Capital Gifts

What is a capital gift?

Any gift that is designated for a particular initiative, such as endowment support, scholarship assistance, or building renovation, is a capital gift. Capital gifts are made in the form of cash, securities, or property. Capital gifts of a certain magnitude may be used for naming opportunities – for example, a classroom or a scholarship fund may be named for the donor or in honor of another person of the donor’s choosing. Capital gifts of a certain magnitude may also be used to endow a fund (such as a scholarship, faculty chair, or book fund) in the name of the donor or another. Capital fund-raising builds endowment to address the school’s highest priorities: student aid, faculty support, and new construction and renovations.

The School of Dental Medicine is seeking additional endowed faculty chairs. Supporting teaching and research through endowed professorships and faculty chairs is a continuing priority. These valuable naming opportunities for donors are a crucial key to recruiting and retaining top faculty. Endowed chairs and professorships enable Tufts to create and support new faculty positions, attract prominent scholars and fund their teaching and research. Endowment funds supplement faculty salaries, support faculty scholarship and research, and enhance program and professional development.

Why are capital gifts needed?

This year, as in past years, funding for endowment is critical for the school’s future strength. As is the case with nearly all private academic institutions, tuition paid by dental students does not cover the cost of each student’s education. Contributions by alumni and friends cover the deficit and allow the School to continue to grow and excel as the premier school of dental medicine.

With the rising costs of a dental education and the increasing indebtedness of new graduates the average Tufts Dental School graduate has accrued debt of nearly $200,000. scholarship support for students is more crucial than ever before. Increasing endowed scholarship aid is essential to ease this financial burden and necessary to help attract and retain the top students. The School’s top three priorities remain:

  • Increased endowment support for existing and new professorships.
  • Increased financial aid to further enhance the School’s ability to yield the best students from all over the world.
  • Raising funds that will enable the School to complete its master plan facility renovation phases.

While the School has identified the preceding as its top three needs the Office of Dental Development and Alumni Relations will seek and support fundraising opportunities for other projects as they arise in consultation with Dean Norris. Nearly all the occupied space in the Dental Health Sciences Building has been updated and renovated over the past several years, including the entrance and lobby. These recent construction and renovation projects still require capital fund-raising support to replenish and strengthen capital reserve funds and to address new needs, especially the future renovation of the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Clinic and Suites.

How are capital gifts used?

Some donors choose to apply their gifts to the Dental School’s endowment. Interest earned on the endowment supports general operating costs, financial aid, and professorships. Currently, the Dental School’s endowment is approximately $20 million. While the size of the endowment is healthy, the School aspires to grow the endowment in coming years, to maintain its advantage over peer institutions. Alternately, donors may wish to designate their gifts for particular projects. Examples include building renovation or the creation of a scholarship fund.

Finally, donors may prefer to give unrestricted gifts. These gifts are used to cover the most urgent funding needs. Those needs are determined by the Dean, in conjunction with the faculty and administration of the School. Because the Dental School is recognized as a non-profit institution by the United States Internal Revenue Service, gifts to the School are usually tax-deductible for US citizens. Non-US citizens are encouraged to check their local tax laws to determine the tax deductibility of their gifts. Please note that Tufts University has established charitable foundations in Greece, France, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong to provide the greatest tax benefits for donors in those locations.

For further information about these funding opportunities, please contact: Susan E. Peecher, Associate Director, Office of Development, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA 02115 Tel: +1.617.636.6792 Fax: +1.617.636.2721 susan.peecher@tufts.edu.