Dear CFA Member and Friends of Cornell Football,

I am very excited to announce the “It’s Time” Challenge, a major fundraising initiative, to all the caretakers of Cornell Football. This endeavor was created after a thorough review of the current state of the program, with a focus on what was needed to dramatically improve performance. The result of the review was a firm commitment to move the program forward and establish a sustainable and longstanding winning tradition, and it begins with this Challenge.

As a result of the review, the University and the CFA agreed to increase the operating budget capacity so that our program has the resources to not just consistently compete, but to win the Ivy League championship and become a Marquee NCAA 1AA football program. A larger operating budget is imperative, as our competitors Ivy football programs have increased the financial commitment to their programs.

This endeavor has been coined the “It’s Time” Challenge, and when successfully completed, will result in a 30% increase over the 2017 operating budget.

Due to the generosity of some passionate and committed fellow alumni (who wish to remain anonymous), “It’s Time” will provide a dollar-for-dollar match, up to an additional $300,000 per year, against every dollar the CFA raises above our current level of support for the program for the next five years. Effectively, this will potentially allow us to increase the CFA commitment level up to $600,000 annually and to $3,000,000 over the next five years! Additionally, the University has agreed to maintain their current funding level, with yearly increases to their support possible as well.

Importantly, this is a success-based initiative, and the Challenge comes with firm two conditions that must be met to continue. These are:

  1. The team must achieve a minimum .500 cumulative winning percentage over the five year period.
  2. The team must win one Ivy League Title (outright or shared) during the same five year period.

Over the last four years, I’ve spoken with many former players, alumni, friends of Cornell Football and my own teammates. One thing I heard clearly is that you’re frustrated, but that you all want Cornell Football to establish a winning tradition in the Ivy League and become a sustainable marquis program. One that you can be proud of.

There is only one way to make this happen. As former players, the successes we’ve collectively achieved were a result of many factors, but they include our Cornell education and plain old hard work – the meaning of which was honed in lessons learned on the playing field and applied to our lives. I’m asking all of you for some of that hard work again.

I am specifically asking you for your financial support to help us meet the Challenge to make Cornell Football great, by donating right now to the CFA. We need all of you to make sure we maximize our ability to provide support to our program with our “It’s Time” matching funds.

We encourage that gifts be made yearly based on a five year commitment, but you can certainly make a gift on a year-by-year basis. Additionally, please verify if your company has an employee matching gifts program for charitable deductions as this will help to maximize our efforts. Any amount will help - all that we ask is that you give this Challenge a chance to make a difference for Cornell Football.

I hope you share my belief that we owe this to the current young men proudly wearing the “C” as a way to give back to a program that gave us a lifetime of memories and helped shape us into the people we are today. Please make your donation today as I truly believe that together we can and will build a Championship Football Program! “It’s Time!”

Finally, I am happy to answer any specific questions about the challenge or how the funds raised will be applied. Additionally, please see the attached document for further insight into the position of the CFA Board and why “It’s Time” now.

"It's Time" Challenge Progress

Single Year Progress (2018)
Goal per year - $300,000
5 Year Progress (2018-2023)
5 Year Goal - $1.5 Million


Doug Pratt '84
CFA Chairman
(636) 262-0048