As a Vanderbilt supporter, you have the opportunity to join the Oak Leaf Society, which recognizes donor loyalty to Vanderbilt University. Oak Leaf members number more than 30,000 and make up a special community of donors with deep roots and strong commitment. Your investments are making a sustained difference across the university—from informed and creative teaching, student scholarships, cutting-edge research, and service to the community and society at large.
Whether you are new to the Oak Leaf Society or have been a part of the Vanderbilt University donor community for years, maintaining your membership is easy. When you give for two consecutive fiscal years, you are counted in the Oak Leaf Society. The longer you give, the more enduring the impact of your support! Just follow these three simple steps.
Vanderbilt University is proud to acknowledge participants at the following levels:
- Founder—2 to 9 years of consecutive giving
- Ambassador—10 to 19 years of consecutive giving
- Capstone—20 or more years of consecutive giving
Vanderbilt University is grateful for the commitment Oak Leaf Society participants make each and every year. Recognition of loyal donors includes:
- Oak Leaf Society member card
- Oak Leaf Society window decal
- Personalized address labels
- Special gifts upon reaching five years of consecutive giving and every five-year giving milestone thereafter
- Access to the Vanderbilt Discount Program (Abenity), which offers discounts from thousands of national retailers
Click on the link below to take advantage of the benefits offered through the program.
What is the Oak Leaf Society?
The Oak Leaf Society is a university-wide donor society that recognizes donors who have demonstrated their loyalty by giving any amount, to any area at Vanderbilt, for two or more consecutive fiscal years.
What is the date range of Vanderbilt’s fiscal year?
Vanderbilt’s fiscal year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30.
How do you become a member of the Oak Leaf Society?
Donors who give any amount, to any area of Vanderbilt for two fiscal years in a row, are considered members of the Oak Leaf Society. To sustain participation, donors must simply make a gift every fiscal year without interruption.
Do donors need to give a certain amount every year to be in the Oak Leaf Society?
No. Gifts of any amount count toward Oak Leaf Society participation.
Do donors need to designate their gifts to a certain area to qualify for Oak Leaf Society participation?
No. Gifts to any area of the university count toward Oak Leaf Society participation. Gifts designated to the Medical Center prior to April 2016 counted toward Oak Leaf Society membership; however, due to the separation of Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center into two nonprofit organizations, moving forward only gifts to Vanderbilt University will count.
Is this society only for Vanderbilt alumni?
No. The Oak Leaf Society recognizes all Vanderbilt donors who give for two or more consecutive fiscal years.
What are the recognition levels of the Oak Leaf Society?
Founder – 2 to 9 fiscal years of consecutive giving
Ambassador – 10 to 19 fiscal years of consecutive giving
Capstone – 20 or more fiscal years of consecutive giving
Will donors be given credit for giving years prior to 2012 when the Oak Leaf Society was launched?
Yes. Our donor database keeps track of past giving years, and donors will be recognized for those years. For example, if you have been giving to Vanderbilt every year since 1990, you will be recognized as a Capstone level participant in the Oak Leaf Society and honored for your years of consecutive giving.
How are my years of loyalty calculated?
As of 2015, Oak Leaf Society membership is based on household giving, and years of consecutive giving are calculated by the person in the household with the most years of loyalty regardless of their affiliation with Vanderbilt (i.e. alumni, friend, parent, patient, faculty or staff). We realize you may have been giving to Vanderbilt for more years than you are being recognized, however our electronic records only go back to 1990. Please contact us if you have further questions.
Can I join the Oak Leaf Society if I have missed a fiscal year of giving?
Participants who miss a fiscal year of giving to Vanderbilt have the opportunity to join the Oak Leaf Society or expand their participation by “buying back” giving years that were missed and resuming annual giving. Years may be bought back at a rate of $25 per year.
How can I buy back years of giving?
If you are interested in buying back years of your giving history, please contact us at (866) 882-FUND (3863) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there a limit to the number of years I can buy back?
Currently our systems are set up to process buybacks going back to fiscal year 2007, but if you would like to buy back additional years, please email email@example.com or contact the Gift Processing Office at (615) 322-2979.
If I’m in the Oak Leaf Society, can I still be in other Vanderbilt donor societies?
Yes. You can be in multiple donor societies at the same time.
How do I learn more about volunteer opportunities at Vanderbilt?
Please visit giving.vanderbilt.edu/oakleafsociety/volunteerengagement.php for a list of volunteer opportunities.
Can the Oak Leaf Society decal be easily removed from my car?
Yes. The car decal is intended to be replaced every year and has been designed to be easily removed from your car without residue.
How do I access the Vanderbilt Discount Program?
In conjunction with Vanderbilt Alumni Association, we are happy to offer Oak Leaf Society members access to the Vanderbilt Discount Program. Please sign up with Abenity and start receiving special offers from thousands of national retailers.