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Please find below the judging results for your proposal.

Semi-Finalist Evaluation

Judges'' comments

Judge 1:

MIT's primary areas of activity are education and research, and income in both these areas falls far short of covering costs. Undergraduate tuition covers only about half the cost of an undergraduate education. On average, students only pay about half of tuition because of financial aid. The means that MIT absorbs about 75% of the cost of undergraduate education. PhD students are also funded. The only degree programs that generate positive cash flow are some of the Masters programs, and many departments have been slowly dropping Masters programs. Research revenues fail to cover costs because grants do not always completely cover overhead, matching funds are required to bring some research projects into MIT, and MIT provides seed funding for new areas of research. The shortfall between tuition and research revenues and costs, which is about $800 million of an annual budget of $2.2 billion (not including Lincoln Labs), is covered by gifts which largely come from alums, and income from the endowment which is largely funded by alumni.
- Developing support from alumni philanthropy is a long term proposition. The most significant contributions from alumni come after they have reached the peak of their careers and fulfilled their familial obligations, which is usually 30 or more years after they graduated. The major challenge in generating philanthropic support from alumni is in maintaining relationships over that period of time. The notion of a one time donation is incredibly ill-advised.
- Based on my past experience as Chair of the MIT Annual Fund and on the MIT Corporation Development Committee, these kinds of suggestion usually come from people who are not at all philanthropically active.

Judge 2:

The MITAA tried this several years ago by stating that "if you make a five year pledge and pay it off on schedule, no one from the MITAA Annual Fund will solicit you for additional donations". That may have worked because the MITAA is in control of solicitations for the Annual Fund but there are so many other organizations, classes, departments, affinity groups, etc. soliciting money that no one can guarantee only one solicitation per year. I applaud what you are trying to do but I don't give you much chance of success since it is virtually impossible to get a soliciting organization to NOT solicit someone whose name and contact information they have and who has given to something before.

I suggest you talk to the MITAA Annual Fund staff and the Leadership Giving Office in Resource Development as well as a solicitor for a Department or a School to determine if there is any way to make this idea feasible. It is a great idea but tough to execute.

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