History of the CSF

The Community Service Fund (CSF) was established in 1968 by a vote of the faculty to provide financial assistance to support MIT students, faculty, and staff volunteers in community service initiatives.  

The original documents indicate the following priorities:

  • Education for MIT students: “Projects with educational value to MIT students need to be funded”
  • Institute - community relations: “develops better understanding with the people in the community”; “strengthen mutual understanding and cooperation between the Institute and the community”
  • Initial and interim support for student and faculty service projects: “relationships between MIT and the community will be jeopardized if service projects are started and dropped on the basis of temporary enthusiasms among faculty and students”
  • Social equality: “Activities that will promote equality of opportunity within the community”
  • Funding for public service work, not MIT stipends: “A basic exclusion is that no salaries will be paid to members of the Institute.”

In its infancy, the CSF distributed the brochures and letters you see listed above to faculty to gain support. Today, support mainly comes from volunatry donations made by MIT staff and faculty through the Community Giving at MIT campaign. Over 45 years later, the goal of CSF is still employee participation!