A vast majority of BIT alumni has achieved great success, far beyond what anyone of us could have imagined back in our BITM days. We are now enjoying the fruits of our hard work and the benefits of our education and training at BITM. Our children have been very fortunate and benefitted from our success. Most of them are already much better off than we were at their age.
While organizing the Class of 1963 Reunion, some of us realized that we have an opportunity, indeed an obligation, to leave a lasting legacy of our gratitude for our good fortune and our indebtedness to the institution which played a vital role during our formative years.We decided to create a fund for the benefit of the BITM community -students, faculty, programs and facilities. Our goal was to raise $150,000 from the Class of 1963. In a short few weeks, we gained commitment from a dozen Charter Members to contribute a total of $35,000.
It proved the feasibility of the concept. It also became clear that we needed to identify or create the systems and processes to receive, transfer and govern the distribution and use of the funds. Based on the commitments from the Charter Members, it also became clear that a very significant portion of the contributions will come from our U.S. based alumni, and that we needed to comply with the U.S. laws and regulations for solicitation, receipt and use of charitable donations.
Many other Indian institutions that have a sizable alumni community in the US have tax-exempt entities in the U.S. to conduct fundraising. While there are a number of BITM alumni communities and organizations, they do not seem to have focused on this aspect in a coordinated and effective manner. This provides an opportunity to form a U.S. based tax-exempt, entity to raise funds to support our alma mater and help transform it into a world-class educational institution.
We view the Class of 1963 Legacy Fund as a prototype to test the concept and prove the philanthropic generosity of our class members. We hope that the prototype, once proven and refined, will be replicated and enhanced by other classes, under the auspices of BITMAA-NA which is now a tax-exempt organization in the US. Contributions to BITMAA-NA from US residents will be tax deductible and it will be credited to the Legacy Fund of your graduating class.
This may very well be the most important and lasting legacy of BITM alumni, particularly BITM alumni in North America.