Donors and benefactors invest in the Jefferson Scholars Foundation’s mission in a number of different ways. Here are a few of the most common ways they extend their support.


General Support

Not all of the Foundation’s supporters are in a position to name an endowed Jefferson Scholarship, Fellowship or Professorship. The Foundation invites these donors to make a one-time or a recurring gift to the Foundation at a level that suits their financial situation best. All gifts, no matter the size, are invested in the Foundation’s endowment. That means that all gifts have a lasting impact on the Foundation. They can be made at any size, they can be unrestricted, they can be restricted to a particular program (i.e. Jefferson Scholars Program or the Jefferson Fellows Program) or they can be restricted to support one of the Foundation’s 63 regions. 

Naming Opportunities

The Jefferson Scholars Foundation offers its benefactors the opportunity to name Scholarships, Fellowships, and Professorships. The current minimum funding level for a named Jefferson Scholarship is $500,000, but it will increase to $1 million on January 1, 2023. Donors who make a commitment before 2023 can lock in at a lower amount. Darden Fellowships have a naming level of $1,000,000. The naming level for Professorships is $5,000,000.

Many of the Foundation’s benefactors have extended pledges over several years knowing that it will take time for them to achieve their goal.  Others have family and friends contribute to their fund with the hopes that over a period of time and with a certain number of commitments, they get their Scholarship, Fellowship or Professorship fully funded.  Benefactors who are interested in this type of long-term investment receive status reports on their giving each year and are invited to many of the Foundation’s student-donor events throughout the year. For more information, please contact Pat Ingram, Director of Development.

Planned Giving

Planned gifts are often used as part of an overall strategy to meet an individual’s particular financial, philanthropic, and estate planning needs. From bequests and life insurance policies to gift annuities and charitable remainder trusts, there are multiple ways to extend support to the Jefferson Scholars Foundation while retaining personal financial benefits. To discuss options that are right for you and your family or for more information, please contact Kevin Murray, Director of Gift Planning.



The Foundation supports world-class graduate students through Jefferson Fellowships and National Fellowships.

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Distinguished Professorships

Learn more about the Foundation’s Professorship Program.

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The Jefferson Scholarship and the Walentas Scholarship are the premier undergraduate scholarships at the University of Virginia.

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