Gifts in memory or celebration
Both memorial and celebratory gifts to MIT can accomplish multiple goals. They can celebrate a personal milestone, honor or commemorate a loved one—and, of course, further the Institute’s service to society.
No matter what their size, gifts to commemorate a family member, classmate, faculty member, or friend can be designated toward any existing MIT program or fund—perhaps one to which the decedent directed gifts during his or her lifetime—or left to the discretion of the Institute.
Memorial gifts can also be used to name benches, trees and planters for gifts totaling $3,000, $5,000 and $10,000, respectively.
You might also choose to establish a named memorial fund or a named memorial endowed fund. This can be done at the time of death or at any time following. Even if you are not yet sure how you wish to designate the use of the new fund, you can establish a pending memorial gift account and decide upon a specific purpose within two years.
Should you wish to include this information in an obituary, here is some sample wording:
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to MIT for the [name of fund]. Checks should be payable to MIT and mailed to Bonny Kellermann ‘72, Director of Memorial Gifts; 600 Memorial Drive, W98-500; Cambridge, MA 02139. Please include a note stating that your gift is in memory of [name].
Notification to Families of Memorial Gifts
Upon receipt of a memorial gift, MIT’s Gift Office sends the donor a note of appreciation and acknowledgement for tax purposes. The Memorial Gifts Office reports the names and addresses of all donors to a designated family member or friend.
Past In Memoriam Gifts
- View a list of individuals commemorated with a gift to MIT during fiscal year 2012 (July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012).
- View lists of those who were memorialized in recent, previous years.
Establishing a Memorial Gift Account
At the time of death, families may choose to suggest in the obituary that donations be sent to MIT for a memorial fund.
If you have a specfic purpose in mind for the fund, you should discuss this with the Director of Memorial Gifts. However, it is possible to establish a memorial fund in the name of the decedent and decide on a specfic purpose at a later time. After several months, when the stream of gifts has slowed, the Director of the Office of Memorial Gifts reviews with the family the amount on hand, discusses the likelihood of additional gifts, and helps them choose a designated use of the fund appropriate for the gifts received and expected. If no specific designation is decided upon after two years, the fund, in the name of the person being memorialized, may be used for general support of the Institute.
For More Information
If you wish to set up a commemorative fund to which you and/or others can direct memorial gifts, or if you have questions, please contact:
Bonny Kellermann ‘72
Director of Memorial Gifts
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Families can establish a new endowed memorial fund with gifts totaling $50,000 or more. Please note that specific purposes may require higher amounts to be practical as an endowment fund. With an endowed fund, MIT will spend only a portion of the fund’s income annually, reinvesting the remainder, thereby increasing the market value of the fund over time. The fund will exist in perpetuity, which serves as a particularly nice tribute to the person being memorialized.
For example, one endowed named memorial fund might open with $50,000 in gifts and be designated for the support of the Institute’s unrestricted resources. Another, with gifts of $100,000 or more could establish a named endowed partial scholarship or a full endowed scholarship fund with $500,000. Gifts totaling $1,000,000 or more might fund an endowed fellowship, while still another with $50,000 or more might establish an endowment fund to support MIT’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).
In many cases, memorial funds can have positive tax implications. MIT’s staff can discuss options with you, including appreciated securities, charitable remainder trusts, and charitable gift annuities.
Named endowed funds have existed at MIT since 1884, when a fund was created in memory of William Barton Rogers, the founder and first president of MIT.
$3,000 would cover the cost to purchase, install and maintain a bench. It is expected that the lifetime of the bench would be at least 25 years. A donation of this size would allow for a plaque to be placed on the bench. If the bench needs to be relocated or replaced in less than 25 years, then the plaque would be relocated to a new bench or a new location.
$5,000 would cover the cost to purchase, plant, and maintain a tree. It is expected that the lifetime of such a tree would be at least 25 years. A donation of $5K size would allow for a plaque to be placed at the base of the tree. If there was a need to relocate the tree or if the tree had to be replaced in less than 25 years, the plaque would be moved to a new tree or new location.
$10,000 would cover the cost to purchase, install, maintain, and provide annual plants for at least 10 years for a planter. A donation of this size would allow for a plaque to be mounted on the planter. If the planter needs to be relocated or replaced in less than 10 years, then the plaque would be relocated to a new planter or new location.
Celebratory gifts to MIT, like memorial gifts, can accomplish multiple goals. They can celebrate a personal milestone — such as a birthday, wedding, anniversary, graduation, or retirement — while at the same time furthering the Institute’s service to society. Such gifts will be recorded in honor of the person being celebrated.
Just like memorial gifts, celebratory gifts — no matter what their size — can be designated toward a specific MIT program or fund. Or, their use may be left to the discretion of the Institute. If there are sufficient resources, donors can also establish a named fund to honor a family member, classmate, faculty member, or friend.
If setting up a named fund is in your plans, please contact:
Bonny Kellermann ‘72
Director of Special Constituencies
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