The IEEE Foundation, the organization’s philanthropic arm, launched its first public fundraising campaign during the February IEEE Board of Directors meeting in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The Foundation’s goal is to raise US $30 million by October 2020. More than 50 percent of the total has already been committed–that’s $15.14 million raised to date.
Funds generated by the campaign will help drive new levels of technological access, innovation, and engagement through a variety of far-reaching global initiatives designed to transform lives through the power of technology and education.
The campaign is seeking donations from IEEE members and nonmembers as well as academic institutions, companies, and other organizations that want to address global challenges and support IEEE’s mission of advancing technology for humanity.
“We are seeking financial support to continue to expand the Foundation’s programs, all of which are aimed at advancing technology in direct interest of humanity,” says Life Fellow John Treichler, president of the Foundation’s board of directors. “We are committed to the success of this campaign and enabling programs that positively impact populations worldwide.”
Donations to the IEEE Foundation fund a number of programs. IEEE Smart Village brings electricity—as well as access to education and job opportunities—to more than 50,000 people in nearly three dozen remote, off-grid communities worldwide. Smart Village members are working with entrepreneurs in India, Nigeria, and other countries to help them set up micro-utilities, using solar panels and other renewable-energy technology to power nearby homes, businesses, and schools.
EPICS in IEEE matches IEEE volunteers and student members with high school students. Together, they work with community-based organizations on engineering-related projects.
The IEEE Power & Energy Society’s Scholarship Plus Initiative has provided millions of dollars in scholarships to hundreds of qualifying electrical engineering undergraduate students who are studying power engineering in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
And the IEEE History Center’s REACH program offers high school history teachers free access to educational resources that can help students explore the relationship between engineering, technology, and humanity. The resources are designed to enhance the development of students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills and help them better understand technology’s impact on society.
The Foundation also supports IEEE-USA’s MOVE Community Outreach Initiative, which deploys a vehicle to aid with disaster relief. MOVE stands for MObile VEhicle. It offers the ability to charge cellphones and provides access to the Internet as well as information about local services offering help to get people back on their feet. The IEEE MOVE team helped with disaster-relief efforts in Florida, Texas, and the Caribbean last year. When not deployed for natural disasters, MOVE volunteers conduct community outreach for students and the general public in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).
Additional goals of the campaign are to expand the IEEE Awards program, bolster IEEE History Center activities, and support future leaders in the field through IEEE Eta Kappa Nu, the organization’s honor society.
ADD YOUR SUPPORT
There are several ways to support the campaign and help the Foundation meet its fundraising goal. You can donate online and designate a specific program or let the Foundation determine where the need is greatest. You can also donate by mail, over the phone, or through your company’s matching-gift program. Or you can contact the Foundation directly. If you’d like, you can choose to remain anonymous.
“It’s an extraordinary time in the 45-year history of the IEEE Foundation, and we’re excited to launch this landmark campaign to increase public awareness of our important mission and expand support for our critical work,” says Stephen Welby, IEEE executive director and chief operating officer. “Each donor who participates helps ensure that the future of IEEE holds even greater promise than its historic past. We welcome all to take this opportunity to help build on a legacy that can positively and indelibly impact generations to come.”
Karen Kaufman is senior manager of communications for the IEEE Foundation.
This article has been updated.