Answers to Common Questions about the Bates Fund and Volunteering.
- Why should I use the Volunteer Online Tool, aka the Garnet Gateway system?
- How is Bates Fund money used?
- What types of gifts are included in the Bates Fund?
- How does Bates count Reunion gifts?
- Why does a small gift matter to Bates? What’s the big deal about participation?
- Bates is asking me to “reconnect with my classmates and reconnect them with Bates.” What does that mean?
- People I’m calling frequently bring up the cost of a Bates education and the articles about Bates being the most expensive school in the country. How should I respond to their concerns and questions?
- If a classmate makes a pledge to me, for instance, “I will give $100 to the Bates Fund this fiscal year”, will he/she receive follow up mail from the College? If someone doesn’t pledge, but says “I will think about it”, or “I’ll make a donation, but don’t know how much yet”, will he/she receive a prompt in the mail, as well?
(1) It allows volunteers to access information about their assignments at a single location from anywhere there is internet access.
(2) It is electronic and, thus, saves Bates the cost of printing and mailing paper information to class agents.
(3) The OLT also lets you know almost immediately when a gift from one of your assignees has been received by Bates.
(4) The OLT allows you to provide important information to Bates in real time on such things as the outcome of your contacts with classmates, including refusals, pledges, and other outcomes.
(5) It also allows you to update Bates on changed information about an assignee.
(6) Finally, it allows you to easily ask questions of Bates in connection with the Class Agent Program.
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 annual aid package is $38,200. All financial aid at Bates is awarded on the basis of demonstrated financial need. Need-based grants in the current year range from $1,000 to more than $57,000. Bates meets 100 percent of a calculated financial need and this year has a need-based financial aid budget of about $30.6 million.
Instruction and Research: 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.
A: All alumni gifts made to the College count for alumni participation, which is a very important measure of Bates support. The Bates Fund includes all gifts that will be used for the following academic year.
Generally, Bates Fund gifts are donations that provide unrestricted support to the College. A few areas of “restricted” giving included in the Bates Fund are: scholarships, faculty support, library, and student life. Also, donations to specific athletic teams or the Friends of Bates Athletics are budget additive, used in the year given and are treated as part of the Bates Fund.
Donors who give $5,000 or more may name a current-use scholarship as a part of the Bates Fund’s “Named Scholars Program.” They are considered Bates Fund donations because 100% of the gift will be used the following academic year to support the College’s financial aid budget.
Most gifts that restrict usage, however, are not included in the Bates Fund. Examples of gifts of this nature are donations made exclusively to endowed funds or capital projects.
A: Reunion year class gift totals are calculated slightly differently than in non-Reunion years. Think of total gifts for a Reunion class as a powerful and symbolic gesture of philanthropy that represents the contributions of your class in the most all-inclusive way possible. We want to recognize all major gifts and pledges made in the years leading up to one’s Reunion as well as all gifts made during the actual year of celebration.
The following gifts count toward Reunion class gift totals:
- All GIFTS made to Bates in the current Reunion year.
- All multi-year PLEDGES made to Bates in the current Reunion year.
- All GIFTS of or exceeding $10,000 made since the last Reunion. (50th Reunion only: All GIFTS of any size made since the last Reunion.)
- All multi-year PLEDGES to Bates made since the last Reunion, less payments received within current Reunion year.
- Face value of all assets used to establish or make additions to: Charitable Gift Annuities, Charitable Trusts, and Pooled Income and Pooled Growth Funds.
A: There are several reasons why participation matters to Bates!
- Bates’ ranking as compared to other colleges and universities in the United States is based in part on the participation percentage of alumni in the annual fund, i.e., the percentage of alumni who make gifts.
- 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.
- Many federal and corporate grantors pay considerable attention to the participation percentage. Thus, even a $1 gift helps, since it increases the alumni participation percentage.
- Many Batesies go into education, medicine, research, public service, social services, etc. When you make a gift to Bates, your contribution is leveraged through the participation percentage, and helps Bates to develop many students who will become leaders and do great things in the world.
A: Even though you are calling your classmate to ask for money, first and foremost, this is a conversation about Bates and building the Bates community. Try to be as relaxed as possible. Of course, humor makes every conversation easier and more interesting for you and your classmate. Knowing what’s happening on campus will give you something current to talk about, in addition to old times and catching up, and can serve as a transition to the ask. Alumni who are knowledgeable about Bates today are much more likely to support the College. It will help them to recognize that they are supporting the present and creating the future. Visit the Bates Fund Volunteer Center or bates.edu/news to obtain updates before you contact a classmate.
Q: People I’m calling frequently bring up the cost of a Bates education and the articles about Bates being the most expensive school in the country. How should I respond to their concerns and questions?
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. This academic year, the budget reached $30.6 million, surpassing the $30 million for the first time. With the announcement of an $11.5 million Catalyst Fund in October 2013 to support the presidential priorities, including financial aid, the College’s dedication to this effort only continues to grow.
Q: If a classmate makes a pledge to me, for instance, “I will give $100 to the Bates Fund this fiscal year”, will he/she receive follow up mail from the College? If someone doesn’t pledge, but says “I will think about it”, or “I’ll make a donation, but don’t know how much yet”, will he/she receive a prompt in the mail, as well?
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 on the Volunteer Center? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and a Bates Fund staff member will answer your question.