FAQs

Answers to common questions about the Bates Fund and volunteering.


Q: How is Bates Fund money used?

A: Bates Fund budget relieving gifts provide support for the fundamental aspects of a Bates education: everything from faculty salaries and curriculum development to athletic team travel and dance performances. Examples of Bates Fund support for this fiscal year include:

Financial Aid: Nearly half our students receive financial aid, and the average aid package for the class of 2018 is $37,396.  All financial aid at Bates is awarded on the basis of demonstrated financial need.  Bates meets 100 percent of a calculated financial need and this year has a need-based financial aid budget of about $33.2 million.

Instruction and Research: The Bates Fund helps compensate 200+ top-in-their-field faculty members, allowing Bates to maintain a 10:1 student to faculty ratio.

Academic Support: The Bates Fund assists in funding for necessary library staffing, technology, and holdings to support 350,000 library visits by students, faculty, and guests.

Student Services: The Bates Fund supports increased Career Development Center offerings and events—such as one-on-one counseling, employer information sessions, internships, and workshops on topics ranging from networking to résumé building.

Q: What types of gifts count toward the Bates Fund?

A: All unrestricted gifts. There are a few categories within the Bates Fund to which donors may designate their gift — scholarships, academic excellence, the arts, library, residential life, and Friends of Bates Athletics.

Gifts made to endowed funds, capital projects, or other restricted funds are not included in the Bates Fund.

Q: Why does a small gift matter to Bates? What’s the big deal about participation?

A:  There are several reasons why participation matters to Bates!

  • A gift to Bates shows that you care about your Bates experience and believe in the power of higher education for generations to come.
  • Our rate of alumni participation is one factor considered by key college rankings across the country. While no ranking system can fully represent the experience of any college, they are an indicator of a college’s status and value.
  • Bates’ status as an elite institution benefits all alumni who are in the job market.  Having Bates on one’s résumé helps open doors and opportunities.
  • Federal and corporate grant-making foundations take note of a college’s participation rate, so even a small gift can help Bates secure critical outside funding.

Q: What is the Mount David Society?

A: The Mount David Society (MDS) is the leadership giving society of the Bates Fund and a premiere giving program for the college. MDS members make annual commitments to Bates of $1,855 of more (or for BOLD Alumni, $100 for each year since their graduation) and their philanthropy is essential to the Bates Fund and critical to our overall fundraising success. It is notable that just over 10% of donors to Bates last year gave at the MDS level, however their support was almost 80% of the Bates Fund overall.

For more information please visit the Mount David Society website.

Q: Bates is asking me to “reconnect with my classmates and reconnect them with Bates.” What does that mean?

A: Even though you are calling your classmate to ask for money, this is really a conversation about the Bates community and experience.  Before contacting a classmate, visit bates.edu/news to obtain information about current campus news.  Alumni who are knowledgeable about Bates today are much more likely to support the college — they will recognize that they are supporting the present and creating the future.

Q: How should I respond to questions and concerns regarding the cost of the Bates education?

A: Bates’ commitment to affordability and accessibility is a direct extension of the ethical vision that inspired the college’s founders: an education that is open to all will ensure that future leaders and visionaries emerge from every walk of life and are able to collaborate with people representing diverse cultures and viewpoints.  Bates prides itself on providing the highest quality educational opportunities for students of all backgrounds. A Bates education is expensive to afford and expensive to provide.  That said, to reduce Bates’ tuition dependency, we need the support of alumni and parents.

Since Clayton Spencer’s inauguration as the college’s eighth president, creation of opportunities for and access to a Bates education has been a central focus.  President Spencer has been a leading policy maker and administrator working for the reformation of college financial aid.  Consequently, Bates’ commitment to financial aid has become an even stronger priority.

Q: Why should I use the Volunteer Online Tool?

A: The Volunteer Online Tool (OLT) is a very useful resource for volunteers for the following reasons:

1. It allows volunteers to access all information about their assignments through one convenient online portal.

2. It is electronic and, thus, saves Bates the cost of printing and mailing paper information to volunteers.

3. The OLT also lets you know almost immediately one of your assignees makes a gift.

4. The OLT allows you to share  contact outcomes, including refusals and pledges, with Bates in real time..

5. It also allows you to share updated information about an assignee with Bates (contact info, health issues, etc.)

6. Finally, it allows you to easily ask a Bates staff member questions.

Q: What is the pledge follow-up process?

A: Once a specified pledge amount (e.g., $100) is entered into the Volunteer Online Tool or otherwise reported to the college, the alumni or parent will be sent a pledge reminder in the mail later in the year, if the gift has not yet been made.  Alumni or parents who make specified pledges will not receive any further solicitations, only pledge reminders.

Once an unspecified pledge is entered into the Volunteer Online Tool or otherwise reported to the college, the alumnus/a or parent will continue to receive solicitation mailings regarding the Bates Fund.  In other words, for these purposes, an unspecified pledge is treated as if no pledge had been made.

Have a question that isn’t answered? Email volunteer@bates.edu and a Bates Fund staff member will follow up.