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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.

2020 Season Questions

How can I provide a Catamount Club donation?

You may renew your Catamount Club annual membership by visiting your online account or by contacting the Catamount Club office at 828-227-3047.

Can I mail a check for my Catamount Club donation?

Yes, you can donate by mailing a check to the following address:

Catamount Club

92 Catamount Road

Cullowhee, NC 28786.

What is the renewal deadline for Catamount Club gifts and football season tickets?

The renewal deadline for both Catamount Club and football season tickets is June 30, 2020, for the upcoming season. However, we will work with donors and season-ticket holders on extensions in an effort to be flexible. To make arrangements, please call the Ticket Office or the Catamount Club at 828-227-2401 or 828-227-3047. To provide additional flexibility, we are offering a ticket payment plan for the 2020 season.

What is the deadline to request parking preference for the football season?

The deadline to submit parking preference was May 29, 2020. If you have not submitted your parking preference for this year, we encourage you to do so as soon as you can. Selections are made in early July.

Is my Catamount Club annual donation refundable?

Annual donations to the Catamount Club are non-refundable. Annual donations by Catamount Club donors provide scholarship support to WCU student-athletes and/or financial support to Catamount Athletics. Student-athletes are still attending classes and rely on the generous support from donors for their scholarship needs. Please contact the Catamount Club if you have any specific questions.

Will there be a 2020 football season?

Our current focus is on preparing to play the 2020 football season as scheduled; however, concerns related to public health may require that we alter our plans.  We will communicate changes when they are made, based as conditions demand.

If the season doesn't occur, can I get credit for my donation that I have already paid for next year?

Any gifts donated during the traditional annual fund campaign period (March through June) will be applied for benefit credit in the 2020-21 WCU athletics season. We are unable to provide donation credit to future years outside of the benefit year during the traditional annual fund campaign, unless those future years are paid in advance. We ask donors to support this endeavor every year to help ensure that we are fulfilling our commitment to providing a first-class educational experience to our student-athletes in Cullowhee.

What if I am unable to use benefits that come with my giving level, such as parking or hospitality access. Can I get a refund for my gift?

No. Any benefits associated to a giving level in the Catamount Club are secondary benefits, as the primary purpose of giving is to enhance scholarship support. It is the policy of the Western Carolina University Division of Advancement that a charitable gift shall not be returned to the donor, except in the following circumstances: a payment to the Foundation was clearly made in error, such as (A) an erroneous duplicate payment, or (B) a payment in which the donor clearly intended to make to another individual or entity. Read more about the gift acceptance guidelines, Please consult your tax adviser for questions concerning the deductibility of your contribution.

Can I add a payment plan for my season tickets?

Yes. Please contact the Ticket Office at 828-227-2401 for assistance and to discuss options.

How does the payment plan work for season tickets?

When choosing the payment plan, you will make easy monthly installments, to be completed by November. The first payment will be due at time of renewal. After this first payment, you will be able to see the rest of your pending scheduled payments on your ticket account. These remaining payments can be paid off any time before they are due.

If the 2020 football season is fully canceled, partially canceled, or there are fan restrictions at games, what are my options with season tickets that I have already purchased?

You have three options:

  1. Roll over your football season ticket payment to the 2021 season based on the progress of the season
  2. The prorated season ticket value can be donated to the Catamount Club in your name (further documentation required)
  3. Receive a prorated refund for your 2020 football season ticket purchase based upon any contests played.

What is the best way for me to reach the Catamount Club or Athletics Ticket Office if I have questions or need assistance?

The Catamount Club and Ticket Office staff are all working and fully operational. You may reach staff members via phone and email. The main ticket office line is 828-227-2401. The Catamount Club office line is 828-227-3047. You can also reach the Catamount Club via email 24/7 at catamountclub@wcu.edu and the Ticket Office.

Will you be enacting physical distancing protocols at games?

While discussions are ongoing, in all likelihood WCU Athletics will enact some form of physical/social distancing protocols at games. WCU senior administration, including Director of Athletics Alex Gary and his senior staff, are evaluating social distancing protocols that will need to be introduced at E.J. Whitmire Stadium and other WCU athletics facilities. More information will be provided in the coming weeks. 

General Questions

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 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, 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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