The University of Pennsylvania Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics (DRIA) is excited to introduce the Penn Champions Club, which will serve as the official fundraising arm of Penn’s athletic department. Formerly operating under the name “Athletics Development,” the Penn Champions Club has been meaningfully designed as part of a rebrand that will offer donors, fans and friends of Penn Athletics unparalleled experiences that embrace Penn’s rich tradition.
The emergence of the Penn Champions Club signals a critical step for Penn Athletics as it aims to continue delivering on its promise of holistically developing its student-athletes in the community, in the classroom, and in competition. A donation to the Penn Champions Club is an investment in the current and future success of Penn student-athletes.
The purpose of this initiative is rooted in four main ideas:
Creating a formal community for Penn Athletics alumni, parents and friends that provides unique experiences
Enhancing the size and strength of the Penn donor base in an effort to positively impact the Penn experience of all 1,000 student-athletes
Providing Penn Athletics a formal outlet to market and share the priorities of the department
Generating the resources needed to annually compete for championships across all 33 sports
Annual support of Penn’s 33 varsity teams will remain the top fundraising priority year-to-year; however, the Penn Champions Club will also offer its supporters automatic membership through commitments to other athletic priorities such as capital giving projects, endowment funds, and planned giving vehicles. While Penn encourages all donors to support the annual fund of their chosen sport(s) before making an additional gift to other areas of athletic need, any commitment to athletics at the $100 level or higher makes a donor eligible for the Penn Champions Club.
“Financial support from alumni, parents and friends advances the overall mission of Penn Athletics while providing student-athletes the resources they need to compete for Ivy League and NCAA championships,” said Penn’s Director of Athletics, Dr. M. Grace Calhoun said. “Key in our ability to achieve our desired academic and athletic results is creating a formal, robust community of Penn supporters. The Penn Champions Club will allow a single brand to represent the pride, passion and grit that Penn Athletics stands for.”
There will be minimal change for Penn’s athletic donor base in the short term, as the processes and procedures that supporters have grown accustomed to will remain very much the same including:
Annual fund gifts that help offset the operational costs of Penn’s 33 varsity sports can still be directed to the sport of the donor’s choosing
The Above the Rim Club (ATR) and the R. Tait McKenzie Society (RTM) will remain intact, and donors at these giving levels will still be eligible for the benefits associated with these two giving societies
The giving year will still remain July 1 through June 30 in accordance with University guidelines
A set of FAQs with detailed information on the Penn Champions Club will be mailed to active donors. In the meantime, the document can be accessed by clicking here.
Please contact the Penn Champions Club at (215) 898-4717 should you have any questions or feedback. We look forward to serving you and your families in the future.