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Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Vanderbilt’s fiscal year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30.

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.

No. Gifts of any amount count toward 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.

No. The Oak Leaf Society recognizes all Vanderbilt donors who give for two or more consecutive fiscal years.

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

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.

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.

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.

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. If you are interested in buying back years of your giving history, please contact us at (866) 882-FUND (3863) or oakleafsociety@vanderbilt.edu. You may also buy back years when you make a gift online by indicating which years you would like to buy back in the "special comments" field of the online giving form. 

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 oakleafsociety@vanderbilt.edu or contact the Gift Processing Office at (615) 322-2979.

Yes. You can be in multiple donor societies at the same time. For a list of other Vanderbilt donor societies visit https://giving.vanderbilt.edu/annualgiving/donor-societies.php

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.