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MIT Campaign for a Better World

Institute unites to help solve global problems.

Capital campaigns are important rites of passage for many nonprofits because they help sustain day-to-day activities while building for the future. MIT, which in May announced its $5 billion MIT Campaign for a Better World, aims even higher: to support a healthy future for the Institute and for the world.

Postdoctoral associate Grace Han, PhD ’15, conducts research on organic solar thermal fuels in Jeffrey Grossman’s materials science and engineering lab. The Campaign for a Better World will fund a wide range of research at MIT.

“At MIT, we focus on inventing the future,” says President L. Rafael Reif. “Since MIT was founded to help a young nation seize its future as an industrial powerhouse, the people of MIT have been busy solving hard problems and answering big questions, and they have left society transformed. Today, everyone at MIT is hacking societal problems. And we see humanity’s pressing global challenges as invitations to action.”

Support for the campaign is strong, says MIT Corporation chair Robert B. Millard ’73. “The MIT Corporation is deeply committed to a robust future for MIT. This campaign is designed to make sure that MIT continues as one of the greatest educational and research enterprises humanity has ever produced,” says Millard. “And we want MIT to be known as a force for good, an inventor of solutions to difficult problems, and a launching pad for people who work for the betterment of humankind.” 

Campaign Names Six Priorities

  • The MIT Campaign for a Better World is addressing the formidable challenges facing the world through concerted efforts in these areas:

  • 1. Discovery Science

    Transforming the world through fundamental scientific research

  • 2. Health of the Planet

    Addressing critical environmental and sustainability challenges through science, technology, design, management, and policy

  • 3. Human Health

    Defining the future of health through advances in basic science and engineering—informed by expertise in disciplines such as management, economics, and political science

  • 4. Innovation and Entrepreneurship

    Accelerating the journey from idea to impact

  • 5. Teaching, Learning, and Living

    Reimagining education for the 21st-century learner

  • 6. The MIT Core

    Attracting extraordinary students and faculty and providing them with the resources they need to thrive

    Learn more at and #MITBetterWorld

Early results are positive. In the March quarterly report detailing pre-launch giving, Resource Development reported that campaign gifts totaled $2.6 billion—more than half the goal. Campaign activities are planned for at least five years. All gifts to the Institute will be counted in the total, and bequests that meet specific criteria will also count.

All alumni have an opportunity to support this vision and make a positive impact. Participation from alumni at all levels is a significant focus—as is boosting the unrestricted contributions that allow the Institute to meet urgent needs and respond nimbly to emerging opportunities.

“Every day, MIT makes major contributions toward solving the world’s greatest challenges,” says Robert Scalea ’77, chair of the Annual Fund Board. “Through continuous innovation, the Institute is improving the quality of our lives and those of generations to come. Each of us who has benefited from MIT has a responsibility in this campaign. I encourage all alumni to make a gift every year, so that together we can ensure the Institute has the financial strength to reach new heights in education, basic science research, and transformational research—and unleash this powerful force for good.”

The announcement of the public phase of the Campaign for a Better World coincided with Moving Day events celebrating the centennial of MIT’s arrival in Cambridge. Starting this fall, MIT will take the campaign on the road with events for alumni in New York on October 20, 2016, San Francisco on November 2, 2016, and more locales worldwide.

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