16 February 2024 Marks the First IEEE Foundation Day Celebration

IEEE FoundationDay 600x400 Ralph (1)

A note from Ralph Ford, President of the IEEE Foundation Board of Directors:

On 16 February, 1973, what started with the goal to further the scientific and educational purpose of IEEE, became IEEE’s philanthropic partner, the IEEE Foundation. Over more than 50 years, this seed of an idea, watered with your passion, values and care blossomed into meaningful, real-world impact. 

As the celebration of the 50th anniversary comes to a close, we delight in establishing 16 February as the inaugural IEEE Foundation Day –  a Celebration of Heart

The Day connects to our vision to be the heart of IEEE charitable giving and philanthropy, and more importantly acknowledges the donors and volunteers that make IEEE philanthropic programs possible and the program beneficiaries whose lives have been transformed. 

IEEE Foundation Day is a tremendous opportunity for the IEEE community to celebrate the significant achievements enabled by the generous support of our many volunteers and donors, as well as increase the impact that we will continue to have in the future. Shaped by time, talent and treasure, outstanding impacts have been made across all five of our Program Pillars in the last year. A few examples across the Pillars are:

Illuminate – 

IEEE Smart Village improved lives in ten countries including: Zambia, Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria, Argentina, Chile, China, Nepal, India, and the USA. By supporting fourteen local enterprises, IEEE Smart Village is improving health, education, and well-being in underserved communities around the world. These enterprises are tailored to meet the unique needs of each community: they leverage the power of IEEE technology to make a positive impact through local community organizations and dedicated volunteers.

Educate – 

Through the TryEngineering STEM Grant Program, 43 programs from around the world were supported to provide STEM education opportunities and hands-on experiences for school-aged children. These programs aim to support local STEM outreach initiatives across the globe, many of which targeted underserved populations.

Engage – 

The History Center piloted two exhibits in the new IEEE Global Museum initiative, which brings museum-quality exhibits to IEEE members and the public, at several IEEE events, including one on Edwin H. Armstrong, the first IEEE Medal of Honor winner (when it was IRE); in 2024 these will travel to public venues.

Energize – 

Eta-Kappa-Nu (HKN) increased the number of Student Chapter Support Grants approved in 2023 (24 grants) by 200% over the previous year – allowing Chapters from around the world to enhance the HKN Chapter experience and serve the communities around them. See more updates from HKN Chapter Support Grants. 

Future – 

Women In Engineering (WIE) established the IEEE WIE Family Cares Grant Program, a groundbreaking initiative aimed at providing financial support for primary caregivers, irrespective of gender, to encourage their participation in IEEE conferences.

I am thrilled to celebrate 50+ years of the IEEE Foundation and the immense impact philanthropic support has had on shaping the world through technological advancement. Looking back, it’s humbling to see how the generosity of our donors, in time, talent and treasure, have fueled IEEE programs that improve lives across the globe.

As we move forward, the Foundation is excited to work together to attract new donors, forge partnerships with IEEE, and support even more transformative initiatives. The future holds incredible possibilities for technology to improve lives. With the Foundation playing a pivotal role, I am optimistic about harnessing the power of philanthropy to shape a more sustainable, equitable and technological future for all.

Join us as we reflect on the impact shaped by time, talent and treasure during this Celebration of Heart on 16 February 2024: IEEE Foundation Day. Please share your heartfelt stories on the IEEE Foundation Day Kudoboard. Whether you are a donor, program partner, beneficiary or volunteer; your passion, values and care blossomed into meaningful, real-world impact. We invite you to further explore IEEE Foundation Day at

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