A Faculty on the move needs annual donor support to ensure success

Fall 2010

Our students and professors rely on annual philanthropic support to pay for necessities that are not funded through government grants and tuition fees. At present 13 per cent of alumni make these annual gifts; 87 per cent do not. Annual alumni gifts are used for such things as scholarships, fellowships, internships and job counseling services to help students succeed after graduation.

Operating funds provided through government grants and tuition fees cover day-to-day costs, such as salaries, but, by definition, government grants, research funds and designated gifts (such as endowments) are restrictive; they provide no maneuvering room, no leeway to seize opportunities for advancement in new and emerging areas of study.

Annual Fund gifts from alumni are essential to provide the seed money our Faculty requires for new, cutting-edge programs, services, equipment and facilities. Your Annual Fund gift helps the Faculty of Engineering to remain competitive and stay at the forefront of engineering education.

The Faculty of Engineering has undergone a remarkable transformation during the past five years:

  • 37 new professors have come on board;
  • PhD enrolments jumped 62%;
  • undergraduate enrolment rose 21%;
  • research funding grew by 60%;
  • and impressive initiatives have been sprouting up, such as the McGill Engineering Student Centre and teaching and research institutes in sustainable engineering and aerospace engineering

Many of these achievements are due, in part, to the generosity of our alumni. At present, approximately 13 per cent of our Faculty’s 20,000 engineering, architecture and urban planning graduates contribute to the Annual Fund.

One per cent are loyal donors who provide leadership gift amounts of $750 or more.

If the 87 per cent of alumni who are not yet contributing made a determined effort to add their support, who knows what heights might be achieved?

* Designated gifts normally come in the form of an endowment, meaning that the gift is invested to produce endowment income for a specific purpose identified by the donor. The capital is never touched. It is the annual interest income that is spent.

* The Annual Fund is money solicited on a yearly basis for ‘undesignated’ — what is sometimes termed ‘unrestricted’ — operating purposes. Designated endowment gifts provide money “to grow by”. Annual Fund revenue is money “to live by” — money for the “here and now”.

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