Frequently asked questions

About Community Giving at MIT

What is Community Giving at MIT?
Community Giving at MIT is a workplace giving program that focuses on local 501(c)(3) health and human service agencies. This Institute-wide program provides MIT faculty, staff, and retirees with an opportunity to make their charitable donations via payroll deductions, check, credit card, or securities.

The campaign runs from November 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014. However, we gratefully accept donations year round and can pro-rate payroll deductions during the year.

Where is Community Giving at MIT located?
The program is administered by and located in the Community Services Office, E38-234.

What are the benefits of making my charitable donations through Community Giving at MIT?

  • Convenient payroll deductions — spread your donation over 2015
  • Your selected agency will receive 100% of your donation — MIT doesn't deduct any administrative or credit card fees
  • Donations made collectively by MIT faculty, staff, and retirees make a greater impact for non-profits
  • Streamline paperwork and donate online at https://community-giving.mit.edu

How much is raised by Community Giving at MIT?
The 2013-14 campaign raised a total of $285,159. The MIT Community Service Fund received $81,872 in donations; the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley $112,860; and Your favorite local charity program $90,427.

An additional $2,500 was raised through used book fairs on campus and Lincoln Laboratory and department bake sales.

When do charities receive my donation?
One-time gifts made by check or credit card are sent to the recipient organization within 30 days.

Donations made by payroll deduction to the MIT Community Service Fund and the United Way are transferred monthly to the respective organization.

An MIT check representing donations made by payroll deduction to a nonprofit within the "Your favorite local charity" program is sent three times per year to the recipient organization. The check disbursement schedule is

  • May 2015: represents payroll deductions made January-April 2015
  • September 2015: represents payroll deductions made May-August 2015
  • January 2016: represents payroll deductions made September-December 2015

Back to Top

Partner and favorite charities

What charities can I give to?
Community Giving at MIT focuses on local health and human service agencies. You may donate to:

  • MIT Community Service Fund
  • United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley
  • Your favorite local health or human service agency

What is the MIT Community Service Fund?
The MIT Community Service Fund (CSF) is MIT's internal foundation. Your donation supports the public service initiatives of MIT faculty, staff, students, and retirees. In addition to these creative activities, the CSF also provides funding to support the enduring success of MIT's community partners.

What is the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley?
The United Way focuses on these impact areas: children, youth, and families. You may also designate your gift to the Community Impact Fund which includes 185 partner agencies .

What is the "Your favorite local charity" program?
You decide which local 501(c)(3) health or human services agency to support. MIT faculty, staff, and retirees have selected 350 different local health or human services agencies that address the large issues we care about or provide comfort or care on a more individual level. View the growing list of employee selected charities. Spotlight your favorite charity by making a contribution and we'll add it to the list.

Back to Top

Donation restrictions

What organizations aren't supported through Community Giving at MIT?
The focus of Community Giving at MIT is to support local 501(c)(3) health and human service agencies. Over the years, we have found that many people would like to donate to faith-based organizations, schools, libraries, and environmental or animal organizations, and we make every effort to facilitate the philanthropic priorities of employees who choose to make those donations through MIT. If one of these types of organizations or charities is important to you, please designate your donation so it meets the criteria for inclusion in the Community Giving at MIT program. We encourage employees to find out whether their favorite organizations have special funds that support

  • Service animal training and programming
  • Food pantries and nutrition services
  • Youth, senior, or other service programs
  • Community outreach
  • Counseling
  • Education
  • Emergency or short-term shelter services

Organizations that don't fall within the parameters of Community Giving at MIT include building or restoration projects for faith-based institutions or libraries, public radio or television, unrestricted donations to alumni organizations, animal rescue or spay/neuter programs, and political parties.

Ways to give

How can I make my donation?
You may make your donation online at https://community-giving.mit.edu or you may print a donation form .

You may make your donation via payroll deductions or as a one-time gift by check, credit card, or securities. Payroll deductions begin in January 2015. Your payroll deduction will be pro-rated if your donation is received after the January payroll.

Credit card donations must be made online at https://community-giving.mit.edu .

What is the sustainer program?
A donor who selects payroll deduction can enroll in the sustainer program so that your pledge made through payroll deduction automatically renews yearly. You can change or discontinue your payroll deduction at any time.

Back to Top

Matching gifts

Does MIT have a matching gift program?
MIT doesn't match charitable gifts because MIT is a nonprofit institution.

If you have a spouse/partner, we encourage you to check to see if his/her employer has a matching gift program. Some employers match gifts made by the employee's spouse/partner.

Back to Top

Donor tax acknowledgment

What information do I need to know about donor tax acknowledgment requirements?
You must obtain a receipt in order to claim a charitable tax deduction on your federal tax return. Unless you opt out, the recipient organization will send you a receipt for gifts paid by check, credit card or securities. For gifts made by payroll deduction, save a copy of your on-line or printed donation form and year end pay stub that sets forth the amount withheld for payment through Community Giving at MIT.

Back to Top

Donor recognition

Will my name be listed as a donor on the web or in printed materials?
Names of donors are listed on the MIT Annual Fund's yearly participation rosters on the MIT donor recognition site to recognize gifts made to the MIT Community Service Fund or other MIT charitable organizations. You may opt out of having your name listed on the MIT donor recognition site.

Back to Top

Fundraisers and events

What fundraisers or events are upcoming? What organizations do they support?
Our annual used book sale will be held on Friday, October 17 and Monday, October 20 9am-5pm in the Bush Room (10-105). Totes will be located around campus for book donations. Proceeds from book sales last year went to benefit the MIT Community Service Fund and the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, and together, we raised over $2,500.

A drive to collect winter clothing, linens, and towels will be held in December. Items will be donated to CASPAR, an MIT community partner that provides services to those affected by substance abuse disorders in Cambridge and Somerville.

We also sponsor an on-going cell phone collection. Drop off or send your used cell phone to the Community Services Office, Room E38-234. Proceeds from the donations help support the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC), which provides free, comprehensive services to survivors of sexual violence. To date, MIT has donated 250 cell phones.

Back to Top

Volunteer opportunities

How can I volunteer?
Please visit the MIT Pubic Service Center which organizes a wide breadth of volunteer opportunities for the MIT community. The PSC is happy to meet with you to help you figure out what you'd like to do. Whether you want help sorting out your ideas, narrowing your focus, or planning a service project of your own, the PSC welcomes the opportunity to sit down and talk with you. Email volunteering@mit.edu to set up a time to meet.

Sign up for the PSC weekly email bulletin that announces upcoming community service activities. Included in the bulletin are both one-time and ongoing volunteer opportunities along with various funded public service activities. The United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley is also a good resource to learn about volunteer opportunities across Massachusetts.

Back to Top

Have a question not answered in these pages? Email us or call 617-253-7914.

Donate Now! to the Community Giving at MITCamp Kesem, a CSF grant recipient, is a five-day overnight summer camp for children who have a parent who died from cancer, is currently in treatment, or is in remission. The national program was brought to MIT by Caroline Huang and Vivian Tang.

ReachOut is a tutoring and mentoring program for Cambridge children.ReachOut, a CSF grant recipient, recruits, trains, and matches MIT tutors with Cambridge children identified as needing help with reading.
(Photo: Chris Corales)

VPFun Committee organized its annual canned food collection for the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House in Cambridge.Barbara Nickerson and the VPFun Committee organized its annual canned food collection for the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House in Cambridge.

MIT students and staff volunteered at Cradles to Crayons for a day of community service held during IAP '13.Department ambassador and MIT CSF board member Marcia Tench-Moria along with MIT students and staff volunteered at Cradles to Crayons for a day of community service held during IAP '13.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology