Giving Matters

At UMKC School of Law, we help students become outstanding lawyers, inspiring leaders and principled citizens able to make a difference.

Why giving matters

Your gift, no matter the size, when combined with gifts of other alumni and friends makes a significant impact on the teaching and learning by enabling the School of Law to offer extraordinary experiences for our students and enhance the teaching of our faculty.

Most of our alumni make their annual gifts to the Law Foundation Annual Fund. More than 72 percent of each contributed dollar supports students, provides for faculty research grants and also pays for the printing and mailing of Res Ipsa, the twice-a-year alumni publication. The other 28 percent is used to support fundraising initiatives and administration of the Law Foundation endowment.

Honor Roll of Giving

Dean’s Circle of Leadership Giving       

President Harry S. Truman Legacy Gift Society

Areas to support

Interested in making a gift to the School of Law but not sure what to support? Here's a breakdown of different ways your contribution — no matter how big or small —can make a difference. 

The Law Foundation Annual Fund is an annual campaign whereby gifts to the fund are directed by the Law Foundation Board of Trustees to support several areas of need at the School of law. More than 90 percent of the gifts made to the law school each year are directed to the Law Foundation Annual Fund.

Currently, the annual fund supports student competitions, general support for the law school, faculty scholar projects and publishing and mailing of over 6,000 copies of Res Ipsa, the twice-a-year magazine for law alumni. Funds are also used for expenses associated with managing the Law Foundation’s $8.4 million endowment and fundraising expenses.

Gifts for scholarships are of the highest need at the School of Law. More than 75 percent of our students qualify for financial aid. However, with limited scholarship funds, we are only able to assist about 25 percent.

Additionally, we are in a very competitive market for students, with three other law schools in our area. Unfortunately, some great students who want to come to UMKC are lured away because of very generous scholarship offerings at these other institutions.

To meet our goal as a premier urban public law school, attention and resource are being devoted to the areas of advocacy, law and entrepreneurship and family law. Funds are sought for a variety of purposes for each of these program areas. These include funding possibilities such as sponsoring trial teams, underwriting programs in entrepreneurship and support for the family law clinic.

Ways to give

There are many options of how your gift can be made and where your gift can be directed.

You are welcome and encouraged to discuss these giving options by contacting Marie Dispenza, executive director of the UMKC Law Foundation, by phone at 816-235-6328 or email.

One of the simplest ways to give is online through our secure online giving form. Payment may be made by MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express. 

To receive a charitable contribution for a specific tax year, your transaction must be completed by midnight (CST) on December 31.

Make a gift online

You can give over the phone by calling 816-235-1645 to talk with a representative of the UMKC Law Foundation.

To receive a charitable contribution for a specific tax year, your gift must be completed by 1 p.m. (CST) on December 31, or the last working day of the month prior to December 31.

You can give to the University of Missouri - Kansas City Law Foundation by using your donor advised fund.  The Law Foundation's tax identification number is 23-7069620, and checks can be mailed to the UMKC Law Foundation, 500 E. 52nd Street, Kansas City, MO 64110.

A donor advised fund is an easy way to support the UMKC Law Foundation.  Some of the largest holders of donor advised funds are the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, Schwab Charitable, Fidelity, and Vanguard.

  • Checks: Make checks payable to the UMKC Law Foundation. If you wish to support a specific area or program, please note your designation in the memo section of your check or provide other written instructions.
    • To receive a charitable contribution for a specific tax year, your gift must be postmarked by midnight on December 31.  
  • Credit cards: UMKC Law Foundation accepts MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express.
  • Mailing Address:
    UMKC Law Foundation
    School of Law, Room 1-203
    500 E 52nd St.
    Kansas City, MO 64110-2446

A pledge is a promise to make a future financial commitment. Pledges may be made in a single payment or installments. Major gift pledges are usually paid within five years.

Gifts of appreciated stock or IRA transfers often are the best tax-advantaged gift to make. For assistance, please contact the Law Foundation at 816-235-6328.

For information about charitable trusts, gift annuities and bequests please contact the Law Foundation at 816-235-6328.

For information on establishing a monthly draft from your checking or savings account, please contact the Law Foundation at 816-235-6328.

An endowment is a permanent fund held by the UMKC Law Foundation. When establishing an endowment, the donor may stipulate what the endowment will be used for at the School of Law. When the donor and the administration of the law school agree to the terms of the endowment, an endowment agreement is prepared and it is signed by the donor and the President of the UMKC School of Law Foundation.

For more information about establishing an endowment, please contact Marie Dispenza, Director of Major Gifts, School of Law, at 816-235-6328 or

Recognizing your philanthropy

Our alumni and friends also make a difference. Through the years and every day, they demonstrate their passionate support. Because of this support, the School of Law is excelling.

Since 1959, the UMKC Law Foundation has provided the leadership for private gifts and alumni engagement. Support for students, faculty, law library, clinics and building renovations have all been made possible through the generosity of alumni and friends. The goal has always been to strive for an even better law school.

Whether a member of the Dean’s Circle of Leadership Giving, Truman Legacy Society or the Whittaker Giving Society, your investment in our students, faculty and programs make a difference in our mission to achieve great things as Kansas City’s Law School.

The Dean’s Circle recognizes annual donors of $1,000 or more to the Law Foundation of the University of Missouri–Kansas City. Members of the Dean’s Circle set an example of philanthropy and inspire others to also make a difference with a leadership gift.

Membership in the Dean’s Circle is granted when gifts equal $1,000 or more during the fiscal year. Gifts may be directed to any program or fund that supports the School of Law and may be made with a single gift of $1,000 or more or several gifts throughout the year. Giving totals are counted based on the Law Foundation’s fiscal year (July 1 to June 30).

Annual Gift Level Recognition

annual gift level recognition




$5,000 to $9,999


$2,500 to $4,999


$1,000 to $2,499

Private support is the cornerstone for enhancing legal education at the UMKC School of Law. Alumni and friends who demonstrate a long-term and sustained commitment to the school with their private support are recognized as members of the Whittaker Giving Society. All cash gifts received and receipted to benefit the School of Law are counted.

This society honors UMKC law alumnus Charles Evans Whittaker (JD ‘24), United States Supreme Court Justice from 1957 to 1962. UMKC will also recognize donors as members of the UMKC Cornerstone Society.


Diamond Gavel


Platinum Gavel

$500,000 to $999,999

Silver Gavel

$100,000 to $249,999

Crystal Gavel

$50,000 to $99,999

Emerald Gavel

$25,000 to $49,999

The Truman Legacy Society represents the past, present and future of the UMKC School of Law. This society honors alumni and friends who have made plans to provide an enduring legacy of support for the law school through their estate plans. 

Membership in the Truman Legacy Society is granted to those who make a future commitment to the School of Law through an estate gift, such as a bequest in a will or trust, charitable remainder trust, gift annuity, or gift of life insurance.

The society is named for Harry S. Truman, the 33rd President of the United States and an alumnus of the UMKC School of Law.