A total of $3,880 from freshmen, sophomores, and juniors was collected over the course of the two-week Underclassmen Giving Campaign. The first week of the campaign, held last October, brought in 460 gifts and $2,500. The remaining money, donated by 207 students, was raised last week during the second part of the UGC, bringing the total underclassmen participation rate to 21 percent, up from 15 percent after the first week.
The goal for the program was 20 percent underclassmen participation, which was exceeded, thanks in part to the high freshman participation rate, UGC and Senior Gift Advisor Rosheen B. Kavanagh said. Over the course of the two weeks, 30 percent of the Class of 2010 participated, followed by 20 percent for the Class of 2009 and 14 percent for the Class of 2008.
The UGC, a pilot program started by the MIT Alumni Association, was designed to help develop a sense of philanthropy among the underclassmen at MIT, Kavanagh said last fall. The money went to fund Public Service Center programs. According to Kavanagh, based on the success of this year's UGC pilot, the MIT Alumni Association is planning to continue the fundraising effort each year.
The money raised during the first week of the UGC held last October went to fund PSC expedition grants, given to students who want to work on service projects related to international development in other countries, for the Independent Activities Period. According to PSC Director Sally Susnowitz, students are usually given approximately $1,000 for travel expenses or to help with their service projects.
"Every cent was used by the PSC," Kavanagh said. The funding helped pay for four student expeditions this IAP. (More information about the projects can be found at http://giving.mit.edu/underclassmen-campaign/iap.html.) The money raised last week will help fund summer projects, Kavanagh said.
Some students last fall expressed unwillingness to contribute to UGC, citing high tuition costs and the general lack of money for college students. Kavanagh acknowledged that 100 percent participation was very unlikely but said she believes that more people will donate once they understand where the money is going. She also said that UGC was asking for small amounts. The average donation over the course of the two weeks was $5.
During last week's UGC, 94 donors from the Class of 2010 gave $454.83, 56 donors from the Class of 2009 gave $445.47, and 57 donors from the Class of 2008 gave $363, Kavanagh said.