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"You can give to change the world, or you can give so the world understands it needs to change."

Stanford Humanities Center's 40th Anniversary Fundraising Initiative

Statement of Vision and Goals

Along with support for core programs, the Humanities Center is focusing on three new initiatives:

  • Demonstrate to the Stanford community the diverse and rigorous nature of humanities research through original programming
  • Educate a public audience beyond campus about this cutting-edge research and its relevance through a new digital platform
  • Create career-launching fellowships for Stanford graduate students
  • New Initiatives

    A New Digital Platform

    We seek to move the Center into the public sphere with an ambitious digital platform that will make the intellectual work of our community accessible to everyone. The Stanford Humanities Center is positioned to be the national leader in creating an online presence that shares humanistic knowledge with the world. This would be an unprecedented development: no other humanities center has developed a significant reach beyond its local community. Moreover, this platform will offer a permanent home for some of the projects being developed under the auspices of the university’s strategic plan, notably the “Public Humanities” area within the initiative called Navigating the Changing Human Experience. The benefit to Stanford's profile in the humanities is potentially enormous.

    Career-Launching Fellowships

    As the job market has tightened, many deserving Stanford humanities PhD students find themselves requiring more than one year of dissertation support, or needing support later than the traditional model supposes. These situations extend the period of uncertainty between the end of conventional support and the beginning of a job or a postdoc. These late-stage fellowships will help provide PhDs with necessary funding to bridge their transition to a teaching position within the academy and will ensure that these emerging scholars are not lost to the profession after Stanford’s significant investment in them. Since no peer institution offers flexible, late-stage support that reflects the current conditions of the profession, this initiative will set a national standard.

    Original Programming

    We will be staging major conferences and other special events to bring research and perspectives from across the humanities to bear on pressing topics of the day, such as climate change, privacy, and the future of evidence.

  • Gift Opportunities

    Making a multi-year pledge of 3-5 years would be especially meaningful as we seek to expand our programs and share the work of humanities scholars with our community and the world.

    All gifts and pledges received during fiscal years 2018-19 through 2020–21 will count toward this 40th anniversary fundraising effort.

    Expendable Gifts

    Annual Fund (<$10,000)

    Annual Fund gifts help facilitate strategic campus partnerships and new original programming that benefit the wider community.

    Director’s Fund ($10,000 and above)

    Director’s Fund gifts enable SHC leadership to advance the most urgent needs and priorities of the Center and include membership in the Director’s Circle.

    Two International visitors ($25,000/year per visitor)

    (There is a naming opportunity for multi-year pledges)

    Four career-launching fellowships ($50,000/year per student)

    (There is a naming opportunity for multi-year pledges)

    Two external fellowships ($125,000/year per fellowship)

    (There is a naming opportunity for multi-year pledges)

    Gifts to Endowment

    External fellowships ($2.5M per fellowship)

    (There is a naming opportunity for gifts to endowment)

    Career-launching fellowships ($1M per fellowship)

    (There is a naming opportunity for gifts to endowment)

    The Stanford Humanities Center has a pivotal role to play in the world, but it must have the necessary funding to keep pace. Your leadership investment is critical to transforming the Center’s programs for the 21st century, so the world understands why and how it needs to change.

    For more information, contact Susan Sebbard, Assistant Director, at or 650-723-3053.

  • Ways to Give

    Please keep in mind that there are many ways to support the Center, many of which do not involve making an immediate cash gift. For example, you might consider writing the Humanities Center into your estate plans, making a pledge, or transferring stock. We welcome gifts at all levels—every dollar counts.

    • Make a one-time or recurring gift online

      To make a one-time or recurring gift online, please visit:

    • Make a gift by check

      Checks should be made out to "Stanford University" and mailed to: Stanford Humanities Center, 424 Santa Teresa Street, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-4015.

    • Make a pledge

      A pledge is a formal statement of intention to make a gift in support of the Center. A pledge allows you to stage payments over time and complete the gift on the schedule that is best for you.

    • Transfer stock sales

      Transferring stock to the Center allows you to support the humanities while realizing tax benefits. A gift of appreciated stock is deductible from your income tax and you avoid the capital gains tax that would result from selling the stock.

    • Matching gifts

      Many employers match charitable gifts made by their employees. Find out if your employer matches charitable contributions, and ask them for a matching gift form to send in with your gift.

  • Planned Giving & Bequests

    Since its founding, the Stanford Humanities Center has built a community passionately engaged in the fundamental task of understanding what it means to be human. A bequest allows you to realize your philanthropic goals and guarantee the vitality of this dynamic community for future generations.

    If you have any questions about giving to the Humanities Center, please contact Assistant Director Susan Sebbard at 650.723.3053 or send an email to


    • What is a bequest?

      Simply put, a bequest is a gift from your estate. You can make a bequest in your will or living trust by designating an exact dollar amount or a percentage of your estate. Or you might consider naming the Stanford Humanities Center as a beneficiary in your retirement plan or life insurance policy.

      A bequest is free from federal estate taxes and income taxes. By planning now, you can designate your assets for charitable use and ensure that the Stanford Humanities Center continues to enrich our understanding of human history and cultures for generations to come.

    • What other planned giving options do I have?

      Life income gifts are another planned giving option that provide for you now and the Humanities Center later. They also offer significant tax advantages. Charitable remainder trusts, gift annuities, and pooled income funds, are some examples of such gifts.

      When you establish a life income gift, you irrevocably transfer cash, securities, or other property to Stanford. The university then manages the investment of the assets and pays an income to you or your beneficiaries for life. Thereafter, the remaining assets from your gift go to support the Stanford Humanities Center.

    • How do I make a bequest?

      Making a bequest to the Stanford Humanities Center is easy. You may create a new will or living trust, add a codicil to your present will, or amend your present trust instrument. To ensure that your exact intentions are implemented in harmony with the rest of your estate plan, estate planning documents should be prepared in consultation with your attorney.

      If you are planning a simple bequest to the Stanford Humanities Center, the following language can be used:

      I hereby give ______________ to THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE LELAND STANFORD JUNIOR UNIVERSITY, an educational institution. This gift shall be fully expendable and shall be used to support the Stanford Humanities Center.

    • Who do I contact about making a bequest?

      If you are planning a detailed bequest, or if you would like more information about your planned giving options, you may contact Susan Sebbard at 650.723.3053 or

      You can also contact Stanford's Office of Planned Giving directly at 800.227.8977, ext. 54358, or Stanford's team of planned giving experts can help you with everything from simple bequests to gifts of retirement plan assets, life insurance, real property, appreciated securities, and the complete range of life income gifts.

    • What are the benefits of making a bequest?

      • A bequest costs nothing now, but helps to secure the future of the Stanford Humanities Center.
      • A bequest is free from federal estate and income taxes.
      • A bequest allows you to retain control of your assets during your lifetime and modify your charitable designations should you so choose.
      • If you notify the Stanford Humanities Center or the university of your bequest, you will be included as a member in Stanford's Founding Grant Society. It would be our privilege to be able to thank and recognize you now.