The summer time science program spent $2 million final yr serving 204 college students. Then they acquired a present of $200 million

Summer Science Program participants sit in a circle at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, on July 21, 2023. The SSP was confused about what to do with a surprise recommendation estimated at $200 million, about 100 times its annual budget.  (Kristin Latos, Summer Science Program via AP Photo)
Summer season Science Program members sit in a circle at Purdue College in West Lafayette, Indiana, on July 21, 2023. The SSP was confused about what to do with a shock suggestion estimated at $200 million, about 100 instances its annual funds. (Kristin Latos, Summer season Science Program by way of AP Picture)Christine Laius/AP

It is the issue nonprofit leaders dream of: What do you do if you get an unexpectedly giant donation?

The Summer season Science Program, a nonprofit with an annual funds of about $2 million, despatched about 200 highschool college students to six-week intensive analysis programs on campuses this yr. It is also at a loss about what to do with the shock bequest estimated at $200 million — about 100 instances its annual funds.

The Summer season Science Program realized final yr that one in all its graduates, Franklin Antoniou, co-founder of chipmaker Qualcomm, had given the group 20% of his holdings, stated CEO Frank Steslow.

“The property remains to be being evaluated and there’s no remaining appraisal, however it’s over $960 million at this level,” Steslow stated. The Board of Administrators was not beforehand conscious that Antonio… He died in May 2022, on the age of 69, included the group in his will. He stated board members had been equally shocked after they realized the potential quantity of the present.


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Members of the nonprofit’s board of administrators had beforehand spoken to Antonio about making a serious present, along with the $1.2 million he has already donated to the group since 2000.

“Clearly all the pieces he was instructed and the impressions we left had been constructive,” Steslaw stated. “However we do not know for positive what prompted his pondering.”

The Summer season Science Program locations college students in teams of 36 to finish a analysis undertaking in astrophysics, biochemistry, or genomics, below the supervision of college advisors at universities similar to Indiana College, Bloomington, New Mexico State College, Las Cruces, and the College of Colorado Boulder.

Following the notification, their board started inner deliberations on how one can reshape the group across the will.


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They employed Steslaw as CEO in March, introduced in consultants to assist them devise a strategic plan, and in October, notified their alumni of the present. This system intends to double the variety of college students enrolled subsequent summer time to greater than 400 college students and enhance its annual funds to greater than $7 million. They won’t change the scale of the teams, which Steslow stated is a key a part of this system’s definition, however as a substitute, the nonprofit is searching for to start out partnerships at new universities in addition to increase into different STEM topics.

However in addition they take their time earlier than making main selections, similar to establishing a campus or bodily location the place they’ll run packages. Presently, the group is totally distant.

The nonprofit Panorama International Collaborative studied the affect of unsolicited and infrequently transformative items from MacKenzie Scott, the creator and ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Their research, which gathered tons of of nonprofits that had acquired items from Scott, discovered that organizations wanted as much as a yr to plan and achieve inner consensus on how one can use the funds. This might embody utilizing funds to determine an endowment, setting apart some funds to tackle dangers or saving for future funding, or to increase or deepen the scope of their work.

Gabrielle Fitzgerald, founder and CEO of Panorama International, stated the summer time science program ought to rejoice and respect the excellent news, “after which it will get to work.”


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Generally, Scott’s items symbolize the equal of a yr’s working prices for the organizations she helps, Fitzgerald stated. Since Antonio’s will was a lot bigger, she stated it was acceptable to take a while to contemplate how she might use the cash to realize her objectives in the very best approach.

The summer time science program has already acquired a down cost of $65 million, and the funds are unrestricted. That is uncommon, stated Russell James, a professor at Texas Tech College who researches bequests and charitable giving.

“Huge items, normally, throughout life and likewise on the finish of life, have a tendency to come back with directions,” James stated. However, he added, “It appears uncommon at first till you notice that the group itself is sort of a restriction on items, as a result of they’re very particular in what they do,” referring to the summer time science program.

Presently, the nonprofit manages the funds as if it had been an endowment, although there are not any formal restrictions, Steslow stated, a transfer James additionally advisable.


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Tax information exhibits that the majority of bequests usually go to household foundations, which distinguishes this specific present, although it has some precedent, James stated. After her loss of life in 2003, McDonald’s heiress Joan P. Kroc left about $1.5 billion to the Salvation Military and one other $200 million to Nationwide Public Radio.

A serious focus of the board’s strategic planning is how one can attain extra deprived college students, together with by providing stipends to future members in recognition of the truth that some college students can’t afford to not work through the summer time.

The Board asks questions similar to: “What’s the proper method relating to {qualifications} and stipulations for packages?” Steslaw stated. “And likewise, how can we attain out to communities that we could not have acquired purposes from previously and do higher job advertising, and ensure that these college students know that not solely are they welcome, however that we are going to accommodate them in any approach we are able to?” ___ Related Press philanthropy and nonprofits obtain protection Profitability Assist via AP’s collaboration with The Dialog US, with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. The AP is solely accountable for this content material. For all of AP’s philanthropy protection, go to

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