Foundation & Development

The Francis Marion University Education Foundation was organized in 1974 to provide a means for soliciting and accepting substantial gifts of money or property in order to build an endowment fund that would promote the educational purpose and welfare of Francis Marion University.

Purpose & Structure

The Francis Marion University Education Foundation allows the university to meet a number of diverse needs that would be impossible to meet with state funds alone. Its primary focus has been scholarship support for students.

The Foundation also assists faculty members by granting funds for professional development and sponsored various lecture series and cultural events.

The Francis Marion University Education Foundation is governed by an independent 35-member volunteer board of directors, with additional honorary and ex-officio directors, including the president of the university and other key administrators. Through its board and committee structure, the Foundation gives friends and alumni a personal involvement in the fundraising and asset management program.

The Francis Marion University Education Foundation is located in the Stokes Administration Building on the FMU campus. Contact us Monday through Friday at 843-661-1195. Hours may vary slightly in the summer.

Ways to Give

Gifts of Cash

Many gifts made to the Education Foundation are in the form of cash. This is a particularly convenient method for end-of-the-year giving. Make sure that the check and envelope, if mailed, are dated or postmarked by December 31 if you wish to take advantage of the tax benefits within that calendar year. This will assure the gift is deductible in that year, although it may not be received until the following year.


Rather than making a cash gift, you may wish to pledge your contribution over a number of years. Please check with the  Education Foundation for more information.


A gift of appreciated securities brings the donor greater tax savings than gifts of cash. You avoid paying capital gains on the increased value of the stock. You receive a charitable deduction for the full fair market value of the stock when the gift is made. In order to do this, your stock generally must have been held long-term (more than one year).

Real Estate

A gift of real estate provides considerable savings in capital gains tax due upon the sale of appreciated property. At the same time you receive a charitable deduction for the full market value of the property subject to the limitations described under the Securities section.

Life Insurance

The cash-surrendered value of a life insurance policy is immediately tax deductible. By designating the Education Foundation as both the owner and beneficiary of a life insurance policy, premiums are tax deductible to the donor. This is an easy way to provide a sizable gift.

Matching Gifts

Many employers have corporate matching gift programs. You can double – sometimes triple – your gift through matching gift programs. Check with your company’s personnel or human resource office about their matching gift program.

Honorary and Memorial Gifts

A gift in memory or in honor of a professor, student, alumnus, or friend is a special way to recognize a person’s life and accomplishments. When an honorary or memorial gift is received, the Education Foundation notifies the honoree or next of kin and the gift is administered as the contributor specifies. Please provide the Education Foundation with the name and addresses of those you would like notified.

Split-Interest Charitable Trusts and Annuities

A donor’s property of virtually any description may be used to establish a charitable trust or annuity. With a charitable lead trust, the FMU Education Foundation receives the income for a period selected by the donor, after which the trust corpus is returned to the donor or this family. With a charitable remainder trust, the donated asset could be sold without incurring the capital gains tax and the donor would receive the trust’s income for his lifetime. Upon his death, the assets would pass to the FMU Education Foundation.

Bequests by Will

The Education Foundation can be named as a beneficiary in Wills to receive specific gifts of funds or property, or can be named as a residual beneficiary, or the donor’s Will may set up a split-interest trust for the joint benefit of the Education Foundation and the donor’s family, of the nature described above. Because of its taxable nature, it is particularly advantageous to name the Education Foundation as a beneficiary of one’s IRA.

Gift Categories

Francis Marion Society
Pee Dee Society
Founders Club
Crescent Society
Leadership Club
President’s Club
Century Club
FMU Annual Fund Logo

Annual Fund

You have the opportunity to impact the University in a significant and powerful way through your support of the FM Annual Fund. When you give, your gift will be combined with gifts from other alumni, parents, and friends. Your participation does even more than provide opportunities to students; it also shows your desire to see the University advance. Every gift, no matter how large or small, makes a difference.

Gifts to the FM Annual Fund support student scholarships, instructional technology, library acquisitions, and faculty development.

Your gift support designated for the FM Annual Fund continues Francis Marion University’s vision of building an institution committed to quality education at affordable costs. And the success of our fundraising campaign is a testament to the commitment of our alumni, parents, friends, corporations, and foundations.

Ask if your employer will match your gift. Many companies will match employee gifts made to educational institutions, making the impact of your gift even more significant.

Benefits of Giving:

When you make a contribution, you will receive:
– invitations to special events;
– subscriptions to the Francis Marion View magazine and other publications;
– recognition in the annual Honor Roll of Donors; and,
– the joy of knowing that you are supporting and making a difference at Francis Marion University


Francis Marion University and the Francis Marion University Foundation express their sincere appreciation to all of the individuals, businesses, and organizations that have contributed funds for scholarships. Through this generosity, the best and brightest students may be recruited and retained, and students with financial need may receive assistance.

Institutional Scholarships are made available in varying amounts to students through the generosity and outstanding community commitment of businesses, individuals, and organizations including the Francis Marion University Foundation, the FMU Fund, and the Swamp Fox Club. Through these gifts, students receive needed scholarships and financial assistance.

Unless otherwise noted, full-time enrollment is required to receive a scholarship. Written applications are due by March 1 annually for most scholarships for continuing students. Freshman scholarship deadlines vary from year to year. The Admissions Office awards freshman scholarships to students who have outstanding academic records, standardized test scores, and who demonstrate evidence of exemplary leadership in high school.

Scholarship amounts vary.

Students interested in Institutional Scholarships are also encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). For scholarship purposes, the FAFSA is used as a financial statement and not to determine need per the Federal student assistance definition.

Annual Scholarships

Annually funded scholarships provide an important source of funds for academically-talented students and students with financial need. Scholarships are made available in varying amounts to students through the generosity and outstanding community commitment of businesses, individuals, and organizations. Donors make a year-by-year commitment to provide these scholarships.

Endowed Scholarships

Endowed scholarships provide a permanent source of financial assistance to deserving students. Through the endowment process, scholarship funds continue to grow over the years, thereby assisting future students in perpetuity. Scholarships are endowed through the Francis Marion University Foundation.

Other Ways to Support FMU

The Performing Arts Center

You can support the FMU Performing Arts Center by joining the Friends of the PAC. One of our goals at the PAC is to ensure that the arts remain accessible to all residents of our region. Donations from our “Friends” will assist the PAC in supporting attendance during the season, subsidizing performances so that our base pricing can remain low.

The Swamp Fox Club

Contributions go directly to the Francis Marion University Education Foundation – Athletic Scholarship Fund. All money raised benefits every sport at FMU – 14 in all – seven for women and seven for men. Your support not only provides educational and athletic opportunities to worthy young people, but provides you valuable benefits as well.


Lauren Stanton

Lauren B. Stanton

Executive Director

Office: SAB 111
Phone: 843-661-1200

photo of Lee Daugherty

D. Lee Daugherty

Director of Alumni Affairs and Annual Giving

Office: SAB 111
Phone: 843-661-1228

Ashley N. Cartrette

Administrative Manager - Foundation

Office: SAB 111
Phone: 843-661-1295

FMU Foundation Board of Directors


Mr. Timothy F. Norwood, Sr., – Chairman
Mr. James A. Harrell – Vice Chair
Ms. Jane Huggins – Secretary/Treasurer
Mr. Frank J. “Buddy” Brand
Mr. Mark Buyck, Jr.
Mr. L. Frank Elmore
Mr. Alan L. Gibbons
Ms. Kathy Heustess
Mr. F.  “Schipp” Johnston
Ms. Christie Lucas
Mr. Hubbard W. “Donnie” McDonald, Jr.
Mr. James T. Schofield
Mr. E. Hood Temple
Mr. J. Brent Tiller
Mr. Paul Seward
Honorary and Emeritus Members
Dr. Sompong Kraikit, Honorary
Mr. William W. Coleman, Jr., Honorary
Senator Hugh K. Leatherman, Honorary
Dr. J. Lorin Mason, Jr., Emeritus
Mr. R. Weston Patterson, Emeritus
Mr. Billy Powers, Honorary
Mr. Reamer King, Honorary

Tax Status

The Francis Marion University Education Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization. Under IRS guidelines, the Education Foundation is classified as a private foundation operated for the benefit of a state university as defined in the IRS code of 1986 section 170 (B) 1 (A) (iv).
Contributions to the University through the Education Foundation are tax deductible. The Foundation exists solely to raise, receive, and manage private gifts for the advancement and benefit of Francis Marion University. The Francis Marion University Education Foundation does not receive public funds, such as state or federal grants.

Gifts to the Foundation fall into two categories: restricted and unrestricted. Most gifts are restricted to certain purposes, as agreed to by the donors, the Foundation, and the University. For example, gifts can be directed to a named scholarship, a specific academic department, or an endowed professorship. Unrestricted gifts are used for University priorities, programs, and services not supported by state funds or other sources.

For additional information, contact:
Lauren StantonExecutive Director

Francis Marion University Education Foundation
P.O. Box 100547
Florence, SC 29502
Phone: 843-661-1295 | Fax: 843-661-1293