By choosing to share their course materials freely and openly on the Web, the MIT faculty have created a unique global educational resource that has touched the lives of millions. Just as OCW would not be possible without the generosity of the MIT faculty, OCW would not be possible without the support of hundreds of individuals who made donations large and small.

Your contribution provides the resources needed to distribute, collect, digitize, and address copyright issues in the faculty's material. While MIT provides about half of OCW's budget and we are actively pursuing sponsors, the Institute cannot afford the full cost of updating and enriching our site content. Your gift ensures we can keep OCW up-to-date and add more of the rich resources–such as video–that make a difference for so many worldwide.


FAQ: Donations

What is MIT OpenCourseWare?

OCW is a revolutionary approach to sharing educational resources. The site presents the core academic content–including lecture notes, syllabi, assignments and exams–from substantially all of MIT's undergraduate and graduate curriculum freely and openly to support formal and informal learning around the world. Many of the site's more than 1,900 courses also include rich media resources such as video lectures, simulations, and animations. OCW has inspired a worldwide movement that now includes hundreds of universities sharing materials from more than ten thousand courses.

Why does MIT OpenCourseWare need my donation?

Your gift to MIT OpenCourseWare demonstrates your commitment to knowledge as a public good and is an important part of OCW's overall sustainability plan, which includes support from MIT, endowment income, corporation and foundation support, and other revenue. Your donation is also important in demonstrating to sponsors and funders how much our visitors value the site.

How much does it cost to operate OCW?

The total annual cost of MIT OpenCourseWare is about $3.5 million. The effort required to produce OCW may not be readily apparent, but for each course we publish we must compile course materials from faculty, ensure proper licensing for open sharing, and format materials for global distribution. Additional rich media, such as our very popular video content, is especially costly. We must also sustain a considerable technical infrastructure to manage content and distribute it through a worldwide network to our global audience. In addition, we provide and support local mirror sites in bandwidth constrained regions.

How is MIT OpenCourseWare run?

Courses published on our site require an average of 100 hours of effort to produce. While the MIT faculty devote 5-10 hours of their own time for each course, it would be impossible for them to produce OCW courses alone. In order to publish materials from 200 courses each year while minimizing impact on MIT faculty time, OCW maintains a publication staff of twelve people who work directly with the faculty to collect and compile course materials, ensure proper licensing for open sharing, and format materials for our site. We also employ two intellectual property staff and four production staff who support our publication team. In addition, OCW has five outreach and administrative staff who manage communications, media relations, outreach, program evaluation, and OCW's sustainability.

How do you spend your revenue?

(Fiscal Year 2009 information shown)

Other (24%): Outreach, evaluation, fundraising, planning, management, finance and admin.

A pie chart showing 47% for publication, 29% for technology and 24% for other.

Publication (47%): Faculty liaisons, IP clearance, publication planning, data entry, video, metadata, QA, editorial

Technology (29%): CMS infrastructure, content distribution, analytics, web development, systems support


We currently project that OCW reserves will run out in FY2014 without significant changes in our current funding model. Our challenge is to offset the loss of grant funds with substantial increases in revenues such as donations, endowments, corporate sponsorships, and alternative sources of revenue.

How do I donate?

There are several ways you can donate to MIT OpenCourseWare:

MIT OpenCourseWare
Attn: Annual Giving
11 Cambridge Center Suite 101
Cambridge, MA 02142

  • Call us toll-free at 866-384-4040.
  • Bank wire transfers

It is critical when making a bank wire transfer that you alert MIT in advance so that the gift will be properly credited when received at MIT's bank. To advise of an anticipated wire transfer, please email the Office of the Recording Secretary at with the following information:

  • Name of donor
  • Amount of wire transfer
  • If currency is not US dollars, specify currency
  • Purpose of gift/gift designation
  • Name/location of sending bank
  • Date of expected transfer

Gifts in U.S. dollars and in foreign currency may be wired directly from your bank to MIT’s bank by providing your bank with the following wire transfer instructions:

NOTE: It is important to determine which ABA Routing Number is appropriate based on the type of transfer (the routing number for ACH transactions is not the same as the routing number for wire transactions). The transfer will not be received by our bank if the incorrect routing number is used.

When transferring funds from one account to another there is a choice between ACH (automated clearing house) or wire transfer. ACH transactions use a batch process. The transactions that are received by the bank during the day are stored and processed all together overnight which makes the funds available to the recipient the following day. Wire transactions are generally received the same day they are initiated.

NOTE: The International Bank Account Number (IBAN) is the international standard for identifying international bank accounts across national borders. At present, the United States does not participate in IBAN. Therefore, Bank of America does not have an IBAN number.

You can leave a legacy to OCW by bequest, trust, or retirement plan. These gifts help reduce your taxable estate while allowing you to retain full control of your assets during your lifetime. To find out more, please visit the MIT Bequest page.

Can I make automatic monthly donations?

Yes. With your authorization, MIT can electronically debit your checking account on a monthly or quarterly basis. You choose the fixed amount and the frequency of deduction, the designation of your donation, and the duration of your donation period. To sign up, please complete an Electronic Funds Transfer Authorization Form and return it to the Office of the Recording Secretary along with a voided check (not a deposit slip).

Are my donations tax-deductible?

Yes. MIT is a 501(c)(3) institution, and your gift is tax-deductible within the limitations of U.S. federal income tax laws. Our tax identification number is 04-2103594. You will receive a receipt in the mail.

Do you accept matching gifts?

Yes. To find out whether your company has a matching gift policy, please enter your employer's name in the MIT matching gifts page. Then make your donation to OCW.

Who are your supporters?

Our supporters include The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Lord Foundation of Massachusetts, The Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, the Ab Initio Corporation, and major supporters. In-kind contributors include Bain & Company, Google Grants, The CCG Group, Seagate, Inc, and United Nations Development Programme. We also have hundreds of terrific supporters.

How else can I support OCW?

Your donations are vital to OCW, but money isn't the only way you can support the project:

How can my company become a corporate sponsor?

We welcome you to demonstrate your company's commitment to unlocking knowledge by providing major support for OCW. Through our Flagship and Leadership sponsor programs, your company will be acknowledged on our home page or main course list page as an organization committed to improving education around the world.

You will be providing visible support for a program that serves millions of visitors a month and has been recognized on the front page of The New York Times and Washington Post, in magazines such as US News & World Report and Forbes, and in thousands of other media outlets worldwide. Major sponsorship opportunities begin at $100,000 USD.

  • Acknowledgment with logo on the OCW home page or main course list page.
  • Acknowledgment in the OCW newsletter.
  • Acknowledgment in the OCW new courses RSS feed.

For more information on OCW corporate sponsorship opportunities, please contact Tom Smith, Director of Corporate Relations,