Why Annual Giving Matters

Top 5 Myths about Fundraising at RIT

#5. RIT only contacts me to ask for money.
Each year, RIT's alumni relations office hosts more than 350 events and sends thousands of communications to our alumni body to celebrate Tiger Pride with you and share the great news of what's happening with your alma mater. The university also provides support to more than 31 alumni chapters around the U.S., and of course, welcomes alumni and their families back for Brick City Homecoming and Imagine RIT every year. In addition to the official alumni relations efforts, connections with many of our alumni through their academic departments, former faculty members, athletic teams and co-curricular activities groups remain strong for decades after graduation. In fact, what we hear most often from alumni is that we send them TOO MUCH information throughout the year.

#4. My gift isn't large enough to mean anything to RIT.
EVERY gift, no matter the amount, helps RIT to maintain the level of excellence so many of our alumni enjoyed in years past. In fact, today it takes many, many gifts from alumni at any university to support ongoing needs. When your gifts are joined with those of other alumni, they create a pool of funds that are critical to the university's annual operations, and can often make a big difference to individuals at RIT. For example:

  • Ten alumni giving $10 can pay for a new, much-needed book in Wallace Library
  • Twenty alumni giving $20 can provide funding for a student research project
  • Thirty alumni giving $30 can support the book and supplies costs of a student for a full semester
  • Fifty alumni giving $50 can provide a one-year scholarship to a student in any degree program

In addition, gifts from alumni matter because of their impact on our national rankings. Again, regardless of the amount, national ranking organizations consider any gift from an alumnus as a statement on the quality of the education. If RIT could significantly increase its alumni giving rate, our national rankings would soar, and that would, in turn, increase the value of our alumni's degrees.

#3. RIT will use my gift for something other than what I want.
When you designate your gift to a particular area of the university, RIT cannot use that money for other purposes. 100 percent of the gift must be spent to support that specified area. Every gift can be given with a specific designation, regardless of the amount. Our online and hard-copy gift forms provide methods for you to specify where you would like your gift to go. If you need help to make sure your wishes for your gift are known, contact the Office of Development at 585-475-5500, or at giving@rit.edu.

#2. I paid tuition, so I don't have to make a gift.
Tuition covers approximately 50 percent of the cost of operating the university that we all know today. And because of the increased need for the university to provide university-funded financial aid to current students to make an RIT education affordable, the amount of tuition available for all operations (academic, campus life, research, etc.), has not increased despite the increase in the number of students attending RIT. In fact, it is true that the tuition paid at ANY time in the history of the university, did not cover the cost of students attending RIT, because the aggregate tuition for all students attending did not cover the entire budget for the university. For RIT to provide the classes, facilities, student support and student life options, and residential needs of our students, the university must seek substantial additional funding beyond students' tuition.

And, no one "has" to make a gift to RIT. Making a gift is a personal decision that RIT supporters make for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is to acknowledge the quality of education and amount of support they received as students.

#1. RIT doesn't need my money.
Well, technically, you're right. RIT doesn't need your money; our STUDENTS need your money. Your gifts to RIT support scholarships for our students, 75 percent of whom need some form of financial aid to attend RIT. Your gifts support student projects and student research initiatives that help students apply their classroom knowledge in our experiential learning environment. Gifts also support student travel and living expenses during co-op assignments because the salaries of co-op jobs today often do not cover the full cost of the student's expenses, much less do they provide the funds needed for their next semester's tuition. And your gifts help pay for the outstanding faculty, facilities, and campus atmosphere that make an RIT education so valuable to our students.

We hope we've answered some of the questions that many of our alumni have about making their annual gift.

The Fund for RIT kicked off RIT's annual appeal campaign in September with ROAR Day. Whether you want to acknowledge what RIT did for you as a student, want to help today's students, want to further innovation, big ideas and industry-changing research, or support a stronger, more successful RIT into the future, please consider making a gift online at www.rit.edu/makeagift or when you receive your Fund for RIT appeal in the mail.

Thank you for showing your Tiger Pride by supporting the Fund for RIT!