Answers to common questions about the Bates Fund and volunteering.

What types of gifts count toward the Bates Fund?

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.

How is Bates Fund money used?

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. Bates meets 100% of demonstrated financial need and the average aid package is $46,800 (including grant, loan, and work study).

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.

Do Bates Fund gifts count toward The Bates Campaign?

Yes! Thousands of alumni and parents have the opportunity to participate in the campaign through their annual Bates Fund gifts. Every gift made to the Bates Fund counts — and every gift matters.

For more information on The Bates Campaign, please visit The Bates Campaign website.

Why does participation matter?

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.

What is the Mount David Society?

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 $2,500 of more (there are reduced rates for young alumni) 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.

How should I respond to questions about the cost of a Bates education?

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 residential educational opportunities for students of all backgrounds. A Bates education is 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.

Bates provides more than $34 million in grant aid to students every year. Nearly half of Bates students receive financial aid, and the average financial aid award, including grant, loan and work, is $46,800. The college’s entire financial aid budget supports students with demonstrated financial need.

What is the pledge follow-up process?

Once a specified pledge amount (e.g., $100) is 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 (no specific amount) is 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.

How can I make a gift?

There are many ways to make a gift to Bates. Find the option that works best for you.

Cash or Check: 

Checks should be made payable to Bates College and mailed to:

Office of College Advancement
Bates College
2 Andrews Road
Lewiston, ME 04240-6028


Call Bates toll-free at 1-888-522-8371.

Matching Gifts: Double Your Impact

Many companies offer matching gift programs to encourage employees to support their colleges and universities. Most companies match dollar for dollar, but some will double or triple an employee’s gift.

You can search to see if your current employer, your spouse’s employer or the company from which you retired has a matching gift program. If your gift is eligible, please request a matching gift form from your employer or spouse’s employer and send it, completed and signed, with your gift to:

Office of Advancement
Bates College
2 Andrews Road
Lewiston, ME 04240

Recurring Gift Program

Bates’ recurring giving program allows you to divide your Bates Fund gift into manageable increments through convenient automatic deductions from your credit card or checking account.  If you’d like to utilize your checking account, please fill out this form.  What’s more, you can continue to direct your Bates Fund gift to the Bates programs that mean the most to you!

Make your recurring gift at bates.edu/give and check “I would like to make this a recurring gift,” or call us at 1-888-522-8371.

Multi-Year Pledges

Pledges allow you to make a commitment to be paid over a period of time (usually not more than three years) based on an agreed-upon payment schedule. The college sends pledge reminders periodically. If you’d like more information on making a pledge to The Bates Fund or other priorities or initiatives, please call 1-888-522-8371.

Gifts of Securities, Mutual Fund & Stock Shares

Gifts of long-term appreciated securities and mutual fund shares may be deducted on your tax statement at fair market value on the date of the transfer to the college. To learn more, contact us at 207-786-6248 or gifts@bates.edu. We also have more information about gifting securities, mutual funds, or stocks to Bates.

Gift and Estate Planning

Careful and creative gift and estate planning can maximize the impact of your philanthropy through the development of an individualized approach that complements your financial, tax, and estate situation. You can make a lasting impact on Bates — supporting our students and programs far into the future — while also meeting your family and financial goals.

For more information about planning your gift, please contact Susan Dunning at 207-786-6246 or Jennifer Foley at 207-786-6242.

Amazon Smile

Did you know that Amazon will make a donation to Bates every time you make a purchase?

If you buy products marked “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” through smile.amazon.com, Amazon will donate .5% of your purchase price to any 501(c)(3) public charitable organization you choose — including Bates! It doesn’t cost you anything extra, and it’s an easy way to support the college in addition to making your annual Bates Fund or Parents Fund gift.

Learn more about how AmazonSmile works.

Where can I see my class’s fundraising progress?

The Bates Fund Leaderboard showcases each class’s progress toward fundraising goals. Data is refreshed nightly; bookmark this page to track your class throughout the fiscal year!

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