Donors regularly ask how their contributions to the Institute advance our mission, impact individuals in need worldwide, and achieve results. This is especially true when we issue our annual appeal for unrestricted gifts.
We take this question seriously and believe in addressing it with a high level of transparency. In response, I would like to highlight the ways in which your contributions—in the form of unrestricted gifts—are directly helping students and scholars in danger, increasing access to education and training for women and girls, and providing more American students with opportunities to study around the world. As we implement these IIE initiatives, we are guided by a commitment to organizational efficiency and the judicious use of the funds you invest in our work.
Every year our Trustees, alumni, and other donors contribute more than $1 million in unrestricted support for our activities, so that we can direct funds to where the needs are greatest. This year, unrestricted gifts are being used to launch or expand the core IIE initiatives described below.
Responding to crises. Unrestricted donations in recent years have been especially vital to IIE in our efforts to respond to crises around the world. They allow us to meet the urgent needs of students and scholars whose lives and education or academic work were devastated by disasters and emergencies in their home countries, including Iran, the Philippines, and Syria. Through the IIE Syria Consortium for Higher Education in Crisis, we are providing scholarships and safe haven for many more Syrian students and scholars this year.
Increasing access. Your support also allows IIE to increase access to study abroad for more American students of all backgrounds to gain the international experience that will prepare them to succeed in global careers. Thanks to our donors and sponsors, in early 2014 we launched Generation Study Abroad, a five-year initiative to double the number of Americans who study abroad by 2019, IIE’s Centennial year. To date, more than 300 partners have joined and committed to take specific, measurable actions to expand study abroad opportunities for U.S. students by the end of the decade.
Creating opportunities. Finally, unrestricted contributions help to fund IIE initiatives that enable women worldwide to pursue higher education, training, and exchange. The IIE Higher Education Readiness (HER) Program and the IIE WeTech Consortium are two IIE programs that directly expand access to education for women and girls around the world by providing a pathway to university and the workforce for talented female students in Africa and India.
Every donation to the Institute has an impact on our efforts to advance international education and access to education worldwide. Unrestricted gifts are critical to supporting vital areas of our work, especially for IIE initiatives that advance the core of our mission and meet urgent needs. We are grateful for your support of these efforts to extend our reach to more students, scholars, and professionals worldwide.