IS DONATION THE MOST IMPACTFUL WAY TO GIVE BACK TO ALMA MATER?
By Mr Ajit Motwani (Head, Development Office)
Donations have historically followed the credibility of the recipient organizations to match the donor expectation for an impactful usage of funds as envisaged. There are innumerable examples of NGOs and not-for-profit organizations within each sector with vastly varying size of donations.
Donors are increasingly looking for focussed mission mode utilization of funds with no conflicts. Donations can then become the most convenient way of giving back to Alma Mater. Financial contributions also have a ripple effect on other forms of giving back viz. sharing experience with the next generation of students, research collaborations, internships, placements, and Alumni relations. Therefore, donations have a tremendous impact on the overall branding of the Institute and it works both ways.
Financial resources are critical for every institution because after initial establishment, the funding needed for quality maintenance as well as expansion and upgrade is hard to come by. Donations, especially from Alumni at premier institutions, have an important role. Alums are often ready to generously donate when they can relate to the cause/initiative and trust the utilization structure.
In recent times, the Institute has focussed on the restoration and upgrade of the Faculty Wings, a part of the legacy of Louis Kahn infrastructure on the IIMA Heritage Campus. Since 2019, seven Faculty Wings have received funding to support restoration and upgrade. It started with the batch of 1994 donation for Wing 1; followed by Wing 10 by 1993 batch; next Wing 2 and 6 supported by the IIMA AA Singapore Chapter. In 2020, Alums Roopa and Vivek Kudva came forward to support Wing 7; and then it was the IIMA’s second batch of 1967 supporting Wing 11 through contribution of Vijay Bhargava and most recently their batchmate Madan Mohanka’s founded Tega Industries supported Wing 9.
When the brand is strong, the ability to thrive even in the roughest of times is evident. As was the case with many Institutions/not-for-profits during the financial crisis of 2007-09, the pandemic will also be a time for the premier institutions to show their resilience.
Donations may not be the only impactful way to contribute. Just as in any democracy, the citizens need to be actively aware and participating. In an institution, the well-meaning and knowledgeable alums can contribute as much through their effective participation in Institute’s policy, planning, monitoring, implementation, and oversight. For this to be imbibed by the larger Alumni community, it’s important that the participation is across generation of batches and geographies.