Tax Law and Donor Access to Football Tickets Q&A

How does the new tax law impact my giving related to the opportunity to purchase football tickets?
On December 22, 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R.1), legislation that, among other things, repeals the partial deduction for charitable gifts made for the right to purchase tickets for college or university athletic events. Before January 1, 2018, donors were able to deduct 80 percent of such a contribution. Starting January 1, 2018, donors may no longer deduct any portion of such a contribution.

The opportunity to purchase season football tickets has a value of $1,500, the minimum amount required for most donors to access season football tickets. This means that $1,500 of any payments toward football ticket eligibility is not tax deductible. Contributions above $1,500 with no other associated return benefits will be charitable and may be deductible, depending on a donor’s personal tax situation.

For President’s Club donor eligibility for football ticket benefits, at least $3,000 in personal giving is still required and includes the opportunity to purchase two season football tickets.

How can I continue to purchase football tickets?
People may access season tickets by making a $1,500 non-deductible payment to the Buckeye Club or by contributing $3,000 to be recognized by President’s Club, $1,500 of which will be non-deductible. This $1,500 payment represents the value of the opportunity to purchase two season football tickets. The cost of purchasing such tickets will be in addition to this $1,500 payment.

Why has the non-deductible portion of my gift increased from $300 to $1,500?
The value of the opportunity to purchase season football tickets equals the full amount of a Buckeye Club membership – $1,500. Previously, tax law allowed donors to deduct 80% of that amount, which meant that the non-deductible portion of such a contribution was $300. The new tax law says that no portion of such a contribution is deductible, which means that the non-deductible portion is now $1,500.

I’m a lifetime President’s Club donor – what does this mean for me?
This change does not impact lifetime President’s Club donors because the contributions that made those donors eligible for lifetime access to football tickets and other recognition were made prior to the enactment of the new tax law. Even if you continue to give $3,000 or more, all of your giving will still be considered charitable, provided you did not receive some other return benefit as a result of your giving.

I don’t accept the football ticket benefit – what does this mean for me?
If you do not accept the ticket benefit, your giving is not impacted. It remains charitable at 100% assuming you do not receive any other return benefits in exchange for your giving.

What types of payments are eligible for the football ticket benefit?
Certain payments will not count toward football ticket eligibility because of the tax law as well as recent IRS guidelines. Below are specific examples of giving that are eligible and ineligible for benefits:

Eligible Payment Types for the Football Ticket Benefit

  • Personal cash, check, or credit card gift
  • Gift in-kind
  • Stock transfer*

Ineligible Payment Types for the Football Ticket Benefit

  • Donor-advised fund gift (based on recent IRS guidelines)
  • Private foundation gift 
  • Charitable IRA rollover
  • Matching gift
  • Third-party gift (e.g. United Way, Benevity, etc.)

*Donors of stock are particularly advised to consult their personal tax advisors regarding the deductibility of such gifts. The value of the return football ticket benefit may result in the recognition of income to the donor.

I made my gift to President’s Club or Buckeye Club in 2017, am I impacted by this change?
You will not be impacted in regards to your 2017 gift, as the new tax provision applies only to donations made on or after January 1, 2018.

I made my gift in 2018 before you announced these changes, what does this mean for me?
The tax legislation went into effect on January 1, 2018. If you no longer wish to give, any donor who made gifts prior to our communication regarding this policy change in March 2018 can contact us for a one-time adjustment or refund.

Where will the non-deductible payment go?
For Buckeye Club members, the non-deductible payment will continue to support Athletics. For President’s Club donors, the non-deductible payment will continue to support the area(s) of your choice.

Will there be changes to how I accept or decline the football ticket benefit if I’m a President’s Club donor?
Should your giving be eligible, there will be a new process to accept or decline the football ticket benefit. More details will be shared.

Will the ticket point calculation change?
We are currently looking at how this will impact points for the 2019 season. There will be no change to 2018 points and as we finalize more details, we will communicate that information.

What happens to my parking benefit?
President’s Club donors are eligible for the opportunity to purchase on-campus parking through the university’s parking operator, CampusParc. If you accept this benefit, you must complete a parking application through CampusParc in accordance with its policies and procedures. Parking information is sent each May to those who have accepted the benefit.

The right to purchase a football parking pass is a return benefit that will further reduce the deductible portion of the donor's personal contribution, based on the value of the parking location. Donors who give at the $3,000 level and accept the parking benefit will not be able to deduct an additional $60 of their gift; Donors who give at $5,000 or higher will not be able to deduct an additional $75 of their gift.

General President's Club FAQs

What is President's Club?
President's Club was founded in 1963 to recognize individuals who provide the philanthropic support and volunteer leadership required for The Ohio State University to be one of the world's truly great universities. Each year approximately 3,000 donors are recognized for their leadership giving.

Who is recognized by President's Club?
President's Club recognizes individual donors 18 years of age and older who support The Ohio State University with gifts totaling at least $3,000 each calendar year to any department of the University, other than athletics. Gifts from others may not qualify an individual for recognition. Certain restrictions and exceptions may apply. Please contact President’s Club for information on your particular situation.

How can I become part of President's Club?
To become recognized by President’s Club, you may make your qualifying gift online.

To make your gift by mail, please print and fill out the President's Club giving form and mail it to:
    President’s Club
    2200 Olentangy River Road
    Columbus, Ohio 43210

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact President’s Club at presidentsclub@osu.edu or call 614-292-9550.

How do I continue to be recognized by President's Club?
Eligible non-athletic contributions each subsequent calendar year will ensure continued recognition.

Can I contribute with a monthly gift?
Yes, monthly giving is encouraged for those who wish to continue to be recognized by President’s Club each year. Contact President’s Club for additional information. Currently, a minimum gift of $250 per month, January through December will ensure your continued recognition. If you begin your monthly gift after January the monthly amount will need to be adjusted or an additional gift may be contributed to reach the $3,000 minimum before December 31.

What types of gifts are eligible for President’s Club recognition?
Due to IRS guidelines, certain types of gifts are not eligible for President’s Club recognition, or do not qualify for President’s Club recognition unless the donor declines the benefit of the opportunity to purchase football tickets. The chart below shows which types of gifts are eligible for President’s Club recognition, depending on if a donor accepts or declines the football ticket benefits:

President's Club Benefits

* Donors of stock are particularly advised to consult their personal tax advisors regarding the deductibility of such gifts.
** If permitted by the sponsoring organization of the donor-advised fund.

Are IRA distributions included in donor ticket points?
Contributions from IRA Rollover distributions are not included in donor ticket point calculations due to existing IRS rules.

Do gifts to the Buckeye Club or other funds in the Department of Athletics count toward my recognition in President's Club?
Gifts to the Department of Athletics, such as those to the Buckeye Club, will not count toward recognition in President's Club.
If you wish to participate in both the Buckeye Club and President's Club, you may do so by making an annual qualifying President’s Club contribution in addition to your annual Buckeye Club gift.

Can my organization or business join President's Club?
No. President's Club is a recognition society for individuals. Gifts from a solely owned business may be eligible to qualify the owner for individual recognition. These situations are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Gifts in kind, excluding those of service, may also be eligible. Please contact President’s Club if you have any questions about your eligibility.

Is there lifetime recognition in President’s Club?
In 2008, President's Club was restructured and lifetime recognition for new donors was discontinued. All President's Club donors who had reached lifetime status prior to the 2008 change are recognized permanently as legacy donors of President's Club. Legacy donors may also be recognized as annual donors in President's Club if their cumulative, non-athletic annual giving is $3,000 or above.

How will President's Club help me stay connected to The Ohio State University?
In honor of their generous support at The Ohio State University, President's Club donors can enjoy these exclusive opportunities:

  • The opportunity to apply to purchase home season football tickets and reserved game day parking (if gifts are eligible) 
  • Invitations to events
  • A monthly e-mail newsletter exclusively for President’s Club donors
  • Opportunities for engagement with university leadership
  • Use of the university's nationally recognized library system
  • The opportunity to purchase on-campus parking
  • Membership opportunities at the OSU Golf Club, the Faculty Club, and the university's recreational sport facilities (Fees apply.)

How do I receive football tickets and game day parking?
New donors will be sent information regarding the acceptance of benefits. To receive the opportunity to apply to purchase football tickets, game day or campus parking, the acceptance form must be returned by the stated deadline. If accepting football tickets, your gift must meet eligibility requirements and have the non-charitable portion assessed after acceptance. The game day parking benefit will additionally reduce the non-charitable portion of the contribution. Late acceptances may result in the loss of the ability to purchase football tickets based on deadlines established by the Athletics Ticket Office. Contact President’s Club should you have concerns for your particular situation. No exceptions may be made after March 10 of any given year. Renewing donors who purchase tickets each year will automatically be sent the renewal invoice for purchase.

What if I have additional questions?
For more information regarding President's Club, please contact the President's Club office at presidentsclub@osu.edu or call 614-292-9550.