New and Improved Ahearn Fund Launched

MANHATTAN, Kan. - A series of improvement measures to the Ahearn Fund, K-State's National Fund for Athletics and Academic Excellence, were announced Thursday by Chad Weiberg, Associate Athletics Director for Development, and Director of Athletics John Currie.

The improvements, which include an enhanced priority points system, are designed to simplify the donor and season-ticket process, reward donor loyalty and increase consistency and fairness.

"Grass-roots support through the Ahearn Fund is our largest single source of revenue here at K-State," Currie said. "Regardless of the amount, Ahearn gifts are absolutely critical to our ability to achieve the vision of a model intercollegiate athletics program, and our staff has worked with the guidance and feedback of a dedicated and diverse group of volunteer donors to implement these improvements."

One of the important changes being implemented is related to the annual gift payment schedule. In order to help K-State achieve its fiscal accountability goals, Ahearn Fund members are being asked to make their 2010 pledges and 25 percent of their gift payment by March 1 and complete their gift contributions no later than June 15. K-State's fiscal year ends June 30.

"This new timeframe will allow our administration to complete the budget-planning process and be in a position to respond to needs, opportunities and market conditions that directly affect our ability to achieve our core goals," Weiberg said.  "At the same time, the March 1 deadline will enable us to improve customer service for our donors especially as it relates to potential seat and parking location requests."

A new Ahearn Fund brochure is being mailed to donors this week and details K-State's Priority Points system enhancements that have been applied effective December 15. Weiberg also noted that minimum per-seat priority gift levels have and will remain the same for 2010 and not be increased. 

"Loyalty is important to K-State," said Weiberg. "Donors who make their pledge with the minimum initial gift payment of 25 percent prior to March 1 and complete their gift no later than June 15 will automatically keep their same seat and parking locations for both football and basketball."

The key point system enhancement is that donors who give to the annual Ahearn Fund, inclusive of priority seating, will now receive 3 points per $100 contributed.  Donors continue to receive 2 points for restricted fund gifts as well as 1 point per season ticket purchased, regardless of the sport. The priority points system helps determine season-ticket placement and the distribution of tickets to high-demand events such as bowl games, Big 12 Championships and NCAA Tournaments, and also is used for parking and seating upgrades for season tickets and other special events.

Ahearn Fund members who make their 2010 priority seating contribution before December 31 can utilize the gift for tax purposes in 2009. All checks received in envelopes postmarked by December 31, 2009, will be processed as gifts made in 2009.

Gifts to the Ahearn Fund are used for scholarships, sports medicine, academic support and other services that directly benefit K-State student-athletes while also funding K-State's margin of excellence through enhancement such as recruiting budgets and coaches salaries.

For more information on the Ahearn Fund, or for a personal visit with a member of the Ahearn Fund staff, please call (785) 532-7715.