Announcing the Fossil Free Alumni Fund

 

Dear Harvard alumni supporters of fossil fuel divestment,

 

We’ve made significant progress since the fossil fuel divestment campaign began at Harvard three years ago — and subsequently exploded across the country and world.  Our student wing is self-sustaining and strong, even as students graduate and go out into the world.  Our faculty wing has also become self-sustaining and continues to grow beyond 200 members.  And over 1000 Harvard alumni have signed our online petition, with the Harvard-Radcliffe Club of Vermont recently becoming the first Harvard alumni club to endorse divestment officially.  Globally, the number of institutions committing to divest from fossil fuels continues to rise.

We believe that the members of the Harvard Corporation will do the right thing in the end.  They just need to see how important this issue is to alumni and how urgently action is needed.

Over the last year, we’ve been working to put together a way for alumni to show their support for divestment through their donations to Harvard.  In collaboration with Bevis Longstreth, Harvard alum, former SEC Commissioner, and divestment supporter, we’ve established the Fossil Free Alumni Fund.  

You can download a donor form, which contains details of the fund, here.

 

Here are the highlights of the fund:

  • Donations to the fund will be tax-deductible and invested in a fossil-fuel-free index developed by the Natural Resources Defense Council and managed by BlackRock, one of the largest and most respected asset managers in the world.
  • Harvard will receive all donations held in the fund that are earmarked for it when the Harvard Corporation publicly commits to divesting from fossil fuels.  If the Corporation hasn’t committed to divestment by December 31, 2025, then donations within the fund will be distributed to one or more nationally-recognized, non-partisan, tax-exempt organizations active in seeking to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The fund will have oversight from a council of alumni with fiduciary expertise and experience.
  • Donations can be earmarked for any institution so that alumni from any institution can participate.

The fund is now accepting donation commitments, the details of which can be found in the donor form. When $5 million in commitments have been obtained, we will be able to take advantage of low management fees, and the fund will be launched and will begin accepting donations.

Please take a few moments to review the donor form, please consider making a commitment to the fund, and please spread the word.  We believe this fund will significantly increase the impact of your charitable gifts.

Thank you for your support of fossil fuel divestment at Harvard!
The Divest Harvard team