50th Anniversary Celebration

For 50 years, the IEEE Foundation has worked side by side with donors and program partners to unleash exciting, thoughtful and impactful programming that advances technology for the benefit of humanity.

On 10 January 1973, the IEEE Board of Directors voted to create the IEEE Foundation. On 16 February 1973, one month later, the IEEE Foundation was founded.

50th Anniversary Celebration

For 50 years, the IEEE Foundation has worked side by side with donors and program partners to unleash exciting, thoughtful and impactful programming that advances technology for the benefit of humanity.

On 10 January 1973, the IEEE Board of Directors voted to create the IEEE Foundation. On 16 February 1973, one month later, the IEEE Foundation was founded.

Where 50 years of collective impact come together.

IEEE’s relevancy in the 21st century is ever apparent. Despite extraordinary advances in medicine, education, communications, transportation and more, the ability to truly benefit the whole of humanity remains elusive. IEEE and its members –  today’s technological luminaries – stand poised to deliver exciting solutions through education, access, and partnership.

Over the next year, the IEEE Foundation will celebrate 50 years of working together with IEEE to deliver opportunity, innovation, and impact across the globe through the power of technology and education and look to the future for what is to come. 

Thanks to the thousands of supporters, leaders and partners across the decades, IEEE programs are working to improve access to technology, enhance technological literacy, and support education.

As we look to the future, we know technology will play an ever critical, central, and complex role in people’s lives around the world. Investment in programs, by philanthropists like you, that support the scientists, engineers, leaders and technical professionals we need to solve the world’s most pressing problems for the benefit  humanity has never been more important.

We are proud to celebrate our golden anniversary by collaborating with strategically-selected IEEE programs each designed to celebrate the past, lift the present, and build the strong future we all need. Please join us.

Board McDonald

"Our 50th anniversary is more than a celebration and retrospective; it’s a chance for the IEEE Foundation to bring together philanthropists to build a brighter future for IEEE, IEEE members and IEEE partners and the world we share. I hope you will join me."

- John McDonald, Chair, IEEE Foundation 50th Anniversary Celebration Committee

Introducing our 5th Pillar – Future

In celebration of our 50th Anniversary,  a fifth pillar “Future” has been added.
“Future” looks at the years beyond our lifetimes. What educational, inspirational, foundational services programs do we want to ensure for generations to come? And what can we do now to create the future we want to leave them?

The five pillars of the IEEE Foundation guide our philanthropic focus.

Featured IEEE Programs

Your financial support of these strategically selected IEEE programs is invited. Each is designed to celebrate the past, lift the present, and build the strong future we all need. 

Illuminate Icon


Technology is a propelling force that makes it possible to take action. It allows us to ask previously unimaginable questions and find solutions to unsolved problems.

  • IEEE Smart Village empowers energy impoverished communities by delivering sustainable electricity, educational services and enterprise development. Your philanthropic investment ensures ISV has the resources to aggressively grow its footprint to meet the needs of more energy challenged communities and continue innovating this high impact program.

    Fundraising Goal: $1,750,000

    Help us enable 50 new ISV startup programs around the world during the next 10 years (5 annually).

  • IEEE SIGHT (Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology) is a global network of IEEE volunteers partnering with underserved communities & local organizations to leverage technology for sustainable development. Your philanthropic investment will ensure IEEE SIGHT solves real world problems one community at a time.

    Fundraising Goal: $750,000


    Help us enable 50 additional SIGHT group  projects over the next decade
    and deploy 50 SIGHT volunteers to share lessons learned with the IEEE  community.
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The future of technology depends upon the nourishment of brilliant minds, the creation of opportunities to dream, and the cultivation of a generation of socially responsible technology professionals.

  • IEEE TryEngineering STEM Portal  is a robust web portal designed to fosters the next generation of technology Innovators. Working locally, IEEE’s technology expert volunteers leverage and multiply the resources of the  TryEngineering portal delivering innovative, compelling, in-community STEM outreach activities designed to spark and excite the imagination of pre-university students. Your philanthropic investment ensures that no worthwhile IEEE volunteer STEM hands-on outreach activity is turned away for lack of funding.

    Fundraising Goal: $250,000

    Help Us expand TryEngineering to reach 50 volunteer-led programs over the next five years.

  • Scholarships are vital to a student’s ability to pursue a professional education and secure their future in every part of the world. The technical professional field is no exception and IEEE is here to help. Your philanthropic support transforms the lives of aspiring technical professionals, please consider funding one or more of IEEE’s many outstanding scholarships or  fellowships. If one of the existing offerings does not fit your aspirations, the IEEE Foundation will be delighted to work with you to explore options that meet your interests.

    Fundraising Goal: $2,500,000

    Help us enable the future leaders and innovators in the field through funding for new and existing IEEE scholarships and fellowships.

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The pace of technological advancement is accelerating. Driving a greater understanding of how science and technology impacts society enables us to value the past, meet the needs of today, and create the world of tomorrow.

  • IEEE History Center preserves and promote the history of technology, the profession and IEEE. Through its many targeted programs, the Center collects and disseminates information and resources that exemplify the impact and influence of technology and its relationship, both past and present, to society. Philanthropic investment fuels the Center’s ability to grow its collection and programs, multiplying its impact and ability to fulfill its mandate thereby growing a more technologically literate society.

    Fundraising Goal: $1,000,000

    Help us increase usage of the IEEE Oral History collection as a primary source for museums, authors, documentarians, news outlets, and technical papers and grow the Center’s endowment to reduce reliance on annual activities and budgetary fluctuations.

  • IEEE Life Members Fund support a wide array of activities that keep life members active, initiates engagement with students, and provides opportunities to support the advancement of engineers, engineering and other technical professionals. Your philanthropic investment will ensure the Life Members Fund has the resources to in life changing experiences for IEEE student members.

    Fundraising Goal: $500,000

    Helps us exponentially increase and expand investment in IEEE student member development through support of hands-on activities, technical competitions, leadership development, mentoring, and other scholarly pursuits.

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Technological innovation pushes the boundaries of thinking, breaks new ground, and improves lives.

  • IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu- IEEE’s Honor Society - where the importance of scholarship, character and attitude are understood and celebrated. Your philanthropic investment will ensure  the lifeblood of IEEE-HKN - its students and chapters - have the resources needed to flourish.

    Fundraising Goal: $500,000

    Help us grow active IEEE-HKN Chapters by 50 over the next decade and provide a perpetual source of funding to award at least 75 Student Chapter Support Grants.

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Ensuring future generations have sufficient and appropriate educational and inspirational programs and services to lay the foundation now, establishing the future we envision and desire.

  • IEEE Women in Engineering is global network of IEEE members and volunteers dedicated to promoting women engineers, technologists and scientists, and inspiring girls around the world to follow their dreams of a career in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM). Your philanthropic investment will provide resources for WIE to take bold steps to advance the careers of WIE members with families and nurture female  engineering students to pursue their dream careers.

    Fundraising Goal: $750,000

    Help Us pilot a Family Care Grant initiative for 5 years and provide funding for more than 150 WIE members whose family obligations may interfere with the ability to attend an IEEE Conference and launch  the IEEE-WIE Scholarship Program and support 200 female students studying engineering at the undergraduate (first degree) level at an accredited college or university.

Give Today

Your gift to the IEEE Foundation TODAY can be made using many different gift instruments. The IEEE Foundation team is honored to assist you with finding the right way for you to support IEEE. These options include:

Nita Patel

"I have seen the impact of the IEEE Foundation firsthand -- impact from scholarships enabling the next generation of technical leaders to support for advancing Women in Engineering (WIE). The IEEE Foundation is a great partner with a fabulous history."

-Nita Patel
2023 IEEE Computer Society President

Donor Recognition

Nothing would be possible without the generosity of our donors. We honor and recognize the individuals, companies and foundations that power the IEEE Foundation’s mission through our IEEE Heritage Circle and IEEE Goldsmith Legacy League.

IEEE Heritage Circle

Members of the IEEE Heritage Circle have turned their professional passions into intentional impact through gifts to the IEEE Foundation. Through its twelve levels of giving, our Honored Philanthropists are celebrated for their cumulative philanthropy in support of IEEE during their lifetime. Each level of the IEEE Heritage Circle is named for a great innovator in the fields of science and technology. In honor of the 50th Anniversary of the IEEE Foundation, six new levels were added to acknowledge, herald and highlight the diversity of the IEEE community.

HC Tesla

Nikola Tesla Level

$10,000 - $24,999

HC Ayrton

Hertha Ayrton Level

$25,000 - $49,999

HC Bell

Alexander Graham Bell Level

$50,000 - $74,999

HC Latimer

Lewis Latimer Level

$75,000 - $99,999

HC Edison

Thomas A. Edison Level

$100,000 - $149,999

HC Curie

Marie Sklodowska Curie Level

$150,000 - $249,999

HC Maxwell

James Clerk Maxwell Level

$250,000 - $499,999

HC Faraday

Michael Faraday Level

$500,000 - $749,999

HC Bose

Jagadish Chandra Bose Level

$750,000 - $999,999

HC Volta

Alessandro Volta Level

$1,000,000 - $2,499,999

HC Turing

Alan Turing Level

$2,500,000 - $4,999,999

HC Clarke

Edith Clarke Level


IEEE Goldsmith Legacy League

The IEEE Goldsmith Legacy League celebrates the elite group of legacy giving donors who are building tomorrow by ensuring IEEE programs are able to turn their ambitions into impact. These Forever Generous donors are recognized for including the IEEE Foundation in their estate plans.

The League is named for Gertrude and Alfred N. Goldsmith in recognition of their extraordinary commitment to IEEE. Alfred N. Goldsmith was a founder of the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE) (a predecessor society of IEEE), Editor of the Proceedings of the IRE for 42 years, and an IRE Board member for 51 years. His commitment did not end with his lifetime; his estate included a generous bequest for the IEEE Foundation.

Mr. Goldsmith’s bequest was the most generous the IEEE Foundation had seen until a few years later, when his wife Gertrude Goldsmith honored her husband's legacy and expressed her own gratitude to the profession by leaving an even greater amount in her estate. Together the Goldsmiths’ legacy gifts exponentially expanded the IEEE Foundation’s ability to support IEEE philanthropic imperatives.

50th Anniversary News

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