MIT Reports to the President 1997-98


For the third consecutive year, private support to the Institute set new records. Built on a tradition of partnership with all of MIT's donor constituencies, this past year's dramatic growth in gifts from alumni and friends, and continued support from corporations and foundations, provided a strong beginning for the first year of the silent phase of a new capital campaign.

The capital campaign planned for the years ahead will be the fifth in MIT's history. Following past practice, the campaign will encompass a two year quiet phase of planning and fund raising, followed by a five year public effort. In general, the keys to the success of such initiatives are built on the strength of principal giving, defined at MIT as gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations of $1M or more, as well as broad based support from alumni and friends at all levels of participation. Campaigns serve as a vehicle to help institutions articulate goals and secure funding for critically important priorities, and in so doing, raise the philanthropic sights of the donors.

Several internal efforts helped lay the groundwork for this first campaign year. With the completion of the academic priority setting process by the Provost, the deans, the department heads and the faculty, Resource Development moved ahead on several fronts with regard to structure and organization of a campaign. Fund raising counsel from Marts and Lundy was retained to help advise Resource Development in the early preparatory stages; the position of Director of Resource Development was created to oversee development operations; and the conversion of the database neared completion. Working groups developed key strategic recommendations regarding campaign timing, goal, size of the nucleus fund, potential of the prospect pool, volunteer structure, and the critical next steps to complete in the twelve to eighteen months remaining before the public announcement. As the work in each of these areas continues into FY 99, the final timeline, goal and size of the nucleus fund will be determined in collaboration with the Alumni/ae Association, and with the guidance of the senior officers, the Executive Committee and the Corporation.

During the year, there were 13 promotions in Resource Development (6 men and 7 women, including 1 Asian American woman). In addition, 11 open staff positions were filled including 6 women and 1 Asian American. Resource Development continued its effort to fill positions with qualified women and minority candidates by working closely with Personnel and others to identify new resources of applicants. Once again, Resource Development hosted a minority intern from CASE (Council for the Advancement and Support of Education) which will continue into FY 99.

Private support for Fiscal Year l998 totaled $143.9 million, including the following: $137.1 million in gifts, grants, and bequests, and $6.8 million in support through membership in the Industrial Liaison Program. The total compares with $133.6 million in 1997, $130.9 million in 1996, $108.9 million in 1995, and $94.5 million in l994. Gifts-in-kind for the past year (principally gifts of equipment) were valued at $8.3 million.

Sources of gifts for Fiscal Year l998 were: alumni, $42 million; non-alumni friends, $38 million; corporations, corporate foundations, and trade associations, $30 million; foundations and charitable trusts, $25.9 million; and others, $1.2 million.

Donors designated expendable and endowed funds as follows: unrestricted, $16.8 million; departments, $49.7 million; faculty salaries, $9.8 million; graduate student aid, $7.3 million; undergraduate student aid, $14 million; building construction funds, $31 million; and other funds $8.5 million.

More information about giving opportunities at MIT can be found on the World Wide Web at the following URL:

Barbara G. Stowe


Directed by H.E. (George) Ramonat, the Office of Individual Giving, in partnership with the senior officers, the Corporation Development Committee, key volunteers, faculty, and the reunion gift program, continued to cultivate, solicit, and steward individual prospects and donors of the Institute.

The Corporation Development Committee assisted the senior officers and staffs of Resource Development and the Alumni Association in developing an overall campaign strategy and timetable at its annual meeting in November 1997 and at the Advisory Group meeting in April 1998.

The field officers, in addition to working to increase the individual gift stream, also engaged in activities to better prepare the Institute to execute a major campaign over the next six years. The entire fund raising staff participated in task forces dedicated to campaign planning. Of greatest importance were efforts undertaken to increase the compliment of working volunteers, analyze the potential of the prospect pool, and create development opportunities enabling individuals to contribute approximately $1 billion to MIT during the course of the campaign.

H. E. Ramonat


Directed by Lucy Miller, this year the efforts of the Office of Principal Gifts were dedicated to deepening and broadening the pool of donors at the principal gift level in preparation for a campaign. The office continued to support the President's Council, which was established last year by President Vest to gather the perspectives of a small group of close alumni/ae and friends on the directions MIT is taking as it moves into the next century. Two meetings of the President's Council took place in this fiscal year.

With the support of this office and the Office of Individual Giving, the President visited over 80 alumni/ae and friends to share his views on the need for a capital campaign and to seek their reactions to the probable priorities for a campaign. This gathered important perspectives for Resource Development and the President about shaping campaign themes and priorities.

The staff of the office made a concerted effort to increase the number of prospects for gifts of over $1M during a campaign and succeeded in increasing the qualified prospect pool by almost 20%.

Several important multi-million dollar commitments were received this year in support of the Computing, Information and Intelligence Sciences building, as well as the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Lucy V. Miller


This office, known as COMDOR, is headed by Elizabeth Harding. It provides editorial and event planning support for the fund raising staff and coordinates major gift stewardship at MIT.

In a year long partnership with the President, COMDOR laid the groundwork for developing a draft campaign prospectus. Through an analysis of Institute-wide speeches, articles, publications and internal reports, key thematic messages were identified and discussed with senior officers, the faculty, key alumni and volunteers.

COMDOR continued to publish Spectrum, a 16-page tabloid newspaper with a circulation of over 30,000 MIT donors, faculty and staff. A World Wide Web site titled, Giving to MIT, went on-line in the fall of 1997. The staff once again produced eight full-page advertisements in Technology Review profiling alumni/ae who have established life income funds.

Stewardship activities included the coordination of letters of appreciation from the President and the Chairman to major donors to the Institute. In addition, the staff continued to serve as a clearinghouse for the approval and production of all plaques mounted within MIT to commemorate either gifts or the special service of faculty and staff.

COMDOR continued to refine and expand systematic stewardship programs for scholarships and UROP and to facilitate fund raising for financial aid. An overall assessment of the desirability and effectiveness of a donor recognition program for major donors was initiated.

The Office of Events within COMDOR helped to organize 60 Resource Development events, including spring and fall Campus Visits, a series that introduces donors and prospective donors to current research and educational programs in two-day visits to campus.

Elizabeth T. Harding


Under the direction of Shelley Brown, the Office of Development Research and Systems continued to provide research and information systems support to Resource Development.

The office focused on several major objectives for this fiscal year: a successful conversion to a new alumni database, scheduled for implementation at the start of Fiscal Year 1999; a comprehensive research effort to expand and refine the pool of potential major donors to the Institute; an analysis of the Institute's fund raising potential for the next seven years; and, a technology strategy for the department. These objectives were accomplished as part of a multi-year strategy to ready the department for the upcoming capital campaign.

Along with the initiatives geared toward campaign readiness, work as usual continued in support of ongoing fund raising efforts. The staff prepared over 260 research backups for senior officer development activity, and provided research support to the staff of the Office of Individual Giving. They also developed several new reports documenting MIT's impact on particular geographic areas and industries, including a comprehensive analysis of the role played by the research university in the development of the Internet. The programming staff divided their time between conversion activity and maintaining the current database, with particular responsibility for the gift and prospect systems.

Shelley Brown


Under the direction of John S. Wilson, gifts from private foundations for this fiscal year totaled more than $27M million, up 9% from FY 97, and continued to provide significant support for MIT's educational and research programs. Major grants or pledges were received in support of the Starr Asian Internship Program, the W.M. Keck Foundation Neural Prosthesis Research Center, the Lemelson-MIT Awards Program, Howard Hughes Institute Biomedical Research Program, a Whitaker Foundation Biomedical Engineering Special Opportunities Award, the V. Kann Rasmussen Energy Choices Fund, and the Museum Art Loan Project.

The Office of School Development Services (OSDS) provided research and support for the fund raising efforts of the five schools and the Office of Academic Development, while continuing to maintain and update the full series of academic department profiles for each school and running an FYI series for Resource Development. Additional selected efforts included: supporting the annual meeting of the Alliance for Global Sustainability; helping to oversee the inauguration of the Dean's Council for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and organizing the School's first telethon and mailing to benefit the Chinese Language and Culture Program; managing the fund raising program for the Teaching Laboratory for Complex Systems of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics in the School of Engineering; managing an event to honor the corporate donor and inaugural recipients of a new fellowship in Mathematics for the School of Science; soliciting four alumni on behalf of the Sloan School of Management and coordinating a staff of eight volunteers for the fall 1997 Campus Visit; and researching and qualifying corporate prospects to participate in the first brainstorming session for the House_n (house of the future) consortium for the School of Architecture.

John S. Wilson, Jr.


Under the direction of Acting Director Karl F. Koster, the Office of Corporate Relations (OCR) supported efforts of the faculty and senior administrators to forge new, corporate partnerships; staffed Institute and international initiatives; identified and pursued corporate support for discrete MIT research and educational programs; and maintained the health of the Industrial Liaison Program (ILP) which will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary in FY 99. OCR continued to benchmark the competition and assess internal strengths and weaknesses as part of a formal strategic planning process. In FY98, corporate cash gifts totaled $30 million; ILP revenues were $6.8 million; and OCR staff helped raise an additional $30 million in revenues for the Institute.

Through support of senior faculty and administrative leaders, the development of strategic partnerships with key corporations continued. Ford Motor Company signed a major, 5-year agreement to fund the establishment of an environmental consortium and various research activities. NTT signed a multi-year, multi-million dollar research agreement to support innovative research in artificial intelligence and computer science. Earlier partnership agreements with Amgen and Merck showed growing levels of commitment, while a number of other partnership agreements were explored and negotiated.

OCR also continued to support Institute initiatives on the environment, for product development, in support of buildings, etc. As a result, Norsk Hydro joined the Environmental Challenges Consortium at $500,000 per year; three new member companies committed $1.5 million over 5 years to the Center for Innovation and Product Development; Lockheed-Martin pledged $1 million for the CIIS building; and support for multi-million dollar programs in Argentina, Brazil, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, and Thailand was provided.

On behalf of MIT consortia and faculty, OCR worked to establish collaborative relationships with corporations. Selected results include: a $1 million commitment from TDK to sponsor 3DP Technology research over the next 2 years; two agreements between Saudi Aramco and the Earth Resources Laboratory totaling $1.5 million; and Telia's five year commitment to the Media Lab's Digital Life Consortium. OCR also worked to develop contacts and programs with smaller, local, high-tech companies, although developing financially self-supporting programs that provide perceived value to this market segment over the short-term remain problematic.

The Industrial Liaison Program (ILP) remains a mechanism for companies, at a reasonable fee, to participate broadly in the MIT community while allowing the faculty to access and leverage these relationships on behalf of MIT. With a focus on customer service and increasing the membership base, fourteen new companies from around the world joined the ILP in FY 98. Industry sectors ranged from telecommunications and electronics to specialty chemicals and materials.

More information about the Office of Corporate Relations/ILP can be found on the World Wide Web at the following URL:

Karl F. Koster

MIT Reports to the President 1997-98