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Black Bear Fund FAQs

UMaine v Vermont 0825What is the Black Bear Fund?

The Black Bear Fund is the University of Maine’s athletic fundraising program which benefits the hundreds of scholar athletes who compete in the state’s only NCAA Division I programs.  You can choose to support a specific team or a specific need (such as scholarships), or you can choose to make an unrestricted gift that UMaine athletics will use where “the need is the greatest.”  Regardless of where you designate your gift within UMaine Athletics, or what type of gift you make, your gift will count toward the Black Bear Fund!

How Do I Make A Gift to the Black Bear Fund?

Whether you are supporting a specific need, or making an unrestricted gift to the Black Bear Fund, there are many giving options to fit your personal preferences and financial situation.

The easiest and fastest way to make a gift to the Black Bear Fund is to visit  Online gifts are secure, and your money will be put to use almost immediately.  You can also mail a check to the Gift Processing Department, University of Maine P.O. Box 370, Orono, ME 04473-0370.  You can also make a gift by calling us at at (207) 581-1148 or toll-free at 866-578-2156.

Gifts of publicly-traded stock offer special tax advantages to many donors.  Gifts of stock can be processed by either the central gift processing office on campus, or the University of Maine Foundation.

Planned gifts, ranging from simple bequests (wills) to more complex arrangements that provide for predictable income during a lifetime, can create a legacy that benefits the Black Bears forever through an endowment, or helps meet a specific and timely need, such as a capital project.

Will My Gift Matter?

UMaine remains committed to funding the Black Bears through its base budget (largely a mix of state support and tuition dollars) and through campus-wide initiatives such as enhancing the “game day experience” for fans and players alike.  The need for financial resources across campus, however, outstrips the University’s ability to cover all the costs associated with an outstanding athletics program.  We rely upon generous donors to close the gap.  Even modest annual gifts matter, as initiatives such as the Alfond Challenge measure donor participation (including the number of new donors) as well as the total dollars raised.

Why Does UMaine Invest in Its Athletic Programs?

The University of Maine is the only college or university in the state that has an NCAA Division I athletics program.  We believe that a strong athletics program has a positive and distinctive influence in our classrooms and other learning and living environments. Our donors include alumni, friends, fans, businesses, parents, UMaine employees and others who also appreciate the unique value that our Athletics programs bring not only to our campus, but to our state.  Our scholar athletes, for example, interact with hundreds of Maine school children through sports camps, school and hospital visits, and other outreach.

Will My Gift Be Recognized? 

Donors to the Black Bear Fund are eligible for membership within UMaine’s donor recognition societies.  Donors who give at least $1,000 a year are eligible for membership in the President’s Club, receiving a special pin and an invitation to an exclusive brunch over Homecoming Weekend.  Those who give $25,000 or more during their lifetime are eligible for membership within UMaine’s prestigious Stillwater Society.  Donors who make planned gifts, such as bequests, become members of the University of Maine Foundation’s Charles F. Allen Legacy Society.

What Is the Alfond Challenge?

The Harold Alfond Foundation will give UMaine $250,000 for its football program if UMaine can raise an additional $250,000 and meet certain other conditions.  The Alfond Challenge is important to UMaine Football and to the spirit of the campus as a whole.