Philosophical statement: A member at this club level contributes toward the cost of student-athlete Academic Support Services.
Special Benefits: Yellow Lot parking pass for football and men's basketball.
A single contribution in support of the I FUND entitles a member to one year's benefits/privileges. In order to remain as an active member in good standing, a member renews this contribution each year on the anniversary date of the initial gift. Memberships can be established, activated, and maintained in good standing through annual gifts of financial support by check, credit card, bank drafts, electronic funds transfer, in-kind services, matching gifts, appreciated stocks, appreciated securities, and agricultural commodities. Questions regarding arrangements for payment should be directed to the I FUND office nearest you.
PLEDGES, GIFTS, AND DONATIONS
The Fighting Illini celebrate a world record at the 2001 Drake Relays.
A pledge is a written commitment or agreement to the I FUND for a gift that is enclosed or forthcoming. A pledge is required for membership.
A gift is a voluntary transfer of something of value from a person or organization to the University for which no goods or services are expected, implied, or forthcoming for the donor. Gifts are in the form of cash, checks, securities, real property or personal property.
A donation is the actual payment (or fulfillment of the pledge) in either one lump sum or installment (if agreed upon in writing by the I FUND office).
Priority points accumulate in the member's account as the dollars donated are recorded in the I FUND office...not from the pledge.
TYPES OF CUSTOMER ACCOUNTS
I FUND members choose the type of customer account they would like to maintain. The types of accounts available and their definitions are listed below:
Individual - The I FUND contribution is made by and from one individual. That individual is the person whose name is listed on the account.
Joint - The I FUND payments are made by and from two or more individuals (combining their gifts to form one account) in order to form a single membership at a higher club level. Members are required to register (with the I FUND office) the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all "associate" givers, so the account can be credited properly when payments are made and so the primary person whose name is on the account has the ability to transfer the name on the account to an eligible partner without loss of ticket location privileges.
Company - The I FUND membership payment is made by a company...on a company check or credit card. The name of the company and the name of the contact person are both required to be listed on the account. This includes forms of business organizations including: partnerships, limited liability companies, sole proprietorships, and any other entities holding I FUND membership and purchasing tickets in a name that is not that of an individual person. This type of account allows for the "c/o" name to be transferred to another individual within the company without loss of ticket location privileges.
ESTABLISHING AN ANNIVERSARY MONTH
When joining the I FUND, a new member chooses an anniversary month which to annually pledge and donate. There are three (3) months of the year in which an I FUND member may choose to be their anniversary month. The anniversary month is when the annual pledge is made, and full amount of the donation, or portion of the donation (if a written agreement for a partial payment is approved and on file in the I FUND office in Champaign) is due. Those months are April, August, and December. Priority benefits begin that month and extend for one year thereafter. NOTE: One annual donation/membership qualifies a person for priority benefits in the sports of football, volleyball, men's basketball and women's basketball (a member does not have to join a club for the football season, and rejoin again for the basketball season, etc.).
RENEWING THE MEMBERSHIP
Members will receive an I FUND renewal packet during the month prior to their anniversary. Members are encouraged to return the pledge portion along with full payment during their anniversary month (prior to the last day of that month). Members doing so will be assigned "good standing" status and be eligible for all benefits associated with that I FUND club.
OPTIONAL PAYMENT PLANS
As the name implies, gifts to the annual fund are made on a yearly basis. As a convenience, contributions to the I FUND may also be made semi-annually, quarterly, or monthly...in addition, the I FUND accepts electronic fund transfers and monthly credit card debits.
Payroll deduction is available to employees of the University of Illinois. Please contact the Champaign I FUND Office to receive more information.
The fastest growing source of funding for the I FUND and the most convenient manner in which to facilitate those gifts is through online giving. It's secure, easy, and convenient.
Lisa Argabright goes high for a spike at historic Huff Hall.
Many members significantly increase the value of their donation (along with their benefits and privileges) by enrolling in their company's matching gift program (contact your employer for more details). Member benefits are based upon the total amount (the personal gift plus the company's match) the I FUND receives. Please note: If the total of your donation and the total amount matched by your employer does not equal the amount due to fulfill your pledge, you will be required to pay the difference in order to maintain the club benefits.
COURTESY CAR PROGRAM
The University of Illinois maintains a courtesy car program with car dealers. This unique program provides special benefits to those providing DIA staff members the use of one of their vehicles. The availability of these vehicles allows the DIA to reduce expenses incurred in department travel, thus allowing more of our resources to be directed to the sports programs. Additionally, the vehicles help the DIA remain competitive in the marketplace for top staff.
Some of the benefits available to members include: a Block I Council membership, acknowledgement in all home football and men's basketball game programs, a complimentary season ticket package in football, men's and women's basketball, and volleyball, season parking pass, post-season ticketing priorities, complimentary football game-day buffet (up to 8 guests) in the Memorial Stadium Varsity Room, along with special invitations to exclusive I FUND functions. Interested parties should contact the Champaign I FUND office.
PLANNED OR DEFERRED GIFTS / ENDOWMENTS
Planned or deferred gifts and endowments provide substantial support for future use and represent a growing source of funding for the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Deferred gifts benefit the department at some future date and are the result of careful planning which integrates a donor's charitable gift into his or her overall financial, tax and estate planning objectives. Planned gifts typically come from a donor's assets rather than income and can be outright gifts, deferred gifts or a combination of the two.
The most popular deferred giving instruments include: wills, trusts, annuities, real estate, and life insurance. Current gifts include cash gifts as well as securities and property.
For information about how to create a named scholarship in men's or women's athletics, how to contribute to an established endowment or the general athletics endowment fund or when executing any form of planned or deferred giving, please contact a development officer in the Office of Athletic Development so that he or she may help you construct a fund agreement. This agreement is necessary to insure that your gift is directed to the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics. Without designation, your gift will be recorded as unrestricted for use and future generations of student-athletes would not benefit from your generosity.
SPORT SPECIFIC DONATIONS
From time to time, members tell us that they would like for their gift to benefit a specific sport, as opposed to going into the general scholarship fund that assists all varsity sports at the University of Illinois. A contribution to the I FUND annual fund benefits all sports, and we strongly encourage giving "unrestricted" contributions. However, donations may be designated towards use by a specific sport by indicating the donor's preference at the time of the contribution.
OTHER MEMBERSHIPS / ASSOCIATIONS
Gifts to the I FUND qualify for club membership and priority benefits.
Non-athletic gifts to the University of Illinois do not qualify for club membership or priority benefits.
Athletic support groups (Booster clubs)
The voluntary membership in an official sport-specific support (booster club) group (Quarterback Club/Rebounders Club/Dugout Club/Matsiders/Illini Striders/Networkers/etc., whose role or purpose is to promote fan interest and provide the opportunity for socialization between fans, team members, and coaches for that specific sport) does not provide a benefit with regard to club membership, priority points, or ticketing priority.
Former Varsity Letterwinners
Being a former varsity student-athlete (in itself), does not provide a benefit with regard to club membership, priority points, or ticketing priority. Former letterwinners are encouraged to join the Varsity I Association (see Varsity I web pages for additional information) and/or the I FUND in order to receive priority benefits. A contribution to the I FUND makes the former letterwinner an "active" member of the Varsity I, committed to supporting the goals and accomplishments of present day student-athletes, as they once were supported during their collegiate careers.
Membership in the President's Council (through athletic or non-athletic related gifts to the University of Illinois Foundation) has been and continues to be recognized by the UI Foundation as a very prestigious and important membership as it relates to the overall fundraising effort of the university and campus community. Membership benefits are administered by the U of I Foundation. Being a member of the President's Council (in itself) does not provide a benefit with regard to club membership, priority points, or ticketing priority.
Being one of over 400,000 graduates of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and/or being one of over 125,000 active members of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Alumni Association has been, and continues to be an outstanding achievement. Membership benefits are administered by the U of I Alumni Association office. Being a member of the Alumni Association (in itself) does not provide a benefit with regard to club membership, priority points, or ticketing priority.
Whether remembering a friend or loved one, another Illini fan, or former teammate or classmate...memorial gifts are a special way to recognize a person or event. Gifts under $10,000 are applied to the pooled endowment fund (as opposed to the I FUND / annual fund), so the gift will generate financial support for Fighting Illini student-athletes in perpetuity. Gift acknowledgements are sent to the family of the deceased and each person making the donation. Memorial gifts do not count towards a member's annual I FUND pledge (Make a Memorial Gift now).
GIFT IN KIND
A "gift in kind" is a donation of a product, items, merchandise, or services...in place of a cash donation to the I FUND. These gifts (examples: vehicles, catering, hotel accommodations, printing, air travel, maintenance supplies, paper products, turf chemicals and fertilizers, fuel, equipment, and clothing) must provide budgetary relief for the athletic department. If you would like to apply for "gift in kind" status, please contact the Champaign I FUND Office. All gift in kind transactions must be approved by the Director of Development, DIA business office, and the DIA gift in kind committee before qualifying for priority benefits.
HELPING THE FIGHTING ILLINI
The best way to show your support for the student-athletes at the University of Illinois in the short-term is to increase your involvement in the FISF by 10% annually in order to help meet the rising costs of tuition, fees, room and board, and books...in the long term, consider planned giving in the form of will, endowment and/or trust in order to establish a foundation which lasts in perpetuity.
Saturdays are FUN in Champaign!
The Division of Intercollegiate Athletics is thankful for the interest and support shown, grateful to have the opportunity to serve, and is anxious to provide the best seating available in Memorial Stadium and Assembly Hall for the newest members of the Fighting Illini family of supporters.
It is essential to understand that certain sections of the stadium and arena, especially the high priority areas, experience very little turnover (a very high percentage of the priority tickets are renewed each season by qualified I Fund members). The seats that "open up" are first offered to I FUND members renewing their memberships, who are requesting an adjustment in the seating location (this year's new member is next year's renewal member). When the renewal requests for a particular club have been completed, the "new" requests for that club are then considered.
Important factors to consider when making plans to order season tickets for the first time include:
A) The number of season tickets desired. (2-4-6-8-?)
B) The area of Memorial Stadium or Assembly Hall that is most desirable, i.e. football - east side or west side, main stands or balcony; basketball - closer to mid-court and possibly higher, or lower rows but further from mid-court.
C) The configuration of seats, i.e. together or separated...all seats in one row or "piggybacked" upon each other (3 in one row with 3 directly behind, etc.)
D) Relationship to an aisle, i.e. do you require being on the aisle, even if it places you further from your desired area? Do you prefer not to be near the aisle?
E) What is the range of rows you would consider, i.e. what row is too high and what row is too low?
F) Which I FUND club level would you consider joining in order to receive the seats you desire?
When you feel you have answers to these questions or if you would like to get more information, contact the Champaign or Chicago I FUND office. Express your desire to join the I FUND and receive priority season tickets, and ask to speak to someone who can address those issues.
After further discussions...the I FUND staff member will:
A) Request vital information to open-up an I FUND account and a ticket account (Name / address / phone / etc.).
B) Place your ticket order for the desired number of tickets and ask you to make payment for the tickets at that time (credit card or check).
C) Activate your new I FUND account by accepting payment (credit card or check) or,
List you as a potential I FUND member and agree to contact you when openings in your requested area of the stadium or arena are identified (This scenario is if you would like to know your ticket locations prior to becoming a member of the I FUND).
D) Contact you (at a later time) when the openings are identified and allocation assignments are taking place, based upon the criteria given by you at the time the order is being placed (between mid-June and early August for football ticket options...between mid-September and mid-October for basketball ticket options). You will be asked to decide on your I FUND club and/or ticket choice during the latter phone call *.
*Please note - If you agreed to be contacted as a "potential" I FUND member (with your decision being made based upon the location of the season tickets) and when contacted, you agree to a particular location over the phone, you will be asked to give your credit card number at that time, so your account can be charged for the I FUND donation account (or you may send a check in the amount at that time).
All I FUND members are assigned one account number within the athletic department. For your convenience, have this account number available when discussing your account and/or corresponding with the I FUND offices and athletic ticket office.
To insure correctness and proper priority, ticket orders must be placed in the name as it appears on the account. This is especially true if a person is involved in more that one I FUND membership, or the name on the account is different that the name of the person placing an order (example: a company having more than one account, one would want to place a ticket order in the account with the highest priority or most points). Members are responsible for placing orders in the correct account.
In some cases, there may be duplicate records caused by different addresses for the same person. If you are receiving two or more mailings / order forms and feel you should have only one (1) account, please notify the I FUND office and / or the athletic ticket office.
In addition, if you have a change in your address or phone numbers, contact the I FUND office and/or the athletic ticket office in writing immediately.
TICKETS: WHEN A NEW MEMBER MAY PLACE AN ORDER FOR PRIORITY SEATING
Football - New season ticket orders and payments are accepted beginning March 15. Orders for tickets placed after June 1 might not be allocated in priority areas (although orders will still be accepted after June 1, the location may not be as good, as the priority seats in that area may have already been allocated into upgraded or new I FUND accounts).
Basketball - New season ticket orders and payments are accepted beginning August 15. Orders placed after September 15 might not be allocated in priority areas (although orders will still be accepted after September 15, the location may not be as good, as the priority seats may have already been allocated into new accounts).
PAYING FOR TICKETS
Purchases are accepted in the form of cash, check (payable to the University of Illinois), Visa, Mastercard, and Discover. An order is "placed" when paid in full.
The acceptance of payment by the Athletic Ticket Office does not guarantee that tickets will be available to fill your order. In the event that the ticket office must reduce/adjust/cancel your order, an appropriate refund will be made.
Phone: (217) 333-3470
Hours: 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. / M-F
By mail: U of I Athletic Ticket Office
1800 S. 1st St. - Room 100 Assembly Hall
Champaign, IL 61820
Fax: (217) 244-4170
REMINDER: In accordance with Big Ten Conference rules, all persons require a ticket for admission, regardless of age.
SEASON TICKET RECLAIMING / RENEWING
Renewal season ticket request forms are mailed to all season ticket holders from the prior season. I FUND members have the ability to reclaim their same season tickets from the previous season by:
A) Ordering and paying for the season tickets prior to the renewal deadline.
B) Maintaining their I FUND account in good standing.
C) Requesting the same seats when renewing.
Note: Season tickets that are not reclaimed prior to the renewal deadline may be reassigned to other members.
ADJUSTMENTS IN SEAT LOCATIONS
In order to be considered for an adjustment in seat location:
A) Order and pay for your season tickets prior to the renewal deadline.
B) Maintain your I FUND account "in good standing."
C) Submit a written request of your desired location or configuration with your ticket renewal.
A very high percentage of individuals qualify and indeed reclaim their same seats annually. This is especially true in high demand areas of the arena or stadium. If there are insufficient openings to meet the needs of your request, you will be offered and/or assigned seating in the "next-best available" area. With this in mind, please know that no promises can ever be made for tickets in a particular location. The unpredictable factor is "availability."
After all members who qualify for and request same seats are placed in the same seats, the openings for upgrades are identified.
"Openings" (used for upgrades and new members) are the result of season ticket holders from the prior year that did not renew their seats, and season ticket holders from the prior year that renewed, but have become "delinquent" in their I FUND account. The upgrade requests from donors are identified and prioritized by their club membership and by the area requested (example: Tribal Council members requesting east main stands or Warrior club members requesting west balcony; etc.). Renewal requests (by club) are addressed prior to new requests. The priority order is as follows for addressing "requests for changes" (and new purchases).
1. Loyalty Circle Endowment - Renewals
2. Loyalty Circle Endowment - New
3. Loyalty Circle - Renewals
4. Loyalty Circle - New
5. Block I Council - Renewals
6. Block I Council - New
7. Tribal Council - Renewals
8. Tribal Council - New
9. Chief Club - Renewals
10. Chief Club - New
11. Warrior Club - Renewals
12. Warrior Club - New
13. Brave Club - Renewals
14. Brave Club - New
15. Tomahawk Club - Renewals
16. Tomahawk Club - New
At the time your request is being addressed (if requested), you will be contacted by phone (prior to allocating your seats) to discuss available options (if any). You will be asked during that phone conversation to decide upon the available options.
Individuals who wish to improve their seating are required to at least maintain and in some cases increase their I FUND activity. If your request is for a section in the stadium or arena that requires a certain membership in the I FUND, your willingness to become a member at that level is required.
ADDITIONAL SEASON TICKETS
There is no limit to the number of season tickets one can order. The limit lies in the number of priority (core) seats at a particular club level. See Benefits Chart.
There is no guarantee that additional seats will be placed together with your originals (even if within the I FUND limits).
If your needs for season tickets exceed the "core" option, you have two choices:
A) Take the core seats in the priority area and the excess seats in a non-priority area (These excess seats would be allocated after all core seats have been allocated at all I FUND club levels).
B) Give up your priority location for the sake of "all-seats together", and have the seats placed together, but in a lower priority area.
It is important to state your choice when placing the order.
GROUP SEASON TICKETS
I FUND members may have their season tickets placed together. Those wishing to sit together must place their orders at the same time and submit a written request to the athletic ticket office either on or attached to the season ticket application(s). Members will be seated together (prioritized) according to the lowest club level of any member in the group.
Failure to renew / reclaim your season tickets prior to the published deadline could result in the loss of your priority seating location. Ordering on time is very important. Order deadlines and re-order deadlines have been established to allow the ticket office to:
A) Identify and prioritize requests before any first-come/first-served sales.
B) Identify non-renewal seats in a timely fashion, as those seats become available for renewal "upgrades."
C) Have the time prior to the event necessary to address individual requests.
Remember: I FUND members who have increased their involvement as well as new members are entitled to your seats if you fail to meet the deadlines.
OTHER PEOPLE'S SEATS
Members are encouraged to purchase as many season tickets as possible. Priority seating at the University of Illinois is based upon one's activity in the I FUND. Purchasing priority tickets for people who are not members may give the impression to those sitting around those seats that a non-I FUND member is sitting in a priority area.
RECEIVING THE TICKETS
Season tickets will be mailed approximately two weeks prior to the first home game. Single game tickets will be mailed at least seven days prior to the requested game. Phone, fax, mail, and online orders for single game tickets received seven days (or less) prior to a game will not be mailed. These tickets will be held at the "Will Call" window at the stadium or arena (this is true for both home and away games).
The person whose name appears on the account / order will be allowed to pick up these tickets at "Will Call" and a picture ID is required. If tickets are not picked up, a refund will not be made.
If you place two or more separate orders, each order will be mailed to you in separate envelopes. If your address changes after you have placed your ticket order, immediately notify the athletic ticket office of the change in writing.
SINGLE GAME TICKETS
Single-game tickets for home and away football games and home basketball games are sold on a first-come/first-served basis (there is not a priority benefit for single-game tickets) through the athletic ticket office. The first day for football ticket sales will be in the early spring, and the first day for basketball ticket sales will be in the early fall. Contact the athletic ticket office directly to receive the specific dates...this includes individual or group orders. Tickets for away Big Ten basketball games are not available for purchase through the Illinois athletic ticket office.
A point system was established to provide a systematic, orderly and fair process in which to address requests for priority seating to special events. This system prioritizes member accounts based upon the amount of charitable contributions to the I FUND.
"Priority points" represent the amount of charitable contributions over the years by a member (or members) to Grants-In-Aid (1945-1988), the Fighting Illini Scholarship Fund (1989-2002), and the I FUND (2002 to present). One "point" is assigned / awarded for every $1 of contribution recorded in the I FUND office. This system allows for ticket allocations to be effectively and objectively administered.
The following protocol is followed when allocating single game priority seating to members:
All requests are separated by club and ranked, starting with Loyalty Circle (LC) members that ordered tickets for the event being allocated. The ranking within each club is based upon the number priority points in each account (the LC account with the most points is ranked first, the LC account with the next highest accumulation of points is ranked second, etc.). The best tickets are allocated to the first LC member listed. The next best tickets are then allocated to the next LC member, etc. until all of the LC members' requests have met fulfilled.
The same procedure is then followed for Block I, Tribal Council, Chief Club, Warrior Club, Brave Club, and Tomahawk Club.
SPECIAL EVENTS - MEN'S BASKETBALL
A ticket application for special events will be mailed to all I FUND members in the fall. It will include the opportunity to order priority seating for such events as games at Assembly Hall, the regular season game at the United Center, the regular season game at the Savvis Center, the Big Ten post-season tournament, and other special events if available. The date an order is placed is not a factor in the allocation of the tickets (assuming the order is placed prior to the deadline). Allocations will be based upon priority points.
When the University is on official "break" (Thanksgiving/Semester/Spring), the tickets in the UI student sections (AA/A/B/C) are first offered to UIUC students who placed an order prior to their deadline.
The remaining openings (AA/A/B/C) are then offered to I FUND members.
Men's Basketball - @ United Center (Chicago)
If the University of Illinois plays a regular season game in the United Center, the opportunity to order tickets will be made available based upon one's membership and priority points. The University of Illinois will receive between 10,000 and 15,000 tickets to this event.
Men's Basketball - @ Savvis Center (St. Louis)
If the University of Illinois plays a regular season game in the Savvis Center, the opportunity to order tickets will be made available based upon one's membership and priority points. The University of Illinois will receive approximately 5,000 game tickets.
The location of your assigned seats will vary from year to year, based upon the number of members (with more points than you) purchasing tickets to the event.
Limits on the options available for purchasing for this game are based upon the assumption that overall demand from qualified purchases through the University of Illinois will exceed the available supply.
Big Ten Tournament (Men's Basketball)
The winner of this post-season single elimination tournament receives the Big Ten Conference's bid to the NCAA Tournament. There are 10 games played over four days, with the Championship game being played on the afternoon of NCAA "Selection Sunday".
The arena is divided into twelve (12) "pieces of pie" (11 schools and the conference office), beginning at the edge of the court, on all sides of the court, and running towards the top of the facility. Although each school receives an equal number of all-session tickets (approximately 1000), schools do not receive an equal quality of tickets. The twelve pieces / sections will be adjusted / rotated each year by one or two sections (over time, all schools will receive all "angles").
The ticket package includes all (10) games in the tournament, regardless if Illinois is playing in that session or not. No single session tickets will be sold through the Illinois athletic ticket office.
The tickets are allocated based upon one's membership and priority points.
From time to time, the University of Illinois is a participant in additional regular season "off-campus" games/tournaments. Tickets for those events (if available) will be made available on the I FUND order form.
POST SEASON EVENTS
It's FUN for members to follow the Fighting Illini during post-season play.
Football Bowl Game
Members (who established memberships prior to November 1) will be able to place an order for game tickets in early December. These dates will be established and announced as soon as the University of Illinois officially accepts an invitation to participate in the bowl. Specific information regarding ticket limits (if any), ordering procedures, ticket costs, and distribution guidelines will be made available at www.fightingillini.com. Placing an order and receiving confirmation that the order was received in the athletic ticket office does not guarantee tickets will be available, it means that your order was received as is on record in the athletic ticket office.
Generally, participating schools receive between 8,000 and 20,000 tickets. The location of the tickets varies from bowl to bowl, with very few of the tickets in the Illinois block located inside the 10 yard line (most bowls sell the "prime" seats in advance to local sponsors in their community).
NCAA Basketball Tournament - Rounds I and II:
When the University of Illinois is participating in the tournament, information regarding the purchase of tickets will be made available on radio, TV, newspaper and www.fightingillini.com on Sunday evening (Selection Sunday) after the announcement. Due to the uncertainty of the team's site placement for Rounds I & II, the limited time available (for ordering, prioritizing orders, and allocating the tickets), and the limited number of tickets provided to the participating teams by the NCAA (participating schools are only guaranteed 350 tickets), there is not a mail-order procedure available.
NCAA Basketball Tournament - Regionals:
When the University of Illinois advances to regionals, members will be eligible to place an order for the all-session tickets...based upon one's club level.
Specific information regarding costs and ordering procedures will be made available on radio, TV, newspaper, and at www.fightingillini.com. No tickets will be mailed.
NCAA Basketball Tournament - Final Four:
When the University of Illinois advances to the Final Four, members will be eligible to place an order for the all-session tickets...based upon one's club level.
Specific information regarding costs and ordering procedures will be made available on radio, TV, newspaper, and at www.fightingillini.com. No tickets will be mailed.
OFFICIAL TOUR PACKAGES
The Division of Intercollegiate Athletics along with the Alumni Association may sponsor official tour packages to some post-season events. When registering for the tour, please inquire whether or not a ticket to the game is included in the package or if tickets need to be ordered separately. If included...verify on the tour application your I FUND club level. If game tickets are not included in the tour package, follow the published purchasing guidelines.
CHANGING TO A LOWER CLUB
Members choosing to maintain a membership, but decrease their involvement (going from one club, to a lower club), may do so...keeping in mind that their priority season ticket locations will be adjusted to the area in the stadium or arena consistent with their new club.
The following guidelines are used by the I FUND and the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics (DIA) in evaluating requests to renew or transfer season tickets in I FUND seating areas. These guidelines are for internal use of I FUND, DIA and their ticket transfer committee and do not create any rights or entitlements in others. DIA and I FUND reserve the right, in their sole discretion, to deviate from such guidelines on a case-by-case basis.
Tickets and / or priorities are not transferable without written approval from the I FUND office. If an I FUND member does not reclaim his / her season tickets, the seats are assigned by the I FUND office to the next person in priority order.
In order to qualify for a "transfer" the account must first be in "good standing". Accounts that are not in good standing will not be eligible for any transfer activity.
With a written request to the I FUND office by the person whose name appears on the account, season tickets may be transferred (if approved by the I FUND office) to the spouse or child of the person whose name appears on the account. In the event of the death of the person whose name appears on the account (the absence of a letter), the following also applies:
1) The spouse would qualify to retain the same ticket locations by maintaining the same level of I FUND activity. Priority points that had been accumulated in the account would be transferred to the spouse's new account.
2) The child would qualify to retain the same ticket locations by joining the I FUND at the club-level presently being required for seating in that particular area of the arena or stadium (in many cases, this is at a higher club level). The I FUND office will provide the new club requirement to the son or daughter making the request. After joining the I FUND at that level, the ticket locations would be transferred to the child's account, but no priority points would be transferred (a new "giving history" would begin with this new gift).
Reminder: Transferring the season tickets to another account is limited to the spouse or child only. Those not eligible for the transfer include, but are not limited to: father, mother, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, ex-spouse, grandfather, grandmother, and all of the aforementioned with "step" (example: step-brother) attached to their relationship.
The person whose name is listed on the I FUND account maintains the exclusive rights to the benefits associated with that account. Like all accounts, retention of the season tickets is based upon that person maintaining the I FUND account in good standing and paying for the season tickets prior to the renewal deadline.
Scenario A: Ex-spouse wants to transfer the account into their name - If the person whose name is on the account chooses to not renew the I FUND membership or not renew the tickets, the ex-spouse has the rights of first refusal to the season tickets if/when: A) Both parties contact the I FUND office in writing prior to the non-renewed seats being allocated to a new member (football: prior to May 15...basketball: prior to September 1). B) The ex-spouse joins the I FUND at the club level presently being required for seating in that area of the stadium or arena. The I FUND office will provide the new club requirement (In many cases, this is at a higher club level).
In the case where the ex-spouse meets the requirements for the transfer, the season ticket locations and priority points would both be transferable to the new account.
Scenario B: Each partner wants their own account, and split the exact same season tickets - It is the responsibility of both parties to notify the I FUND office in writing of their intent, and the manner in which they would like for the tickets and points to be distributed. In order to maintain the exact same season tickets, the original account would be required to maintain the same I FUND club activity, and the new account would be required to join the I FUND at the club level presently being required for seating in that particular area of the stadium or arena (In most cases, this is at a higher club level).
Scenario C: Both parties want priority tickets, but no longer want the same seats (they no longer want to be sitting together) - It is the responsibility of both parties to notify the I FUND office in writing of their intent, and the manner in which they would like for the points to be distributed. The original account would be required to maintain the same I FUND club activity, and the new account would be required to join the I FUND at the club level presently being required for seating in that particular area of the stadium or arena (In most cases, this is at a higher club level). Keep in mind, there is no guarantee that the seats in the new account will be as good as the original seats.
A member does not have the ability to transfer their ticket locations or priority points to another individual or company through a process of "will" or "inheritance".
A joint account may have the name and/or address of the account changed to another registered member of the group by submitting a letter to the I FUND office detailing the request.
Transferring the account into the name of another officer at the company: Accounts with the I FUND membership and the season tickets paid by the said company may change the "contact" person's name on the account to another "contact" person within the company with a letter from the former "contact", written on company letterhead detailing the transfer request.
Making a company account into an individual account: Accounts established in the name of (and paid for by) a company or corporation may not leave said company or corporation without a written request for their release from its President, Chief Executive Officer, or the contact person named on the account. If the request for transfer is approved by the I FUND office, the new person assuming the tickets will be required to join the I FUND at the club level presently being required for seating in that particular area of the arena or stadium. (In many cases, this is at a higher club level). Note: If you know of anyone not in the aforementioned categories who wants to "inherit" your seats, he/she will be disappointed. You could advise and encourage him/her to open an I FUND membership in his/her name.