Questions About Giving


Why should I make a gift to Northern Michigan University?

There are many reasons to give, both personal and practical. But the most important reason is your desire to make a difference. When you make a gift you are expressing your vision and hope for the future.

Gifts to NMU allow the university to grow in ways that other funding cannot accomplish. Private gifts allow for programs that government funding doesn’t, or can’t support such as scholarships, endowments, equipment purchases, student enrichment programs and more.

New equipment and programs are expensive. Parents and students need more assistance. Operating costs continue to rise. Public support is shrinking.

  • Thirty years ago, Michigan’s contribution to higher education was 75 percent of each dollar invested. Today, at NMU, less than 50 percent of each higher education dollar comes from the state.
  • At its peak in 1998, the state appropriation per student was $6,966. Today it is only $5,267.
  • Roughly three-quarters of our students rely on financial aid to help fund their schooling. According to a recent NMU survey, between 75 and 80 percent of our undergraduates who are enrolled for six or more on-campus semester hours work an average of 20 hours per week while attending school.

A gift to NMU is an opportunity to acknowledge the importance of affordable higher education while addressing issues that matter to you. Learn how you can make a difference.

What is “Annual Giving”?

Annual gifts provide a crucial source of unrestricted funds for:

  • new programming, new technology and new initiatives;
  • quick and effective response to the needs of our students and faculty;
  • a strong, stable financial future.

When you give annually to NMU, your gift goes directly to where it is most needed.

What are "Planned Gifts"?

Planned gifts include trusts, gift annuities and bequests.

Contributions to a trust or gift annuity provide payments to you and/or your beneficiaries for life or for a pre-specified term of years. This is an attractive option if you are over 55 and are looking for ways to receive an annual income while still making a substantial gift to Northern.

Bequests allow donors to help NMU in the long term while still retaining assets during their lifetimes.

NMU Foundation staff can discuss the giving opportunities available to you. Our staff will work with you to structure your gifts so they have the greatest positive impact on the university. Each type of gift may have tax advantages or disadvantages associated with it. We do advise that you consult your personal legal and financial advisers regarding specifics of your own financial situation.

Can I choose what college or program I wish to support?

It is important to remember - this is your contribution. As the donor, you have the opportunity to earmark your support to literally any campus, college, or program within the university.

Can I make a gift in memory of someone or to honor someone?

Many people choose to make a gift to NMU in memory or in honor of a family member, classmate, faculty member or other loved one, mentor or friend. NMU Foundation staff can discuss these opportunities with you.

Is my gift tax-deductible?

The NMU Foundation is registered with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a non-profit charitable organization established to solicit contributions for Northern Michigan University.

Tax benefits may vary due to the nature of the gift and your personal tax or financial situation. Please consult with your tax and legal advisors before making a decision.

Can my spouse and I make a joint gift?

Yes. When you make your gift, include your spouse’s name and indicate that you would like joint credit. If your spouse also graduated from NMU, include the graduation year and college.

How can I update my contact information?

Please direct any records updates to or call (906) 227-2627 or toll-free at 877-472-3668.