1. What is The Charter Hill Society? The Charter Hill Society is Berkeley’s program designed to recognize donors’ annual giving to the campus. Membership in Charter Hill begins when your gifts during the fiscal year reach $1,000 or more.
2. When did The Charter Hill Society go into effect? The Charter Hill Society launched on July 1, 2008, with the start of Berkeley’s 2008–09 fiscal year.
3. Why did you launch The Charter Hill Society? After researching best practices for recognizing annual giving and careful consideration of what is meaningful to the community of Berkeley donors, the University is offering enhanced benefits to our most loyal donors who make generous annual gifts to the campus.
4. What is Charter Hill, and why did you choose it as the symbol for this program? Charter Hill stands to the east of Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium and is immediately identifiable by the large gold “C” on its western slope. The C was constructed cooperatively in 1905 by classes who put aside a vigorous rivalry to work together to create this enduring landmark. Charter Hill was selected as the symbol for our new donor recognition program because not only is it a beloved feature of the campus landscape, it is also a symbol of Berkeley’s founding ideals, strong sense of community, and indomitable spirit.
5. How does The Charter Hill Society impact The Robert Gordon Sproul Associates? As of July 1, 2008, Charter Hill replaced The Robert Gordon Sproul Associates as the campuswide program recognizing annual giving to Berkeley.
6. Does “annual giving” mean gifts only to Berkeley’s annual funds? No. The term “annual giving” refers to gifts made during the campus’s fiscal year to any fund, and often is used to describe donors’ recurrent giving on an annual basis. “Annual funds” are funds established to receive gifts that are unrestricted and deployed at the discretion of the Chancellor, the dean of a school or college, or a program director, thereby enabling Berkeley to act swiftly on needs or opportunities that arise throughout the year. Gifts to a campus annual fund are included in the calculation of donors’ participation in The Charter Hill Society, as are gifts to any of the other funds or programs on the campus.
7. Why is annual giving to the Berkeley campus important? All giving to Berkeley is greatly appreciated, but annual giving in particular is a driving force in keeping the campus and its programs functioning at the exceptional levels for which we are renowned. At a time when state funding provides less than one third of Berkeley’s budget, we rely on our loyal donors’ commitment to preserving and enhancing Berkeley’s excellence in education, research, and public service through their generous annual gifts.
8. How does The Charter Hill Society interrelate with the other Berkeley programs recognizing annual giving? Many schools, colleges, and programs recognize annual giving to their area through a formalized donor recognition program, each of which has its own set of giving levels and method for recognizing donors. All of these programs remain unchanged unless you hear otherwise. Charter Hill recognizes your annual giving across all of the areas you support at Berkeley. When your cumulative gifts during the fiscal year reach $1,000, you will become a member of Charter Hill, even if your giving to a particular area does not meet the threshold for recognition by that area.
9. How will I know when I’ve entered The Charter Hill Society? We carefully track your gifts to Berkeley, and when you have met the $1,000 threshold, we will send you a letter welcoming you into Charter Hill.
10. What are the tiers and benefits of The Charter Hill Society? The tiers and benefits of Charter Hill are progressive, increasing in accordance with donors’ levels of giving. In developing these benefits, we have aimed to provide donors with enhanced information, access, and engagement with the campus community at increased levels of giving.
11. Will I receive an invitation to the pre-football events as a member of The Charter Hill Society? Charter Hill members who give $2,500 or more during the fiscal year will receive invitations to participate in two no-host pre-football events during the season.
12. How is my membership in The Charter Hill Society calculated? Which gifts count? Membership is based on your gifts to the campus (any school, college, department or program) during the fiscal year. Included are your outright gifts, plus corporate matching gifts collected and applied to your giving record, as well as pledge payments you make during the fiscal year. All gifts in these categories to any school, college, department, or program at Berkeley will count toward your participation in The Charter Hill Society.
13. How will my Charter Hill Society participation be calculated if my gifts are matched through the New Alumni Challenge? For New Alumni Challenge donors, participation in The Charter Hill Society will be calculated including the matching portion of their gifts.
14. If I make gifts at the end of the fiscal year, how long will I receive benefits? Membership in Charter Hill is renewable on an annual basis, based on Berkeley's fiscal year. Because donor giving patterns vary, we generally look back a year when determining eligibility for benefits.
15. Will matching gifts count toward my membership in The Charter Hill Society? Corporate matching gifts (for instance, those from your employer) that have been collected by Berkeley and applied to your giving record count toward the calculation of your membership.
16. What if I make a gift that is not fully tax-deductible? Even those gifts that are not fully tax-deductible are generally included in their entirety for donor recognition purposes.
17. Do the benefits of The Charter Hill Society impact the tax deductibility of my gifts to Berkeley? No, because the benefits have no significant monetary value.
18. What if I make a new pledge? How does that impact my membership in The Charter Hill Society? Pledges are not applied toward membership in The Charter Hill Society. However, the payments you make against your pledges are included in calculating your Charter Hill Society membership level.
19. If I don’t make annual gifts to Berkeley but instead focus my giving into periodic gifts that are above the minimum threshold to be included in The Charter Hill Society, will my giving apply toward membership in Charter Hill for more than one year? Charter Hill is designed to recognize and encourage annual giving to Berkeley, and as such only gifts you make during the current fiscal year are included in calculating your membership in The Charter Hill Society for that fiscal year.
20. I make periodic, significant gifts to Berkeley. How will my giving be recognized in years when I’m not eligible for The Charter Hill Society? Your gifts will be included in the calculation of your lifelong giving to campus. Donors’ lifelong giving is recognized through The Benefactors of Berkeley, Berkeley’s lifelong giving recognition program.
21. Will my name appear in the annual Berkeley donor honor roll if I am a member of The Charter Hill Society? Charter Hill members at the Patron level — those giving $25,000 or more during the fiscal year — are included in the honor roll published in Berkeley’s Annual Report of Philanthropy.
22. Does the Berkeley donor honor roll also reflect membership in The Benefactors of Berkeley? Donors whose lifelong giving to Berkeley has reached or exceeded $500,000 are included in the honor roll published in Berkeley’s Annual Report of Philanthropy. The cumulative giving amount includes the entirety of donors’ gifts to Berkeley over their lifetime.
23. When will I receive more information about The Charter Hill Society? When you become a member of The Charter Hill Society, you will receive a letter welcoming you to the program and indicating the amount of your annual giving to date.