Annual Fund

It doesn't take a lot to make a big difference.

Every gift helps shape the school and our students. View the infographic >>

The Annual Fund is made up of thousands of gifts from alumni, parents and friends. The Annual Fund is especially important to the college because the moneys can be used for wherever the need is greatest within the school. Every gift, large and small, makes a difference to the school and our students. 

Here are ways that gifts to the Annual Fund can make a difference:

A gift of $100:

  • Helps a faculty member host a class at their home for a meal. Duke strives to provide students with extraordinary access our world-class faculty. Sharing a meal and authentic, personal conversation outside the classroom is one way we can deepen student learning and build relationships that last a lifetime.

A gift of $500:

  • Pays for transportation for an entire service learning class, so students can get out of the classroom and into the community to work with our partners. Service learning integrates community services with academics to enrich student learning, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen our communities.
  • Support undergraduate students in pursuing their own research ideas, independent of a faculty member's personal research portfolio. In these cases, faculty members serve as guides and resources rather than as supervising mentors. This is one way for students to immerse themselves in an area of deep interest--one of the most rewarding opportunities a Duke education can provide.

A gift of $1,000:

  • Provides project funds to support a senior capstone course, such as software and technical staff support to create digital humanities portfolios, lab supplies and poster materials for presenting science research results, or survey materials for original social sciences research.
  • Provides 66 hours of peer tutoring at the Writing Studio. The ability to write and communicate well is at the core of a Duke education, and is one of the reasons that every freshman takes a foundational writing course. Tutors at the Writing Studio can help students with brainstorming and researching ideas, and drafting, revising, and polishing a final draft. Peer tutors are also trained to provide specialized support for our English as second language students.
  • Provides support for a faculty or staff member serving as a premajor advisor. Premajor advisors help students navigate Duke, explore classes and ultimately to choose their major. 
  • Provides 40 hours of foreign language tutoring. Duke offers a phenomenal array of foreign language and culture courses. From linguistic staples such as Spanish, French and German to Hindi, Hebrew and Haitian Creole, Duke values language training as deeply important in today’s global workplace.

A gift of $5,000:

  • Supports an undergraduate student for a faculty-directed research internship. These experiences help students gain practical experience and skills, making them more competitive for graduate school or the job market. Research internships are also a time to try on a field as a possible career path and to deeply explore an area of interest.
  • Supports an undergraduate student over the summer to work on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland. Duke undergraduates were part of the exciting discovery of a Higgs-boson-like particle in 2012 that may help physics explain how particles assemble into matter.

A gift of $10,000

  • Supports new course development in response to student demand, which can ultimately lead to a new major such as the neuroscience major, launched in 2009 and now one of the most popular majors for undergraduates. The new global health co-major, just recently approved, is another example of responsive curriculum development.
  • Supports creation of a new course designed to intermingle multiple fields and help students better integrate perspectives and knowledge from different disciplines. Today’s breakthroughs are happening at the places where traditional disciplines overlap, and we strive to provide students with opportunities to practice collaborating and working with people and knowledge from very different academic backgrounds.

A gift of $25,000

  • Funds development of a new gateway course to help students better understand a field or discipline. Our experience so far tells us that a well designed gateway course dramatically improves student learning outcomes and satisfaction, that students are more likely to take additional courses in that field, and that student retention improves over time.
  • Supports redesign of a traditional course to a flipped classroom format. In this teaching approach, traditional "lecture" material is provided before class through video and reading assignments and class time can then be spent in small group discussion and activities that deeply improve students' understanding of and engagement with the course material.
  • Supports the upfit of older classrooms to take advantage of new teaching technologies and methods. Our goal is to maximize learning, and this may mean moving away from the traditional chalk talk lecture format to enabling simultaneous small work groups, using multimedia such as digital humanities to explore material previously only available through prose and lecture, or integrating mobile devices in ways that help teachers better gauge students' understanding of the material in real time.