Friday Factoid: Sloan’s Charity Auctions

Twice a year, in the fall and in the spring, MIT Sloan students organize charity auctions. Each “ocean” (the 60-person cohort with which students take their first-semester core classes) selects a charity to support and identifies items to be auctioned, from lunch with a professor to a home-cooked meal by a student to more unusual offerings, like having a professor chauffeur you to class in his classic car. First-year oceans compete to see which one can raise the most money, and second-year students organize a similar auction. All together, the auctions raise close to $100K per year for such charities as the California Wildfires Fund and Children of Uganda. The 2008 beneficiary of the auctions was the Friday Night Supper Program (FNSP), a Cambridge-area nonprofit organization that serves free meals to approximately 200 guests every Friday, which received over $8K. 

In 2009, the oceans raised between $4K and $16K each for such charities as Community Water Solution, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, The Wellness Community of Greater Boston, and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.  Items up for bid included shaving a classmate’s moustache; access to a classmate’s beach house in Brazil, another in the Dominican Republic and another in the Cayman Islands; three female classmates coming to class dressed in Hooters costumes; an afternoon with an interior decorator redoing your apartment; and a VIP package at a local pub. As you submit your application to Sloan, you may want to also consider what you can offer up for the auction and start preparing your bids!

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