We're growing like crazy, and we need your help.
Applications for optiMize funding have grown by 240% since 2015. Our fellowships and project grants are funded entirely by donor support, and every gift helps us keep pace with the demand for our programs!
By February, we aim to fund 20 student-led projects to join the optiMize Fellowship, which gives the students the opportunity to work full-time on their projects all summer. It costs us an average of $15,000 per project to support living stipends for the founders and project grants for each team.
Here's the exciting part: one of our major supporters has put up $150,000 in funds to support half the cost of all twenty projects.
Our challenge now is to find the matching supporters. Thanks to the match, a gift of $7500 will empower the launch of a student-led project that could change the world.
Can you join us to help a team of students get to work?
All gifts are tax deductible.
I can't give $7500 to support a full project. Do smaller gifts help?
Yes! Every gift makes an impact—many of our project teams are collectively funded thanks to the support of hundreds of people giving anywhere from $10 to $1000!
What will my donation support?
All donations directly support optiMize Fellows, allowing them to work full-time for the summer to bring their projects to life. Currently, too many worthwhile projects are left unfunded, and you can help us fix that! Here's just one example of an optiMize project:
Why give to optiMize?
Meeting immediate need. In 2013, we received 19 project submissions and funded 5. This year, we received 210. There are incredibly impactful student projects that we just can't fund. Your gift helps us support more student projects, transform more students' lives, and make a bigger impact on the world.
Backed by the University of Michigan. As a university department, all gifts to optiMize are responsibly managed by the University of Michigan's robust infrastructure.
Relationships with the innovators of the future. Giving to optiMize helps build a strong relationship with the most innovative students in the world! We host special dinners for students and supporters to meet throughout the year.
Matched by U of M. The University of Michigan contributes to our staff and program support while donors support student project grants and fellowships. Our current model is approximately a 50/50 match, so your gifts will not only support students, but increase our ability to scale and improve.
An incredible Community of Donors. Our donors are leading philanthropists from around the country. By supporting us, you join them in the optiMize Community of Donors.