Dear Fellow 2001 Classmates,
As the Class Treasurer, I have fielded a lot of questions regarding Lifetime Membership Dues. In keeping with our Board’s dedication to transparency coming out of the Alumnae Leadership Council (ALC) in October, we believe it is important to address and answer these questions. This is our class money, and you should know what is going on with it.
WHAT DO LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP DUES PAY FOR?
Our Reunion Budget
- Subsidize housing, meal, and activities costs
- Help classmates in need of funds to attend
- Provide green flair (boas, hats, sunglasses, etc.) for the parade
Gifts on Behalf of the Class of 2001
- For example, Class Officers voted to contribute $50 to Doctors Without Borders in honor of Meggan Clark, our classmate who sadly passed away in January
- Example to consider in the future, a scholarship fund to pay for a student to attend Wellesley
Purchase Endowment Shares
- Every year, we have an opportunity to invest in Wellesley and to increase our 2001 portfolio. We can purchase full or partial shares in the Wellesley College Endowment fund. I’ll discuss this further below.
- Years from now, our funds will grow thanks to interest payments and compound interest.
Alumnae Leadership Council Weekend Reimbursement
- Funds to help reimburse our class officers, who are volunteers, for ALC costs as required to fulfill ALC officer duties, for example class officer travel to Wellesley for training for their respective positions.
- We have used very little funds for this purpose; ideally, we would increase our funds to make attendance at ALC more accessible for class officers
- These funds ensure that class officer positions are available to everyone in the class
HOW MUCH IS LIFETIME DUES?
HOW DO LIFETIME DUES SUPPORT OUR CLASS AND WELLESLEY?
Endowment shares are an excellent way to support both our class and Wellesley. Purchasing funds supports Wellesley by growing the college endowment, and they support our class by generating yearly income. We have received dividend payments every year since 2001, and these dividends will continue to be a reliable source of income for our class. Thanks to the phenomenal increase in our class of 2001 Lifetime Member Dues last year (2016), we were able to buy 22 more shares. The 2016 dividend rate per share was $30.96, so we received a check for $975 this February. This was an increase of 70% from 2015 when our dividend distribution check was $572. Buying more shares adds up quickly. Some classes receive up to $5,000/yr in dividend payments. We currently have $6,713 in our class bank account. We own about 33 shares in the Endowment.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO PAY LIFETIME DUES?
In June, we will have the opportunity to purchase more shares in the Endowment Fund. The cost of each share is currently $672. In order to avoid bank fees and ensure some accessible funds as a class, we should keep approximately $3,500 in our class account. We aim to put everything else toward buying shares. As reunion gets closer, we will start holding back more accessible funds in order to help offset reunion costs.
The sooner we get Lifetime Membership Fees, the sooner we can buy more shares. Timing matters because we gain more in dividends each year. And do not forget about compound interest! Earlier share purchases and compound interest grow our funds tremendously over the coming years. Finally, each year the cost of shares in the endowment increases, so it’s much better to buy shares when they are cheaper.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HAVING MORE OR LESS FUNDS?
The greatest noticeable impact is in what we can offer at reunion. Last reunion, I’m sure some of us noticed that some classes had passed appetizers, more meal options, lower attendance fees, etc. There is a reason those are generally the older classes. Older classes tend to have a lot more money, in part because they have been accumulating shares for longer so their dividend payments are greater. At $1,000/year, we would have $5,000 toward reunion funds in the five-year reunion cycle. A class that gets $5,000/year would have $25,000 by the time their next reunion rolls around. That’s a lot more money!
The other difference is in what we can donate as a class down the line. Eventually, we won’t need lots of money for our reunion. After our 60th reunion, the college will start taking over the work of maintaining our funds for us. However, we will still get dividend payments, and we will get to decide what we want to happen with those funds.
HOW DO YOU PAY LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP DUES?
- Pay online. As of this year, there will no longer be a credit card fee for this payment! https://2001.alum.wellesley.edu/memsub.html
- Mail me a check. Please write me at email@example.com, and I can send you my address.
- I can even take Venmo payments and transfer them to our class account. My Venmo ID is Neeloofar-Jenks.
- Please reach out to me, if you need to establish a payment plan. Payment plans would need to be paid by check or Venmo, and I can keep track of payments until you are at $250. We want to make this as easy as possible.
SOME IMPORTANT REMINDERS
- Lifetime Membership Dues do not count as a donation to the college. They are not the same as Annual Giving. Annual Giving funds go directly to the college and are asked for yearly. Lifetime Membership Dues are a one-time donation to our class.
- Do not mail Lifetime Membership Dues to the college. They will be processed as a donation to the college, and I cannot get them then.
- We have non-profit status, so I can send you a tax letter for donation.
- You can gift a lifetime membership to fellow classmates. If this is something that interests you, please let me know!
- Having 25% lifetime members by our 25th reunion and 50% by our 50th reunion would put us in good shape. We currently have about 14%. Since we are 16 years out, I’d love to get up to 16% participation this year. In order to do so, we need an additional 14 people to pay their Lifetime Membership Dues.
I hope I’ve met my goal of answering the most common questions. Please feel free to contact me with any additional questions or concerns.
Nilu Haghighat Jenks (aka Nelly)
2001 Class Treasurer