Friday Factoid: MIT 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 each year for such charities as the California Wildfires Fund and Children of Uganda. The 2011–2012 ocean auctions raised more than $70,000 for such charities as Pencils of Promise, Bridge over Troubled Waters and the Sloan Social Impact Fellowship.

Specifically, a February 2012 MIT News article reports that in fall 2011, the “Pacific” ocean cohort raised more than $15,000 for Pencils of Promise, which builds schools in developing countries. In addition, a first-year classmate procured a $15,000 matching donation from Dell, Inc. The money raised allowed Pencils of Promise to build a two-room preschool in Laos, Pha Thonglom, benefitting 40–60 children. The organization plans to dedicate the school in Sloan’s name.

As you submit your application to Sloan, you may want to also consider what you can offer up for auction and start preparing your bids!

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