Operational Support

Competing at a Championship Level

As part of the Virginia Athletics Foundation Annual Fund, donors can allocate gifts to support the operational and scholarship budgets of specific Olympic sports through the Friends Of program. In addition to this program, VAF has started Coaches 10 programs which are designed to enhance operational budget support and to meet specific programmatic needs. Click on the video below to learn more about the impact of the men’s tennis Coaches 10 program.

Coaches 10 Program – How It Started

It wasn’t long after Virginia’s baseball team reached the College World Series for the first time in 2009 that head coach Brian O’Connor and the athletic administration realized additional fundraising would be needed for the program to build on its success.

The program had the full allotment of scholarships allowed by the NCAA, but O’Connor and department officials wanted to enhance the fan experience at Davenport Field, keep the coaching staff intact, and ensure UVa was able to take advantage of developments in equipment and technology to maximize player development.

“The concept behind it was to get a small group of individuals to commit themselves to our baseball program on an annual basis to do things that are above and beyond the allocation in our operational budget,” O’Connor said. “We can’t sit still. We’ve got to continue to press forward with what we’re doing at Davenport Field, not only for our fan experience, but also for player development.”

Coaches 10 Program – How it Works

The goal for each sport-specific Coaches 10 program is to have a minimum of 10 donors annually contribute $10,000 each for three consecutive years. This gift is in addition to their current level of Virginia Athletics Foundation giving. The program has been successful for several teams at Virginia, including baseball and men’s tennis.

A component of the $24.2 million All In For Excellence goal for 2017 includes $1 million in operational support. This is in addition to the $2,872,887 that was raised in 2016 from another sport-specific fundraising effort, the Friends Of program.

Friends Of Program – How it Works

The Friends Of program allows VAF donors to allocate their annual gifts to specific sports. In 2003, the athletics department and the Virginia Athletics Foundation reorganized the program to include all sports other than football and men’s basketball. The goal, according to Dirk Katstra, executive director of VAF, was to “provide additional operational support in sports’ budgets. And so we made a commitment that we would go out and raise money, and we’d budget it by sport, to enhance the individual sports’ annual operating budgets. Over time it’s been a really good program. It’s attracted student-athlete alumni, parents of current student-athletes and people that got behind a particular program.”

While the Friends Of program provides an opportunity for donors to direct annual fund gifts of any amount to a specific sport, Coaches 10 gifts must be made in addition to annual giving with a minimum commitment of $10,000 per year over three years.

Read more about operational support.