New Priority Points Structure


There are several changes within the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation that will affect how you accrue and use priority points from donations and ticket purchases, and may affect the tax deductibility of donations to the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation. We have changed our priority points structure, as described in the video above, for the following reasons:

  • Ensures that we are compliant with the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that went into effect January 1, 2018.
  • Enables us to preserve and continue the processes for seat and parking selections, allocations, and purchases that use priority points.
  • Allows donors to continue to receive tax deductions for donations above & beyond required seating amounts.

If you have any questions, please call us at 662-915-7159 or email omaf@olemiss.edu.

  • Click here for a message from Executive Director Keith Carter

    Dear Ole Miss Supporters,

    I hope this letter finds you well and looking forward to an exciting fall with Ole Miss Athletics. The purpose of this letter is to inform you of several changes within the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation that will affect how you accrue and use priority points from donations and ticket purchases, and may affect the tax deductibility of donations that you have made or will make in the future to the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation.

    The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed by Congress on December 20, 2017, amended Internal Revenue Code Section 170(l), which previously allowed for a charitable deduction for donations that resulted, directly or indirectly, in the right to purchase seating in an athletic venue of the benefitting institution. The law no longer allows that deduction. All priority seating gifts are now 0% deductible. This law went into effect January 1, 2018.

    We have changed the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation’s priority points structure, as further described, for the following reasons:

    • The changes will ensure that we are compliant with the new tax law.
    • The changes will enable us to preserve and continue the processes for seat & parking selections, allocations, and purchases that use priority points.
    • The changes will allow donors to continue to receive tax deductions for donations above & beyond required seating amounts.

    The following Ole Miss Athletics Foundation policies will remain the same:

    • The required per-seat donation amounts will remain consistent for the 2018-2019 sports year
    • Donations to the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation will continue to accrue priority points
    • Ticket purchases will continue to accrue priority points

    The new priority points structure will have 2 categories of points, depending on the purpose and deductibility of the gift. The new categories are RED points and BLUE points. Your total points earned as of December 31, 2017 will remain in your account as legacy points, and will be used as the start for both categories of points. The video on www.givetoathletics.com shows how you earn RED points and BLUE points, and how they will be used.

    The other major change is tax deductibility for non-seating related gifts. Gifts that are above & beyond seating requirements are now 90% deductible with points accrued. These gifts include above & beyond giving for football, basketball, and baseball, general membership, sport-specific clubs, and Vaught Society gifts. If you have made a gift since January 1, 2018, you may receive an updated tax receipt.

    I encourage you to visit GiveToAthletics.com and watch the video about these changes. If you have any questions, please call us at 662-915-7159 or email omaf@olemiss.edu. Thank you for everything you continue to do for Ole Miss Athletics.

    Sincerely,

    Keith Carter

    Executive Director / Deputy AD for Development and Resource Acquisition

  • Click here for Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: Why is the priority points structure changing?

    A: Effective January 1, 2018, The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act amended Internal Revenue Code Section 170(I) that previously allowed for a charitable deduction for donations that resulted in the right to purchase tickets for seating in an athletic venue of the benefitting institution. A charitable deduction is no longer permissible for this type of donation. To be compliant with the new tax law, preserve the integrity of our priority points structure, and to keep options for charitable deductibility intact for our donors, we have made several changes to our priority points structure.

    Q: What are the changes to the priority points structure?

    A: In the new structure, priority points will continue to accrue based on donations and season ticket purchases. However, priority points will be split into two separate categories (RED points & BLUE points) depending on the purpose and deductibility of the gift.

    Q: How do I earn BLUE points?

    A: You can earn BLUE points through following ways:

    • 1 point per season ticket purchased
    • ½ point per $100 donation to priority seating (other ½ point is RED)
    • 1 point per $100 donation for Above & Beyond annual fund gifts
    • 1 point per $100 donation for Vaught Society gifts that accrue points will by default accrue all BLUE points (and be 90% deductible), but Vaught Society gifts are customizable by the donor and points can be adjusted up, down, RED or BLUE based on preference.

    Q: How do I earn RED points?

    A: You can earn RED points through the following ways:

    • 1 point per season ticket purchased
    • ½ point per $100 donation to priority seating (other ½ point is BLUE)
    • Vaught Society gifts that accrue points will by default accrue all BLUE points (1 per $100 donation) and no RED points and be 90% deductible. However, deductibility and/or points may be customized up, down, RED or BLUE based on preference.

    Q: How were points and deductibility administered in the old system?

    A: In the old system, Ole Miss donors and ticket holders accrued priority points through the following:

    • 1 point per $100 donated
    • 1 point per season ticket purchased (up to 10 per season) for football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, and baseball
    • 1 category of points where all points accumulate

    In the old system, donations could be up to 80% deductible if points awarded.

    Q: Will I still receive a charitable deduction for donations made to the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation?

    A: Donations made to priority seating are 0% deductible. Donations made above & beyond seating requirements are 90% deductible. Donations made to the Vaught Society can be up to 100% deductible.

    Q: How will my existing priority points be affected?

    A: Points accrued as of December 31, 2017 will remain in accounts as legacy points, and will be used as the starting point for both the RED and BLUE points categories.

    Q: Will the new priority points structure affect what I have already given in 2018?

    A: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act went into effect January 1, 2018. Charitable deductibility and the new priority points structure are retroactively effective as of that date. Receipts for tax purposes will be issued to reflect this. You may be issued an amended receipt and your priority points total may change.

    Q: When does the new priority points structure go into effect?

    A: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act went into effect January 1, 2018. Charitable deductibility and the new priority points structure are retroactively effective as of that date.

    Q: How will the new priority points structure affect my parking and seat selections?

    A: For all selection processes after June 2018

    Your RED points will be used for ranking seat selections and purchases in Ole Miss venues. Your BLUE points will be used for on-campus parking allocations and ranking seat allocations in non-Ole Miss venues (away game tickets and away postseason play). There will be two selections for football, men’s basketball, and baseball:

    • Parking selection based on BLUE points ranking
    • Seat selection (in Ole Miss venues) based on RED points ranking

    Q: When do I select seats and parking?

    A: Online football seat and parking selections are in May – June. Online men’s basketball seat and parking selections are in August – September. Online baseball seat and parking selections are in November.

    Q: How is my existing Vaught Society pledge affected?

    A: The new structure is for all payments starting January 1, 2018. Donors in the middle of pledges will be able to adjust their point distribution (RED/BLUE points) and deductibility if they prefer something other than the default (BLUE points and 90% deductibility) for all remaining payments on their existing pledge.

    Q: Can new Vaught Society pledges be customized?

    A: When new Vaught Society pledges are made, donors may indicate their points distribution and deductibility for future payments on the pledge. Once receipted and points are awarded, changes may not be made to past payments. Adjustments may be made to upcoming payments.

    Q: Why will my BLUE points ranking be different than my RED points ranking?

    A: RED points and BLUE points accrue separately into different categories based on the purpose of donations.

    Q: Can I exchange my RED points for BLUE points and vice versa?

    A: No. All donations have a set point distribution, with the exception of customizable Vaught Society donations. Changes may not be made to past payments.

    Q: Are RED points or BLUE points transferable between donor accounts?

    A: No. Points accrued will remain nontransferable between donor accounts.

    Q: Is OMAF still a 501(c)(3) organization?

    A: Yes, the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation is a 501(c)(3) corporation

    Q: What are other schools doing?

    A: It important to note there will be variance among different institutions due to the way priority points systems are structured and used at these institutions. Some may completely do away with charitable deductibility in order to keep their current priority points structure while some may elect to make no changes at all. The Ole Miss Athletics Foundation is electing to restructure to this new system for the following primary reasons:

    • Correctly receipt gifts with benefits associated according to the new tax law
    • Preserve forms of charitable deductibility for our donors
    • Preserve our priority points system which enables us to continue the equitable processes for selections, allocations, and purchases while recognizing decades of philanthropic contributions

    Q: Are all gifts treated the same?

    A: No, the new system will treat gifts the following way:

    • Donations for priority seating are 0% deductible and accrue priority points that are split equally between the RED and BLUE categories
    • Above & Beyond annual fund donations accrue BLUE points and are 90% deductible
    • Vaught Society gifts will by default accrue all BLUE points and no RED points (and be 90% deductible). However, deductibility and/or points may be customized up, down, RED or BLUE based on preference.
    • Donations with priority points waived can be 100% deductible

    Q: How was the deductible amount calculated and why are only BLUE points gifts deductible?

    A: The deductible amount of a gift where only BLUE points are accrued is 90%. BLUE points do not result in the right to purchase tickets for seating in an Ole Miss venue, therefore these gifts are not subject to IRC Section 170(l). Under the previous priority points system with only one category of priority points for all benefit purposes, OMAF determined the tangible value of priority points to be 20%. Now that there are two categories of points, the value of the benefits in the BLUE category was determined to be 10% or half of the previous 20%. Gifts that accrue RED points, which are used for priority ranking for seat selections in Ole Miss venues, are automatically 0% deductible. Gifts with priority points waived can be 100% deductible.

    Q: How do I calculate the points and charitable deductibility?

    A: The calculator at www.givetoathletics.com/calculator has been created to provide priority point amounts and charitable deductibility amounts for your assistance.

    Q: Can I adjust the charitable deductibility of my gifts?

    A: Only Vaught Society gifts may be adjusted. Vaught Society gifts will by default accrue all BLUE points and no RED points and be 90% deductible. However, deductibility and/or points may be customized up, down, RED or BLUE based on preference for deductibility between 0% – 100%. Visit www.givetoathletics.com/calculator/ to see how you can customize a gift to the Vaught Society. All annual fund giving cannot be adjusted. Above & Beyond gifts automatically provide BLUE points and the deductibility is maximized at 90%. Donations for priority seating are automatically 0% deductible.

    Q: What category of points will gifts to sport-specific clubs and other philanthropic support go to?

    A: Gifts to sport-specific clubs such as Quarterback Club, Bullpen Club, etc. will go into BLUE points and deductibility will be unable to be adjusted. Gifts to our philanthropic fund at levels below $25,000 (below Vaught Society) will by default go into BLUE points but will be able to be customized by request.

  • Click here for a priority points calculator
  • Click here to see how this affects gifts to the Vaught Society
    The new priority points structure will allow Vaught Society donors to customize their gift’s deductibility and priority points distribution. Gifts made to the Vaught Society can be anywhere from 0% to 100% deductible, depending on the type and quantity of priority points that are accepted. Vaught Society gifts that accrue points will by default be 90% deductible and only accrue BLUE points. All gifts made beginning January 1, 2018, will be subject to this new priority points system.

    The default tax deductibility and point distribution will be used for the entirety of the pledge unless we are notified otherwise by you. Pledges currently in the process of being fulfilled will default to 90% deductible unless you choose to customize differently. Priority points accrued are based on gifts received and will not be granted for pledge payments not yet made.