Just halfway through its seven year run, The Campaign for MIT now exceeds the 90 percent mark of its $1.5 billion goal — a phenomenal accomplishment for the largest campaign in the history of MIT and one of the largest in the history of higher education. As of May 1, the Campaign has raised $1.4 billion.
“Donors of every amount deserve credit for the Campaign’s tremendous achievement,” says Beth Garvin, director of the Alumni Fund, MIT’s annual giving program. The largest gift to the Campaign, in fact, will be the amount that MIT raises in annual giving, which will total about $230 million over the course of the Campaign. Garvin emphasizes the powerful cumulative effect of giving at levels between $100 and $10,000. “Last year, for example, donors of under $100 gave a combined total of nearly $500,000. We would need an additional $15 million in our endowment to produce that income,” says Garvin.
The figures on donor participation illustrate the breadth of Campaign support. Since the Campaign’s start, 53,444 alumni, faculty, students, parents and friends have taken part. Of these donors, 152 have contributed $1 million or more, 459 between $100,000 and $1 million, and 52,833 in the under $100,000 range.
“MIT is fortunate to have such strong commitments from donors who are capable of making large, transforming gifts,” says Garvin. “But while these mega-gifts do things like build buildings and endow professorships, we depend just as deeply on the generosity of donors who give at lower levels to sustain the excellence of MIT’s ongoing work.”
Philanthropy, in fact, contributes significantly to the health of MIT basics like fellowship and scholarship support, the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, faculty research, and student life.
According to Garvin, “All gifts are critical. They help keep lab equipment up-to-date and make it possible for students to travel to professional conferences. They enable us to buy athletic equipment, support the costs of maintaining musical instruments for the concert band, support visiting scholars and artists, or buy books and journal subscriptions. MIT wouldn’t be MIT without this ongoing generosity.
“The most important point is that donors participate in a way that is most meaningful to them,” says Garvin. “If something at MIT changed their lives, or if there is a program or activity that they feel needs and deserves their support, that’s where they should direct their gifts.”