Gifts of all sizes that are needed and spent every year.

Continue Your Legacy

Wildcats for Life

You were told freshman year that you will always be a Wildcat, but what does it mean to be a Wildcat once you move that tassel? Like much of your student experience on campus, your life as a Young Alumnus/a is up to you. Similarly, becoming involved in Northwestern alumni life is just as exciting and rewarding as joining student groups that first quarter on campus. Young Alumni, or graduates less than 10 years out of school, can find interesting and engaging ways to stay connected to the University and learn about the value of giving back to Northwestern. This page is a great place to start. You know firsthand the needs of the current campus community. And you represent the best of what Northwestern has to offer, with the drive to utilize your experience with the world.

It takes a collective effort from the entire alumni community to keep Northwestern at the top. Go to events, give back financially to your favorite NU cause, and stay connected. Your gift, in any amount, helps bolster the University’s world-class reputation (not to mention the value of your degree), supports initiatives that defined your NU experience, and creates opportunities for generations to come.

Get Involved

Give Back Financially

Did you know that 74% of young alumni gifts were $50 or under? Whether it’s athletics, a major, a student organization, or other interest, every young alumni had a passion that helped define his or her Northwestern experience. Giving to that area is a particularly meaningful way to support the University and allows future students to benefit from those opportunities.

It takes a collective effort from the entire alumni community to keep Northwestern at the top. Thousands of donors are needed to help Northwestern students cover costs that tuition doesn’t cover. Projects like academic scholarships, student groups, and the renovations to Deering Library are only available to students because of the generosity of young alumni like you.

Stay Connected


Where does my gift actually go?/How does it actually help students?

  • The great thing about Annual Giving is that your money goes wherever you want it to go! Were you a part of a fantastic student group? Did you enjoy doing research on campus? Do you have a favorite academic department? Is there an area you think needs improving on campus? Perfect – you can direct your money to that department, program, or project.

Why should I consider a multi-year pledge?

  • A multi-year pledge can help you keep track of your giving, cut down on annual solicitations, and ensure that you continue to support the Annual Fund each and every fiscal year. In addition, undergraduate alumni who make multi-year pledges to the Annual Fund will have the entirety of their commitments counted in their classes’ reunion gift totals.

Is it really important to support the Annual Fund every single year?

  • Yes! The contributions that Northwestern receives annually are spent, and therefore needed, each fiscal year (September – August). Annual Funds support an area of greatest need. Whether you decide to give to the Northwestern Annual Fund or the Medill School of Journalism Annual Fund, your gift will make an impact. By making an unrestricted contribution, you let the University decide how to best put your gifts to use that year. Learn more about Annual Giving.

Why does NU need more money when we have such a large endowment?

  • Endowed gifts are invested, and the payout is used according to the donor’s wishes, often restricted for uses such as scholarships, professorships, and academic and research programs. Unrestricted funds provided by gifts to the Northwestern Annual Fund are flexible resources that are spent each year at the discretion of the president and University leaders to address emerging needs and ongoing priorities.
  • Tuition covers approximately 70 percent of the total cost to educate an NU student – that means Northwestern relies on generous donors to make up the difference. And approximately 60 percent of undergraduate students receive some type of financial aid. Unrestricted gifts made to the Northwestern Annual Fund and gifts to scholarships help the University meet the growing financial need of our students.

How do I direct my gift to multiple purposes?

  • You can direct your gift to multiple purposes anytime. When making a gift on our online gift form, choose “View additional gift designations” and select from the list of designations. You can also write in any designations that are not provided on the list. When making a gift on a mail-in form, write in the name(s) of the designations. If you do not know the name of the designation, please feel free to contact us at or by phone at 800-222-5603.

How can I find out if my company will match my gift?

  • You can find out if your employer matches your gift on our online gift form. In the section “Will Your Employer Match This Gift,” simply type in the name of your company and click “Find your company here.” The search will guide you on your next steps.

What is the best way for me to support the NU athletics program?

  • Besides attending athletic events when you can, the best way to support the athletics program is to give to the Wildcat Excellence Fund. This fund helps provide resources for NU student-athletes in competition and in the classroom. Learn more about the Wildcat Excellence Fund.

Will my gift count in the Campaign?

  • Yes. A gift made to any area of the University will count towards the We Will Campaign.

What is the deadline for making a contribution?

  • While you can always give to the Annual Fund (there’s never a deadline!), giving September – August will count towards the fiscal year.

What is the fiscal year and why is it different than the calendar year?

  • The calendar year is what we all know and love: January – December of the same numerical year (i.e. January – December 2014). Think of the fiscal year as a “school” year: September – August. The Annual Fund operates much like the school year. For example, if a donor gave in March 2014, that gift counted for fiscal year 2014, whereas if the donor gave in October 2014, that gift would count for fiscal year 2015.


Infinity status is a way in which we recognize the loyalty and support of donors who give every year since graduation. Infinity members are recognized with an infinity symbol next to their name on the honor roll.

What does it mean to have Infinity status?

  • Donors are considered to be infinity when they have given (in any amount) every year since graduation. New graduates are also considered infinity members if they gave to their Senior Class Gift. Infinity members are recognized with an infinity symbol next to their name in the honor roll.

Leadership giving

What’s a leadership gift?

What is NU Loyal?

  • NU Loyal is one of the many ways Northwestern University recognizes its valued alumni, parents, and friends for giving consistently to the University. Being NU Loyal is unique because there are no financial requirements other than making a gift every fiscal year. Unable to give at the same financial level year after year? That’s ok! It’s important to maintain the relationship year after year because every gift counts, and Northwestern recognizes that. There are four levels of NU Loyal recognition: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

What are the Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels?

  • There are four levels of NU Loyal recognition:
    • Bronze: Three to four consecutive years of giving.
    • Silver: Five to nine consecutive years of giving.
    • Gold: 10 to 19 consecutive years of giving.
    • Platinum: 20 + consecutive years of giving.

Learn more about NU Loyal.

To recap: go to NU events, encourage your friends to join, and give back to an NU cause you care about!