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You can make an impact.


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You can make an impact.


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—from $50 to $50,000—helps us keep pace with the demand for our programs!

Why give to optiMize?

Meeting immediate need. We are growing 100% year-over-year. 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.

Double impact. 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.

All gifts are tax deductible.


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:

How much does it cost to bring a project to life?

It costs us $15,000 to support an entire team of students for the summer. If you can give at this level, you will see immediate impact from your donation. Our donors often say that optiMize is the most gratifying part of their philanthropy, because they know they're changing students' lives, creating innovators for the future, and bringing projects to life that make immediate, tangible impact.

Do smaller gifts help?

Yes! Every gift makes an impact—many of our project teams are funded thanks to the collective support of hundreds of people giving between $50 and $250 per year! If you're new to giving, you can also make a monthly pledge, try it out for a while, and adjust as you see fit.

optiMize is my favorite place to give, because I immediately see a huge impact from every dollar. Not only on students’ lives, but on the lives of the people impacted by their projects. Go optiMize!
— optiMize Donor