Frequently Asked Questions

What will Boldly Lead do with the money?

Our purpose is to protect and promote single-sex residential undergraduate education at Mary Baldwin. All contributions will be used to further Mission Statement used at the discretion of the Board of Directors of Boldly Lead

Possible uses of donations include the following:

  • Bundling small contributions so alumni giving is treated with the same respect as a gift from a major donor;
  • Engaging legal services, as necessary;
  • Hiring public relations services, as necessary; and
  • Covering other necessary costs as determined by the Boldly Lead board of directors.

Boldly Lead is incorporated as a nonprofit and we are a tax-exempt 501c3 status for contributions. In accordance with our Articles of Incorporation, members of the Board and its committees may not profit from our activities. We are committed to fiscal responsibility, transparency, and maintaining excellent stewardship of the money as an organization.

Why should I give to you and not just make a restricted gift to MBU?

Our purpose as a group is to protect and promote single-sex residential undergraduate education at Mary Baldwin. By contrast, over time, Mary Baldwin removed all language referencing women or women’s education from their statement of purpose.

When you make donations to us, your gift not only has a monetary value, but by joining it with other contributions, you give your dollars a voice and lobbying power on behalf of women’s education at MBU.

MBU has not been transparent about plans for the future and has not involved alumnae in those plans. Making restricted gifts to MBU, although remunerative for the institution, does nothing to empower alumnae in their decision-making processes.

What’s the point of bundling the money?

When we pool our resources, our smaller contributions are treated with the same respect as a single large gift from a wealthy donor.

When a single wealthy individual makes a large gift to a school or nonprofit, they she gets a different kind of access than someone making a smaller contribution, and it’s easy to see why. People don’t become or remain wealthy by being incautious about their investments. When a major donor opens up her wallet to give a multi-million dollar gift over several years, it’s not a gift, it’s an investment, and nonprofits treat it as such.

To begin with, no wealthy donor would make such a gift without having a conversation about where the money is going. She would expect to see financial statements which demonstrate her gift will be spent responsibly and not wasted. She would further expect a high-level conversation (perhaps with a member of the board or the president themselves) about how her money had been used in the past, and how her new gift would be used. That conversation would probably include an overall portrait of where the organization is and is going. It’s an informative conversation, but it is a two-way conversation, that can include, “This proposal doesn’t protect my investment with your organization. This is detracting from the objectives that motivated me to give in the first place. I am not interested in thus-and-such endeavor.” Because again, people don’t become wealthy by being disinterested in their money.

Individually, most of us in this group would never be able to make a contribution large enough to be seen as an investment. A gift that would be sacrificial for me personally would be a drop in the bucket for MBU. By pooling our money, however, Boldly Baldwin Inc. can make gifts that *are* investments and *would* be treated as such.

With regular, large bundled contributions we become a valued stakeholder and partner, rather than bunch of individual small fish donors who are easy to overlook. We’re offering to do something valuable by seeking out small contributions and energizing alumnae to be better donors – MBU hasn’t been able to do that in the past. If we are able to do that now, we will have earned our seat at the table.

Are gifts to Boldly Lead tax-deductible?

We are currently seeking approval of 501c3 tax-exempt status as an organization, and if approved, all donations may be tax-deductible to the date that we incorporated. However, we cannot offer tax advice, and if you have any questions about tax implications, we suggest that you consult with a CPA or tax attorney.

How are gifts going to be collected?

In the coming weeks, we will have everything in place so pledges can be fulfilled and gifts can be made online with a credit card and by check through the mail.

If your question is not answered above, please email us at

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