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2023 Recap: IEEE Foundation

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2023 was an occasion for reflection, celebration and connection as the IEEE Foundation marked 50 years of impact; thank you for being part of it and making it all possible! 

The year began with the launch of a new website packed full of information about donors and the programs they make possible. The site welcomes more than 3,000 visitors each month. As a resource for the future of the profession, a page dedicated to helping Students & Young Professionals discover the wide array of opportunities designed just for them was added.

On 16 February 2023, Ralph Ford, serving in his second year as the IEEE Foundation President, announced the launch of our 50th anniversary celebration and the strategically-selected IEEE programs designed to celebrate the past, lift the present, and build the strong future we all need. This important milestone, led by John McDonald, IEEE Foundation Director and 50th Anniversary Celebration Chair, was celebrated with fun events, including in-person and virtual launch receptions welcoming hundreds. The celebration was heralded across the IEEE community at conferences and meetings, including IEEE Sections Congress and to the public through social media where Bruno McDonald was introduced as the IEEE Foundation Chief Canine and four-legged ambassador. Followers on LinkedIn helped define the four most captivating IEEE donor supported programs, selecting IEEE Smart Village, IEEE TryEngineering, IEEE Women in Engineering, and IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu, which each received a special US$5,000 grant. The 50th Anniversary celebration will continue through February 2024, allowing for 12 months of Reflecting on 50 Years of Impact.

Thousands of donors once again came together in 2023, serving as the catalysts behind all that we are able to do for IEEE. Through their generosity, the portfolio of donor supported programs expanded, adding 17 new funds that support IEEE programmatic activities ranging from the new IEEE Women in Engineering Family Care Grant Program to named scholarships and the launch of the IEEE Global Museum. Members of the IEEE Heritage Circle and IEEE Goldsmith Legacy League were featured in articles on the new IEEE Foundation website. To make giving even easier, a handy giving guide was created, and two giving methods were added – Paypal through our online giving portal and appreciated cryptocurrencies

Generous bequests from the IEEE community continued to allow investment in meaningful initiatives like the establishment of the IEEE Humanitarian Technologies Board Endowment Fund, thanks to the Estate of Dorothy Percival. To help the IEEE community discover how they, too, can include the IEEE Foundation in their estate plans, the 3rd annual estate planning webinar was hosted during Estate Planning Awareness Week. The webinar – ”Planning an Estate in Order” – featured Robert Kievit and Kester Hector, who discussed how the proper structuring of assets and cash flows can lead to greater retirement cash flow, and lower effective tax rates for you in your lifetime, thus minimizing estate shrinkage.

We proudly joined other IEEE celebrations during the year. As part of IEEE Education Week, Stephen Phillips, IEEE Foundation Director, hosted a webinar – Inspiring Technologists of Tomorrow. The session featured stories and program impacts from a handful of our education- orientated donor supported programs: IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu, EPICS in IEEE, TryEngineering STEM Grants and TryEngineering Summer Institute. In partnership with the IEEE History Center, nearly 1,000 attendees tuned into an IEEE Day webinar, ‘Maxwell’s Ether: From Wave Optics to the Electromagnetic Theory of Light.’ The session explored James Clerk Maxwell’s revolutionary unification of light, electricity and magnetism and featured Daniel Jon Mitchell DPhil., Senior Historian of the IEEE History Center as the keynote speaker.

Throughout 2023, guided by our five program pillars, investments in donor supported programs manifested in transformative impacts for individuals and communities around the world.

Enjoy this video, which shares a sampling of these programmatic impacts:

2023 was a memorable year full of poignant occasions and programmatic impact. Thank you for helping us celebrate five decades of advancing technology for the benefit of humanity through philanthropy. We are grateful for all that you do every day to advance the impact of IEEE’s humanitarian and philanthropic values.

As the calendar turns to 2024, the IEEE Foundation is delighted to report that to hone our focus and drive to ever greater heights over the next 50 years, updated vision and mission statements were adopted.  

  • Vision: To be the heart of IEEE charitable giving and philanthropy.
  • Mission: To expand the IEEE charitable body of work by inspiring philanthropic engagement that ignites a donor’s innermost interests and values. 

Beginning in 2024,16 February will be known by the IEEE community as IEEE Foundation Day. It will serve as an annual celebration of the IEEE Foundation’s role as the heart of IEEE charitable giving and philanthropy, and honor the impact shaped by your commitment of time, talent and treasure. We look forward to you joining us for this inaugural day honoring you. 

Interested in learning more? Explore the news section of our website.

Note: The statistics included in this article are preliminary and may change as our program partners complete their year-end reporting.

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