Pursuing new breakthroughs requires courage and decisive action. Discretionary endowment opens doors for discovery. It enables Caltech leadership to nimbly and efficiently support researchers who ask the most difficult questions. It allows the Institute to make smart bets by investing in areas where there is potential of high reward. And, most importantly, it creates an environment where scholars know that they have the support of an entire institution, which inspires even more creativity and courage.
Funds from these powerful endowments can be used to advance promising early-stage research to the proof-of-concept stage, purchase next-generation laboratory equipment, create entirely new graduate programs, and respond quickly to time-sensitive opportunities currently unforeseen and as yet unimagined.
An investment of discretionary support to initiate a project can lead to substantial and sustaining resources in the form of federal awards. Those traditional funding sources, such as government grants, tend to favor safer bets and proven concepts—endowment funds bridge that gap. And while every dollar counts and every gift is important, the single most potent form of philanthropy at Caltech is discretionary endowment.
When someone at Caltech comes up with a great research idea—something unexpected, something that could change the course of an entire field—funds from discretionary endowment can help them turn theory into actionable steps. And a relatively small investment to initiate a project can lead to substantial and sustaining resources in the form of federal awards.
Traditional funding sources, such as government grants, tend to favor the tried and true. Bold new ideas thrive on philanthropic support. And while every dollar counts and every gift is important, the single most potent form of philanthropy at Caltech is support for discretionary endowment.