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Letter to IPTAY Donors

Letter to IPTAY Donors

Feb. 19, 2009

Dear IPTAY Donor,

This Sunday, February 15th, was the IPTAY deadline for donors to pay 50 percent of their annual pledge. Establishing a deadline enables our IPTAY office to better serve our donors with parking assignments and distributing tickets for the upcoming season.

It is a key calendar date to our IPTAY operations, as it confirms and secures the tickets in our donors’ memberships and helps us utilize the system which is based on your level of giving and then your cumulative points.

Paying 50 percent of your pledge triggers our office to mail a ticket application for the upcoming season. As we plan the calendar year, donors will have until June 15th to pay the remaining balance.

Last year with the implementation of our IPTAY Seat Equity Plan, IPTAY had a very solid year financially. We realize the sluggish economy will have some effect on this year’s donations.

However, the IPTAY Seat Equity Plan will always provide opportunities for donors to improve seating and parking as donors increase and decrease their giving level.

One of the questions we receive regularly is donors inquiring about the value of their seats and the possibility of making a minimum payment to retain those seats.

Keep in mind that paying for the value of your seats is the minimum threshold to maintain your seats, but reducing your level will impact your parking assignment, as well as your opportunity to improve your seats.

Reducing your level will also impact your point accumulation and will move you down in the pecking order when the opportunity presents itself for you to improve your seats.

Reducing your level does impact various IPTAY privileges; however, more importantly, it profoundly impacts our ability to have the resources essential for our student-athletes.

We realize everyone’s financial situation is different; however, we hope our donors have a broader perspective and vision on the mission of IPTAY.

As IPTAY celebrates its 75th anniversary, the organization’s primary mission is to fund scholarships, Vickery Hall, operating expense of IPTAY and help the Athletic Department with various projects to enhance our facilities.

The IPTAY Seat Equity Plan implemented last year was just a start, not an ending, and will continue to provide opportunities for our fans to support our Athletic Department. Because of your generous donations, we were able to do much more last year than just fulfill our scholarship obligations. We were able to enhance several of our facilities.

I believe if you had the opportunity to hear comments from our two student-athletes, swimmer Sarah Porri, and football player Thomas Austin, at the National IPTAY Representative meeting, you would be enamored with these two individuals and extremely proud of how your donations are supporting our student-athletes.

Therefore, we encourage you to maintain or increase your level, as opportunities will develop to improve both your seating and parking assignments.

Research from national fund-raising organizations indicate that donations may drop off in tough economic times, but the drop-off is not very significant.

People are still investing in Athletic programs, student-athletes and their institutions. I can’t think of another place that will demonstrate the passion and commitment to their school better than the Clemson family and their continued support of Clemson Athletics.

Our Athletic Department and University have been on the move, securing a Top 20 spot is certainly in grasp as we have earned a 22nd ranking by US News & World Report.

Plus, we have received many accolades in various national publications on positive articles from the best place to work to the best investment for education.

Clemson remains a special place both athletically and academically and I think you will agree with me that our game day atmosphere is second to none.

As we prepare to continue our rich Athletic traditions and competitive platform, we will need our donors’ help.

With the success Oliver Purnell has brought to our basketball program and the hiring of new Head Football Coach Dabo Swinney, we all have a great deal to be excited about. Couple this with the other 17 NCAA athletic teams and there will be plenty to be proud of in 2009.

Another point I would like to clarify is that tickets cannot be passed on to family members or friends, unless you are a Life Donor. Part of the agreement for life donors was to be able to pass on their tickets one generation.

However, IPTAY donors who are not life members are unable to place their tickets on another name. We have held hard and fast on this policy simply because it protects the IPTAY system and awards tickets that become available based on our system of level first and then points.

Without tickets becoming available through this natural attrition, there would be fewer opportunities to encourage the next generation of Tiger supporters.

We also realize we have many fans who utilize donors to secure tickets; however, the best advice I can provide people — who are providing season tickets to non-IPTAY members — is encourage those non-IPTAY donors to join and establish their own IPTAY account.

By joining IPTAY, they can secure various privileges based on the level of giving, establish points in the membership and earn the privileges associated with our system.

However, a greater purpose for joining is the fact they would be providing opportunities for our student-athletes and coaches to compete at the highest level and earn a degree.

As an IPTAY donor, you also help provide the resources necessary for our coaches to recruit and graduate student-athletes.

There is not a week that goes by that someone comes into our office who has been sitting in their parents’ seats or buying tickets from a friend who either passed away or, because of age, has discontinued their IPTAY membership. Now these people are in a precarious situation with no IPTAY membership.

Therefore, my advice to all donors — who may be selling excess tickets — is to encourage non-members to join and earn the same privileges IPTAY can provide to each member. This way, the current season ticket holder can engage our constituents to become active members of IPTAY.

The easy, less-confrontational thing to do in our office is to agree to pass tickets; however, it is not fair to our donors who are in the system and deserve tickets that are being turned over.

Naturally, everyone would like to pass on their tickets but it is critical we utilize our system to be fair to deserving donors.

Being a member of IPTAY has always been embraced with a sense of pride. It should make every donor proud to know he/she is making a difference in Clemson Athletics. As President Barker initiates Clemson’s Capital Campaign, the theme is “It’s our time to lead”.

We have been blessed by those who have laid the IPTAY foundation from our constitution, our system model and a wide range of donation levels with a large membership. They have established the environment, spirit and support we work with today.

Therefore, it is our generation that must engage in giving back to Clemson and ensure that our student-athletes have the resources to succeed in this competitive arena.

As you know, we have seen a lot of building growth on campus and the Athletic grounds, which has taken various parking areas away from our game-day operations.

We will be losing 150 spaces directly across from The Rock this year as we display a very prestigious memorial for our Clemson veterans who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

Jason Wilson, who has the difficult job of assigning parking, has written excellent articles on the 2009 football parking projections.

In this article it conveys the various changes we will see that will impact our parking and assignments.

Also, Wayne Jenness, our Director of Donor Services, has written an article on matching gifts, which I highly encourage all donors to explore

Matching an IPTAY gift is entirely up to the company’s policies; however, it takes the donor to determine if their company will match.

Utilizing your company’s match enables you to increase your IPTAY annual giving level without personally having to increase your donation.

Our spring sports are ready to compete and we are excited about Rowing, Women and Men’s Tennis, Baseball, Golf and Track.

We still have several right-center field chair-back season ticket seats available for baseball.

Finally, I would like for all of our donors to view the chart that depicts our IPTAY calendar. I hope everyone understands we must operate on various policies and deadlines to enable us to serve our constituents.

Go Tigers! Bill D’Andrea Sr. Associate Athletic Director External Affairs

IPTAY Calendar YearJuly 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010

July 1st: – Solicitations are mailed to donors to begin payments to their annual fundAugust 1st: – Football tickets mailedSeptember: – Basketball ticket applications mailed October: – Deadline for basketball season tickets November 1st: – Basketball tickets mailed; Second solicitation mailed December: – Baseball ticket applications mailed January: – Deadline for baseball season tickets; Third solicitation mailed February 1st: – Baseball tickets mailed February 15th: – Deadline for donors to pay at least 50 percent of their annual donation. Paying 50 percent of the pledge triggers a ticket applicationMarch (mid to late): – Football season ticket applications mailed to all donors who paid at least 50 percent of their annual pledgeApril (late): – Deadline to return football season ticket application June 30: – End of fiscal year for IPTAY

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