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The Fund for Excellence

Our supporters are passionate about specific varsity sports programs, but in order to fundamentally transform Columbia Athletics, a strong base of unified donor support is critical. That is why we ask all our donors who give to individual varsity sports programs to consider making an additional contribution to The Fund for Excellence annually.

Not one of our varsity sports programs is independent from support from Columbia Athletics; every team benefits from Departmental support, some to the tune of 70% or more. This model of fundraising lets our alumni, parents, and friends choose to give to varsity sports programs individually, while also supporting the essential overall enrichment projects that benefit our student-athlete community as a whole.

Make your gift to The Fund for Excellence and join the Varsity C Club today.

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The Fund for Excellence supports the whole student-athlete experience, including:

  • Sports Psychology to help student-athletes with mental health and maximize their potential in all aspects of their life.
  • Career development programs, including networking events and job/internship placement.
  • Nutrition fueling station for student-athletes to grab protein shakes, bars, fruit, and other snacks.
  • Leadership training for student-athletes.
  • Tutoring and other academic services for student-athletes.

Varsity Sports Programs

Our varsity sports programs each have an annual fundraising goal determined by the coaches' needs for the fiscal year.

Your annual participation helps us enhance the student-athlete experience by increasing sports program operating budgets, funding new training gear and equipment, and enhancing the programs' recruiting budgets, as well as any other projects the coach wishes to sponsor.


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Coach Retention and Recruitment

Attracting and retaining top coaching talent is one of the key drivers of success for an intercollegiate athletics program. As our programs achieve excellence both in the Ivy League and on the national stage, our coaches garner more attention from rival athletics programs-even as they manage the high cost of living in New York City.

To keep pace with the accelerating "cost of success," athletics programs are turning to donor support to help underwrite retention programs for top coaches. Columbia has established dedicated funds for Coach Recruitment and Retention for Baseball, Football, and Men's Basketball, but the need extends to all 31 varsity sports, many of which are supporting second and third assistant coach salaries exclusively through fundraised dollars.


Endowments are gifts that keep on giving. Endowments are invested by the University, and a portion of the earnings are spun off to provide funding for the purpose of your choice. The remaining earnings are reinvested to grow the principal and increase support in perpetuity.

As the cost of success increases, building endowment funding that is competitive with our Ivy League peers is crucial to the future of Columbia Athletics. Endowments may be established for specific sports programs, coaching positions, or general Athletics support. Gifts may be pledged and paid over multiple years.

Special Projects

As special needs arise that are outside of the scope of our varsity sports programs' annual funds or current endowments, our donors generously step up to provide extraordinary experiences to our student-athletes. Examples of special projects include renovating a locker room, a team's training trip, investments in new technology, and so much more.