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Catamount Club

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you'll find many of the frequently asked questions that we receive about the Catamount Club and membership. Should you have additional questions, we'll be happy to answer any additional questions. Contact us at catamountclub@wcu.edu or 828.227.3047.

What is the catamount club?

The Catamount Club is the fundraising arm for Western Carolina University Athletics. Through its annual fund, the Catamount Club raises unrestricted contributions in support of student-athlete scholarships. Additionally, the Catamount Club aids athletic facility enhancements and other needs through capital campaigns.

Who can join the catamount club?

Anyone can become a member of the Catamount Club and enjoy the benefits of membership as well as knowing you are making a difference for the student-athletes at Western Carolina University.

When I join the Catamount Club, who is impacted by my contribution?

As a member of the Catamount Club, you are directly supporting the Catamount Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarship assistance to many of our nearly 350 student-athletes at WCU.

Why are contributions needed?

The athletic program at Western Carolina is required to be self-supporting. No state dollars go to athletic programs in the UNC system. We currently support 16 varsity programs. We depend on funds generated by corporate sponsorships, ticket revenue, game guarantees, student athletic fees, and private donations to fund Catamount Athletics. This is where the Catamount Scholarship Fund plays a crucial role. Catamount Club funds provide the necessary funding to supplement the athletic department’s other forms of external revenue.

Is my gift to the Catamount Club tax deductible?

All contributions to the Catamount Club are made payable to the Western Carolina University Foundation. The Western Carolina University Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation that has qualified as a tax-exempt organization under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. The WCU Foundation's goal is to aid the university in its development as a leading educational institution.

The following information is not intended to constitute legal advice or other tax counsel and may not be relied on as such. Please consult a personal tax advisor concerning the deductibility of any contribution to the Catamount Club.

You should consult your tax advisor for determining your proper charitable deductions. Contributions to the Catamount Club are fully tax-deductible if there are no priority tickets or parking associated with your gift.

What are the benefits of joining the Catamount club?

In addition to helping to provide our student-athletes with the necessary resources, there are tangible benefits (depending on the membership level) donors receive on an annual basis. Benefits include, but are not limited to: exclusive access and experiences, preferred parking for Catamount Football, newsletters with updates on Catamount athletics, event invitations and exclusive football and basketball hospitality.

What is the membership year for the Catamount Club?

The membership year for the Catamount Club begins July 1 and ends May 31 each year. We encourage every member to renew his or her membership by May 31 as we prepare for the following academic year. To receive Catamount Club benefits, your contribution must be received by May 31 or be enrolled on a payment schedule within the Catamount Club office. 

What gifts to WCU Athletics count toward annual membership in the Catamount Club?

Only gifts to support the Catamount Scholarship Fund. Gifts restricted to other discretionary funds, such as specific sports, will qualify for CATS POINTS but will not count toward Catamount Club membership.

What is the difference between a restricted and unrestricted gift to the Catamount Club?

Restricted gifts are designated to a specific program, facility or project. Unrestricted gifts to the Catamount Scholarship Fund go directly toward the general athletic scholarship fund and help offset departmental expenses. The annual scholarship bill is approximately $3 million. Only gifts to the Catamount Scholarship Fund secure Catamount Club benefits.

Do endowments or capital gifts count toward annual membership level?

No. Establishing an endowment gift or gifts to an athletic facility project (or a capital project) does not qualify you for a specific membership level. For more details, please contact a Catamount Club staff member.

Does the Catamount Club give credit for in-kind gifts?

Credit for in-kind gifts will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Accepted in-kind gifts may be tax deductible.

How much of my Catamount Club gift will my company match and what is the procedure?

Companies that offer a matching gift program determine the specific criteria and policies by which they will match gifts. Visit here to see if your employer matches gifts. Some examples of companies that provide a matching gift are Wells Fargo, GE, State Farm, Nationwide, Microsoft, and IBM. Please contact your human resources department for copies of these policies and the appropriate forms or contact the Catamount Club for more information.

How is parking for football allocated, and how is it related to my Catamount Club gift?

WCU Athletics reserves football gameday parking for Catamount Club members. The football parking application deadline is May 31 each year. In addition to contributing at a membership level that qualifies for reserved parking, you must also purchase season tickets for football. Priority parking is determined by your membership level first, and then your CATS Points rank, second, within your level. Please pay attention to the priority levels associated with your level of giving and lot availability based on historical projections.

I still have questions.

The Catamount Club staff may be contacted Monday-Friday 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM by phone at 828.227.3047 or by email at catamountclub@wcu.edu.

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