We are announcing our first 22nd annual capital campaign.⌗
253 Commonwealth Ave is the hub of the hub of the universe. Living at the house was the foundation around which our MIT experience was built, and having lived there is still a large part of our lives. As we know, college friendships last a very long time.
The COVID shutdown in 2019 left the house empty for over a year. That was a big blow to the house, both financially and socially. If it weren’t for the combination of alumxi savings and MIT’s generous support, the house would likely have folded. Thankfully, we made it through, and the undergraduates have done a great job re-establishing the social network and finding new peldges. But the experience has made it clear that bad things can happen(™) and we need to prepare financially for the next surprise – and to do that, we need your help.
$1.22M dollar Capital Campaign⌗
“One million here, one million there, soon you are talking about real money” - E. Dirksen (paraphrased)
Our goal is to create an endowment that can pay the property taxes on 253 Commonwealth from the interest. After this goal is met, we would like to continue to grow this endowment to cover all the remaining fixed costs associated with the house (insurance, sufficient heat to make sure pipes don’t burst, etc). Besides ensuring our survival, this would also let us fund repairs and improvements from operating cash flows without having to further mortgage the property just to keep it standing.
We want to raise $1.22 million dollars over 10 years, with an initial milestone of $222,222 by Graduation Day 2022, and ongoing donations of $69,000/year thereafter. These funds would be put into a highly rated bond fund or other investment, and the interest payments would be earmarked for our fixed costs.
How will we do it?⌗
While this is a large sum, we can get there – if every alum donates just one more housebill ($2222+), we would exceed our final goal. If you are able to help us, please go to our donation page and setup a monthly donation. That page has tips for how much to give and offers a variety of giving tiers, so you can find one that works best for you.
As added incentive, donations count towards your annual alumxi dues, and we even have splifty donation gifts available! Every donor will be recognized for their donation on a plaque in the house. You can put whatever message you want, your mundane thoughts engraved for eternity! These names will live forever alongside the wainscotting. In addition, certain large gifts will be recognized with banister posts, as well as the privilege to name specific objects (grease trap! toilets!) or locations in the house.
Honig’s Heroes Matching Fund⌗
We have a matching fund that will match dollar for dollar the first $100,000 raised, and we expect this matching fund to grow. (If you would like to add to our matching fund, please get in touch!)
Allocation of Funds⌗
The money raised will be used to build an endowment fund. The long-term goal is to have the annual income front his fund meet or exceed the fixed costs of the property at 253 Commonwealth Ave (Boston’s Champs-Elysee). The fixed costs are:
- $40,000 Boston Property Taxes
- $40,000 Current Mortgage. Additional mortgages would fund future upkeep and renovation projects, such as renovating the 5th floor
- $10,000 Minimum utility expenses
While some assumptions are required, we expect that a fund of $1,222,000 will be able to generate over $50,00 per annum, covering the taxes and utilities. The mortgage will be paid off through normal operating revenue. The house has not been crumbling, in fact, it has been dramatically improved recently by several substantial projects including:
- All new bathrooms! Some with double shower heads!
- Sprinkler updates! Less fire = good!
- New heating and cooling system! Mr. Boiler go bye-bye!
- and we are in the process of installing new windows and purchasing more exclamation marks!(!!)
How can you help?⌗
You can help in a plethora of ways:
First and foremost, you can donate! One time donations are great. Recurring donations are even better. All donations are great. If you can’t donate as much as you would want right now, make a pledge today and send your donations in over time. Click the link, send a check, deliver bearer bonds in the dead of night - please send something if you are able. (However please note: we have already received an excess of smedlys, ETs, and stone crabs.) See our list of splefty thank you gifts if you need motivation.
You can also help with the house when the time comes to re-awaken the sleeping beast. There will be alumni workweek days, you can help with rush, and you can donate again and again! See how to volunteer!
Finally, you can help keep the community active and alive. Join us at one of the many upcoming tEply events!
Tax deductible? No. Unfortunately we are not a 501(c)3, so donations are not tax deductible. It has something to do with the IRS thinking our membership is exclusive (if you can believe that!)
How will we financially manage the donated funds? We will put the endowment donations into conservative investments such as highly rated bond funds. If reasonable we will attempt to have this managed passively by the board in order to avoid fees associated with a management firm but will be looking into low cost options for non-profits.
What do we anticipate the Xi fixed costs being over time? The fixed costs of keeping the house are ~$100,000 annually. This includes property taxes of ~$40,000, paying off the current mortgage, and paying for a minimum level of utilities and other services.
How can I donate? Boy I’m glad you asked that. You go to our donation page for further details.
What happened in the Spring with the lockdown? MIT asked all undergraduates to leave MIT housing by March 17th, and the students who were granted exceptions were required to move to dorms. MIT also asked all the FSILGs to remain empty for the summer (so no summer renters).
What is happening in the fall? Are the current active members going to live there again? MIT asked all undergraduates to leave campus on March 17th. This included emptying our the FSILGs. MIT also asked all the FSILGs to remain empty for the summer (so no summer renters.)
When can undergraduates live in the house again? We don’t know for sure but most likely not until the Fall of 2021 given the current plans.
What happens with Rush 2020? 2021? Our TEPFORCE 2021 committee is exploring this.
Will donors be recognized? Yes! More info coming soon…