SUPPORT THE SWARM FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why is the Support The Swarm Fund necessary?
Georgia Tech athletics had great momentum when the sports world came to a halt in March. The financial challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic threaten that momentum. To keep the upward trajectory of Georgia Tech athletics going, we need the support of Yellow Jacket fans everywhere.
What do you mean by Georgia Tech athletics’ momentum?
When the sports world came to a halt in March, our:
- men’s basketball team had just concluded its best ACC season in 24 years;
- women’s basketball team was on the NCAA Tournament bubble;
- swimming and diving teams had five national qualifiers;
- track and field team had two national qualifiers;
- golf and women’s tennis teams were ranked in the top 10 nationally;
- baseball team was nationally ranked;
- volleyball team was beginning its spring season after winning the 2019 NIVC championship;
- football team had just landed a top-25 recruiting class for only the second time in program history.
What are the financial challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic?
Financial challenges presented by Covid-19 include:
- the significant expenses related to testing, social-distancing measures, expanded sanitation and venue technology needed to keep our student-athletes, staff and fans safe in our facilities and at our events;
- changes in our academic support and recruiting processes that remain necessary as we continue to navigate the ongoing pandemic;
- the potential for lost revenue due to limited capacity at our venues and/or a reduction in number of games played, particularly in football and/or men’s basketball.
What exactly are the financial costs?
The exact financial costs are still to be determined, based on a number of factors. However, we anticipate that the costs outlined above will be well into the millions of dollars, which is a significant hit to Georgia Tech athletics’ annual operating budget of approximately $80 million, which is already on the low end of our Atlantic Coast Conference and Power 5 peers.
Georgia Tech has an endowment of more than $2 billion and the GTAA has a scholarship endowment of more than $40 million. Why can’t that money be used to cover a short-term budget shortfall in athletics?
The Georgia Tech Athletic Association is largely financially independent from the Institute and the use of endowment funds is restricted to specified purposes. Therefore, endowment funds cannot be applied to the costs outlined above.
Georgia Tech athletics has recently raised more than $125 million through Athletics Initiative 2020. Why can’t that money be redirected to cover a short-term budget shortfall in athletics?
The vast majority of gifts to AI 2020 were earmarked by the donor for specific capital projects and scholarship endowments, and therefore those funds must be applied to those projects. Additionally, for the majority of projects, work began before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Many Georgia Tech fans are also facing financial challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic. Why is the GTAA asking fans for financial assistance during this difficult time?
Georgia Tech athletics certainly understands and appreciates that some of our most loyal fans might be experiencing financial hardship during this time. However, we have also heard from many fans that have expressed that they wish to help keep our momentum going as we navigate this difficult time together. The Support The Swarm Fund provides our great fans with a way to help our student-athletes thrive despite challenges in the short-term, and come out even stronger on the other side.
For season ticket members in particular that can’t contribute to the Support The Swarm Fund at this time, Georgia Tech athletics will gladly refund any amount due caused by limited stadium capacity and/or schedule changes and hold the season ticket member’s seat location for 2021 without penalty.
How can I contribute to the Support The Swarm Fund?
Anyone can contribute to the Support The Swarm Fund by clicking HERE to make a gift in any amount today.
The potential for lost ticket revenue due to limited capacity at our venues and/or a reduction in number of games played, particularly in football and/or men’s basketball, is one of the biggest financial challenges that Georgia Tech athletics faces in 2020-21. Therefore, options to contribute to Support The Swarm also include:
IF YOU’RE A SEASON TICKET MEMBER
You should have received an email giving you options for your season ticket investment. We hope that you will choose to retain your 2020 season tickets, and/or if you are unable to do so and are due a full or prorated refund on your season ticket investment, that you will choose to donate that refund to the Support The Swarm Fund. Season ticket members that choose either of the options above will receive a $25 discount on their 2021 season ticket purchase (cannot be combined with any other discounts or offers). Please contact your Georgia Tech athletics ticket office representative with any questions or concerns.
IF YOU’RE NOT A SEASON TICKET MEMBER
Many Georgia Tech fans are not season ticket members but buy single-game tickets to Yellow Jacket home games, particularly football and men’s basketball. If you’re not able to do so this year, please consider redirecting what you would usually spend on attending games into a donation to the Support The Swarm Fund.
Are Support The Swarm gifts tax deductible?
Yes, gifts to Support The Swarm are fully tax deductible. Please consult with your tax advisor regarding your personal tax situation.
Can I make my gift to Support The Swarm by phone?
Yes. Donations can be made by phone by calling the Alexander-Tharpe Fund office at (404) 894-5414.
Can I direct my Support The Swarm gift to a specific sport?
No. Gifts to the Support The Swarm Fund will be directed to the general GTAA budget to address the department-wide financial challenges presented by Covid-19.
Can I take a gift that I would normally make to the Athletic Scholarship Fund or a specific sport and redirect it to the Support The Swarm Fund?
We are still very much in need of gifts to the Athletic Scholarship Fund and specific sports, as those contributions are crucial to our annual operations. Therefore, we respectfully ask that any contributions to the Support The Swarm Fund be independent of annual giving to Georgia Tech athletics that you would normally plan to make in other areas.