01 Jun 2018
Q&A with Janet CahillTopics:
photo by Zhou Junxiang
Why does HBS ask alumni to give every year?
Our economic model depends on annual giving by alumni and friends. Rather than being added to the HBS endowment, current use gifts are put to use immediately to support core priorities and help launch new activities, and cover about 10 percent of the School’s annual expenses. Annual support ensures the School’s continued excellence.
Where do most alumni gifts go?
Most alumni gifts go to the HBS Fund—the School’s annual fund. While donors typically allow us to use their gifts wherever most needed at that moment, they have the option of directing their support to any one of five key priorities: student financial aid, educational innovation, pathbreaking research, global understanding, and HBS-Harvard collaborations.
How do smaller gifts make a difference?
Collectively, smaller gifts make a big difference. In FY17, for example, gifts under $1,000 to the HBS Fund added up to $1.8 million. Gifts of any size signal donors’ pride in and gratitude for their HBS experience, demonstrate their commitment to the HBS mission, and serve as a tangible vote of confidence in the School’s leadership and current direction.
How do I know that HBS is using my gifts wisely?
HBS employs a disciplined budget process—making trade-offs when necessary and focusing new investment in areas of strategic importance to extend the mission of the School. In the spirit of transparency, we invite alumni to examine the School’s finances, which are presented by CFO Rick Melnick in the School’s annual report.
Will the School continue to need alumni support after The Harvard Business School Campaign closes on June 30?
The success of the Campaign does not change our reliance on annual alumni giving for a portion of HBS’s operating revenue—supporting core priorities and helping to seed-fund new initiatives. Furthermore, guided by the belief that business is the engine that creates prosperity, both in our communities and for society, we will continue to need alumni support as we work together to address society’s most difficult challenges.
To learn more, visit alumni.hbs.edu/campaign/giving.