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14.0 Research Policies and Public and Private Support

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14.6 Private Support

Each year, substantial gift support is brought into the Institute from private sources (individuals, foundations, and corporations). These funds are philanthropic rather than contractual in nature and are generated primarily through activities coordinated by the Office of the Vice President for Resource Development.

Resource Development is charged with identifying sources and seeking support for both expendable and endowment monies. Resource Development staff — as well as staff members in the Association of Alumni and Alumnae of MIT and several of the Institute's Schools — are also available to assist faculty members in seeking gift support. Fundraising efforts for individual Schools are closely coordinated with the overall Resource Development operation.

Projects for which gift support is sought must be among the general Institute funding priorities established by the Council on Resources of the Institute or must be individually approved by the faculty member's department head, dean, and, where appropriate, the Provost, in accordance with established procedures. After obtaining academic approval, faculty members seeking gift support from industry, foundations, or individuals for a project must clear any approach with the Vice President for Resource Development through the Director of Development Services or their School development officer, who will also coordinate, as appropriate, with the Director of Corporate Relations. This clearance procedure is designed to avoid conflict with existing agreements or with pending approaches or solicitations to the individual, company, or foundation involved. Wherever possible, the Development Office and other members of the Resource Development staff will provide assistance in identifying prospects and in making approaches.

Unless specifically modified, these procedures remain in effect during Institute-wide capital campaigns or other major funding efforts.

14.6.1 Plaques and Naming Spaces

In order to recognize major financial support to the Institute, it is possible to name a space after the individual or organizational donor. In such cases, the following guidelines and approval process should be followed:

  1. Authorization for naming a space requires the approval of the appropriate department head and/or senior officer, and then the President and the Executive Committee of the Corporation.
  2. The approximate size of a gift required to name a space will be roughly one-half of its private construction or renovation cost, with a floor of $50,000.
  3. The magnitude of a gift needed to name large buildings or other substantial projects may be subject to special considerations and, as appropriate, may be referred by the Executive Committee to the Corporation.
  4. Rooms already in existence are not normally eligible for naming gifts, although rooms that are being newly constructed or substantially renovated are available.
  5. Wording for any plaques designating a named space should be developed in conjunction with, and have the approval of, the Office of Donor Relations in Resource Development.
  6. The design, fabrication, and placement of such plaques must be done in conjunction with a designated interior designer in Physical Plant.
  7. To the extent possible, the names of spaces should be worded in a manner that will not restrict the future use of the space.
  8. When a space change or renovation affects a named space, the Office of Donor Relations in Resource Development should review the fundraising and stewardship issues and recommend if and how the name should be preserved.
  9. All major construction or renovation projects should include an appropriate contingency budget for plaques that will mark named spaces. For plaques that do not name spaces, but recognize the support or accomplishments of individuals or organizations, individual departments or the Office of the Corporation will cover the costs, as appropriate.

On occasion, it may be possible to name a space after an individual who has provided extraordinary service to the Institute. In such a case, the above guidelines and approval process (with the exception of the gift levels) should be followed.

14.6.2 Plaques That Do Not Name Spaces

It is also possible to display a plaque that provides recognition of donors to a project but does not name a space after them. A critical consideration is that such plaques will not be displayed permanently, but only for the life of the project.

In such cases, the following guidelines and approval process should be followed:

  1. Approval to display such plaques should be given by the appropriate department or laboratory head and senior officer.
  2. Wording for the plaques should be developed in conjunction with, and have the approval of, the Office of Donor Relations in Resource Development.
  3. The design, fabrication, and placement of such plaques must be done in conjunction with a designated interior designer in Physical Plant.
  4. In general, plaques should not be considered for projects that have a total cost of less than $25,000.

It may also be possible to recognize an individual's service to the Institute by displaying a plaque. This would require the approval of the appropriate department or laboratory head and senior officer. Design, fabrication, and placement of any such plaques must be done in conjunction with a designated interior designer in Physical Plant.

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