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Annual Giving

Giving to the Annual Fund at The National Science Institute

Each year The National Science Institute relies on gifts to the Annual Fund from members, students, friends and supporters to meet the immediate needs of operations and programming. These gifts are a vital part of our ability to provide opportunities to our community, both locally and worldwide (sometimes a little bit further than that, too).

What is an Annual Fund Gift?

Annual fund gifts, also known as unrestricted gifts, are contributions of any size, from all types of donors- individuals, businesses, and major corporations. Some donors choose to make one large annual fund gift, while others choose to make a monthly donation via recurring credit card payment or EFT/bank draft. We use these gifts to meet the immediate, day-to-day needs of our operations and programming.

What do you do with an unrestricted gift?

Contrary to the name, can’t be used for just anything. Unrestricted gifts are simply gifts that are not allocated to a specific line item of our budget or programming. However, as with all donations, in order to ensure that we remain responsible stewards of the gifts we are given, the money will only be used on expenses that are included in our annual budget that our Board of Directors has approved.

Each year we have specific needs that require support. Endowment gifts and foundation support are earmarked for specific uses, and may not cover all of our operational needs that arise, often unexpectedly. The Annual Fund allows us to address the most immediate needs and opportunities and provide sustainability for our future success.

Why are gifts needed every year? Don’t you have members?

Membership is just one small piece of the funding of The National Science Institute. Because we believe that all people should have access to education regardless of ability to pay, many of our members receive scholarships to reduce their costs. Simply to keep the lights on and the doors open with the programming and tools we have currently costs us $6 a minute. $6 every minute of every hour, 24/7/365. Currently, our membership fees cover only $0.30 of those costs every minute. Together with gift shop sales, programming service revenue, and foundation gifts, annual fund contributions allow us to continue to grow the work that we are doing.

What impact do annual fund gifts have?

Every gift matters. Combined, they have a large impact and allow us to:

  • Provide scholarship support for members and students who wish to participate but are economically unable
  • Expand opportunities for our membership through purchasing new technology.
  • Expose more people to STEM through our local facility and events both locally and nationally.
  • Excite people of all ages about science and technology by providing continuous support for our video department.

Do you have more questions?

We would be happy to help you with specific questions on the Annual Giving Fund. Feel free to contact Rebecca Takacs-Britz, Director of Institutional Advancement at 616-466-4335.