Building Financial Sustainability

At the heart of this fundraising campaign is a very simple idea. Our motivating principle is to be Bates … plus.

In addition to the $140 million we aim to raise to endow specific programs, a central goal of The Bates Campaign is to increase the college’s unrestricted endowment funds and support the Bates Fund.

For too long, we have provided a high-quality liberal arts education with a resource base that was far surpassed by most of our peers. We have done exceedingly well with relatively little. We need to start doing more with more.

Bates needs a financial base adequate to support the exceptional educational experience we provide. This goal can only be achieved through the generosity and support of our devoted alumni and friends.

“Bates truly succeeds in educating the whole person and giving us a great foundation for our lives ahead. It is a priority for us to give back to Bates.” — Trustee Jean P. Wilson ’81, P’05, P’13 and John S. Roberts P’05, P’13

Read more about Jean and John's gift


The purpose of building the Bates endowment is to secure in perpetuity financial support for Bates’ strategic priorities and ongoing operations.

Through The Bates Campaign, we seek to raise $160 million to add to the endowment, with a special component of $20 million designated as unrestricted endowment funds.

Gifts to the endowment support the college in the following ways:

  • Endowed professorships
    will allow us to expand our faculty in critical areas and provide recognition to our most outstanding teachers and scholars.
  • Endowed financial aid funds
    allow Bates to recruit talented students and fulfill our commitment to making a high-quality liberal arts education accessible to students from a wide range of backgrounds.
  • Endowment gifts
    also support key initiatives such as thesis, Short Term innovation, the arts, athletics, and Purposeful Work.
  • Unrestricted endowment
    gifts provide flexibility for the college to adapt its programs over time.

The Bates Fund

The college’s annual fund, known as the Bates Fund, provides vital support each year for current operations: faculty, financial aid, student life, athletics, the arts, and more. A gift to the Bates Fund is a vote of confidence in Bates and an investment in its future.

Fully dedicated to the present needs of the college, the Bates Fund goal of $40 million serves as an indispensable complement to the endowment goal. Thousands of alumni and parents have the opportunity to participate in the campaign through their annual gifts. Every gift made to the Bates Fund counts — and every gift matters.