Steve Donahue, the John R. Rockwell Head Coach of Men's Basketball

Pictured: Steve Donahue, the John R. Rockwell Head Coach of Men's Basketball

Endowment Giving

Gifts to endowments provide lasting financial stability and help Penn Athletics plan for the future, providing opportunities for student-athletes to train, grow, and compete in an environment.  

How it Works

Endowments are long-term accounts that require a minimum balance. The principal is invested and the income earned from the investment is partially distributed in accordance with guidelines established by the donor and the Athletic Department. Currently, Penn Athletics has a programmatic spending rate of 5.0%.  Net returns from the investment earned over the 5.0% spending rate are reinvested back into the endowment, increasing the endowment pool’s overall market value.

For example, a $1M endowment that produced a rate of return of 8% in year one, would yield $50,000 (5.0% spending rate), less $10,000 from the University's indirect cost recovery policy*, leaving $40,000 to be distributed to the Athletic Department for operational expenses. $30,000 (8% yield – 5.0% spending rate) would then be reinvested back into the endowment pool leaving a balance of $1,030,000 minus any fees. 

*Indirect Cost Recovery Policy - Endowment and program gift funds established by donor gifts support direct expenditures related to the specific restricted gift purpose; however indirect costs are not supported directly by the restricted endowment and program gift funds. Income from endowment gifts is subject to the University’s indirect cost recovery policy, which provides that a portion of the income (currently 20%) be retained by the beneficiary school or center to be applied to offset the full costs associated with the specific restricted gift purpose. 

Endowments are critical to the long-term success of Penn Athletics because they provide a steady source of income that maintains its value in perpetuity.


Endowment Opportunities

To help continue our tradition of success in the upper echelons of Ivy League competition, your endowment support can go toward the personnel and programs that guide and shape our student-athletes. Below are several types of endowments that support Penn Athletics.

Endowed Coaching Positions

The endowment of a head coaching position creates stability of funding for that position and plays a significant role in the department’s ability to attract and retain the best coaches in the country in an increasingly competitive environment. The income from this endowment helps defray the salary and other related expenses of the head coach for a particular sport. Supporting our coaches enriches the direction and guidance our student-athletes receive and allows us to secure the top talent needed to win. Below are a list of endowed coaching positions at Penn. 

Existing Coaching Endowments

  • Baseball - W. Joseph Blood Head Coach
  • Men's Basketball - John R. Rockwell Head Coach
  • Crew - Nicholas B. Paumgarten Head Coach, Men's Heavyweight
  • Crew - Fred W. Leonard Head Coach, Men's Lightweight
  • Crew - John R. Rockwell Assistant Coach, Men's Lightweight
  • Fencing - Young Family Head Coach of Fencing
  • Football - George A. Munger Head Coach
  • Football - Clarence S. Rockwell, VMD Assistant Football Coach
  • Men's Lacrosse - James H. Greene, Jr. Head Coach
  • Men's Soccer - James C. Gentle Head Coach
  • Women's Soccer - Douglas N. Brush Head Coach
  • Men's Tennis - Albert G. Molloy Head Coach
  • Track & Field - James P. Tuppeny/Betty J. Costanza Director
  • Wrestling - Roger Reina Head Coach


Available Head Coaching Endowment Opportunities

  • Basketball, Women's
  • Cheer
  • Crew, Women's
  • Field Hockey
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis, Women's
  • Volleyball


Programmatic Endowment

An endowment fund can be established and designated for a specific sport or program. Each gift of endowment for a sport or program is invested and earns income for the operating budget of that area in perpetuity.

Student-Athlete Experience Endowment

By establishing a Student-Athlete Experience Endowment, your support can cover the full student-athlete expierence, so that Penn Athletics can focus on what matters: their education, training, and development.

To offset the costs associated with varsity athletic programs as well as position Penn Athletics for consistent future success, Penn Athletics offers donors the opportunity to endow the entirety or a portion of the costs of a single student-athlete to participate in one of Penn’s 33 varsity programs for an entire year.Funds from the endowment do not support financial aid or the students themselves, but rather operational costs such as travel, equipment, game day operations, nutrition, sports performance, academic support, etc. for the sport of the donor’s choosing.

By making commitments at levels ranging from $50,000 to $1 million, donors will have the opportunity to name their endowment, receive a performance report and be paired with a student-athlete from their chosen sport, with a chance to meet their sponsored student at special events. Supporters pledging over $500,000 will also receive exclusive team-related experiences and increased formal opportunities to connect with their student.

Penn offers many ways to establish endowments, all of which can be customized to help Penn Athletics and the donor achieve important goals. To learn more how you can make a permanent impact on Penn Athletics, please contact the Penn Champions Club at (215) 898-4717.


Penn Coaches Fund

Supporting our coaches enriches the direction and guidance our student-athletes receive and allows us to secure the top talent needed to win.

The Penn Coaches Fund endowment supports performance based incentives and retention funds for head and assistant coaches to reward and retain coaches for championship performance. To learn more about supporting the Penn Coaches Fund, contact Tim Folan with the Penn Champions Club at or 215-898-4717.