Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) said on Monday that it had raised the highest-ever corpus of annual funds for the institution, garnering Rs 231 crore from alumni, industry and individual donors for 2022-23 (FY23).
Its funding increased 76 per cent year-on-year (YoY) compared to Rs 131 crore in FY22, according to data shared by the institute.
The number of donors contributing more than Rs 1 crore increased 64 per cent YoY.
In FY21, IIT Madras had raised Rs 101.2 crore.
“Year over year, the support of alumni and corporate philanthropy has been a crucial ingredient of our success on the global stage,” said Mahesh Panchagnula, dean (alumni and corporate relations), IIT Madras.
Besides contributions from alumni and individual philanthropists, it also received CSR (corporate social responsibility) funds and grants from Indian as well as multinational corporations.
Kaviraj Nair, chief executive officer, Office of Institutional Advancement, IIT Madras, believes that the funds go a long way in establishing interdisciplinary centres of excellences (CoE) and also provide financial assistance to the economically disadvantaged.
“Alumni contribute to improving the overall infrastructure on campus, such as the construction of innovation hubs, indoor sports complexes, or the purchase of electric buses for campus transportation.
"We also work extensively with our alumni to create a world-class start-up ecosystem associated with IIT Madras,” added Nair.Alumni and individual donors across India and globally contributed nearly Rs 96 crore for the institute.
“It is heartening to see our top-rated institutions leverage their alumni network.
"I am not surprised by the ability of public institutions, especially the likes of IIT Madras – which is among the top institutions in the world – to raise funds,” says Narayanan Ramaswamy, Partner, KPMG India, who expects this trend will continue, and in fact become better in future.
The CSR segment witnessed 56 per cent growth from the previous year, with the addition of 40 new partnerships in the last year.
The sectors that attracted most interest from donors include technology-driven initiatives in energy, environment, health and education, besides collaborations for research under CSR.
The key fundraising goals of the institute for the current financial year (2023-24) include further strengthening the alumni fundraising team in India and in the US, it said.
Its overall funding has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 45 per cent in 10 years, said the institute.
Alumni network has been a key focus area for all the major IITs.
Ajit Balakrishnan, chief executive officer, Rediff.com, also expects funding raised by IIT Madras and other such institutions to grow, primarily on the back of a robust alumni network.
“The IITs have an excellent alumni network. These institutions not only teach engineering or management, but also give you hope for the future.
"They teach you to do the right thing and not the smart thing,” he says.
IIT-Delhi and IIT-Bombay are yet to come out with their FY23 annual reports.
In FY22, IIT-Delhi raised a total of Rs 96 crore from its alumni network.
In addition to this, the institute received grants from various funding agencies and industries under the research and consultancy project head to the tune of Rs 386 crore, says its FY22 annual report.
In FY22, IIT-Bombay launched the Go-IITB Campaign.
According to the institute’s website, so far it has raised over Rs 15 crore.
The programme has been supported by over 560 donors and over 50 scholarships have been added.
Ramaswamy is of the view that besides IIT Madras, newer IITs may also have an edge in raising funds compared to other institutions set up around the same time.
“Funding raised from Alumni by an institution depends on the number of years it has been in existence.
"Any institution, in its initial years, would find it challenging to have a strong alumni network, especially one that can, in turn, fund the institution.
"However, the IIT brand could attract funding at a faster rate than other institutions set up at the same time,” he says.