Giving at the NAE

Private support enhances our capacity to be a public voice for engineering.

  • Radka Z. Nebesky
    Director of Development
    National Academy of Engineering
    2101 Constitution Ave., NW Washington, DC 20418
  • Lauren Bartolozzi
    Associate Director of Development
    National Academy of Engineering
    2101 Constitution Ave. NW Washington, DC

Giving Opportunities

Did you know that 30% of the NAE's budget comes from private philanthropy? Therefore, private contributions provide vital funding that:

  • Strengthens the NAE's voice on national policy and increase public awareness of the crucial role engineering plays in our society;
  • Supports programming and initiatives aimed at increasing the number, quality, and diversity of U.S. engineering graduates; and 
  • Advance the national capacity for 21st century innovation and global competitiveness. 

Below are NAE priorities, where your gift can truly make a difference

LAUNCH NEW INITIATIVES: A gift with limited or no restrictions is one of the most important gifts you can make to the NAE. These gifts provide the NAE with strategic flexibility to launch and sustain new initiatives, and provide for the continuity of our operations.

CREATE OPPORTUNITY: The NAE is working to ensure long-term U.S. competitiveness in an increasingly globalized world by promoting innovative engineering education and a vibrant engineering workforce. Make a gift in this area to bolster our capacity to make a difference. 

CULTIVATE LEADERSHIP & RECOGNIZE INNOVATION: The NAE is active in the cultivation and recognition of outstanding people in the engineering field. Retention and support of the best staffers is central to the NAE's rigorous and independent study process, while training the next generation of leaders and enhancing diversity within the field is needed across the board. Make a gift to enhance our ability to support the people who are advancing the profession.

ENGAGE THE NATION: The NAE's mission "to provide service to the nation" depends on its ability to reach and engage key constituencies in government, industry, academia, and the public. Without a robust communications and outreach effort, and a clear message, the NAE would be ill equipped to strengthen the position of engineering in society. By enhancing its public communications capabilities, your contribution will help improve the NAE's visibility, enhance its relevance, and broaden its impact. 


NAE Grand Challenges For Engineering - The NAE, at the request of the National Science Foundation, convened a committee of leading technical thinkers to identify the Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century. Much input was considered, ranging from experts in science or engineering to the broader general public. Their 14 game-changing goals for improving life on the planet, announced in 2008, are outlined below. The committee also suggested these Grand Challenges fall into four cross-cutting themes of: Sustainability, Health, Security, and Joy of Living.

NAE Independent Fund - This is NAE's unrestricted and main operating fund, supporting general activities of the NAE. As our one truly discretionary resource, the fund supplements projects and activities such as EngineerGirl!, the Bueche and Founders Awards, the WTOP radio series, improvements to the NAE's website, and many more. Additionally, this fund has allowed the NAE to undertake such landmark projects as Rising Above the Gathering Storm, America's Energy Future, and Grand Challenges for Engineering. 

President's Initiatives Fund - This fund supports exploratory studies and new initiatives as directed by NAE presidents. The seed money will empower NAE to be proactive in identifying and leading initiatives important to the welfare of the nation and the engineering profession. 


Engineering Education - The NAE’s program office is dedicated to understanding and improving engineering education. To do so, the NAE has completed varied investigations in areas including K-12 engineering, evaluating faculty instruction, and lifelong learning. Your gift allows NAE to continue cultivating and disseminating effective and innovative teaching methods.

In an effort to meet this need, the NAE established LinkEngineering as an online community of educators interestin in providing meaningful engineering experiences to PreK-12 students of all abilities. LinkEngineering's educators work with students in classrooms and other settings, and participants include - but are not limited to - teachers, teacher educators, and administrators. The site allows members to connect with each other and engineering education experts.

Ethics Education and Leadership - The Center for Engineering, Ethics, and Society (CEES) was formed to address ethical and societal challenges stemming from technological innovation by bringing them to the attention of the engineering profession and our citizenry. As part of its mission, CEES manages the NAE Online Ethics Center (OEC) for engineering and research. The OEC is a popular on-line resource containing accessible materials for practitioners, educators, students, and other individuals interested in professional and research ethics. Together, CEES and OEC draw on the expertise of NAE members to continue to enhance the functionality and content of the OEC to encourage and broaden societal discussion and decision-making. Private support maintains NAE initiatives pertaining to ethics and further the missions of CEES and OEC.

Frontiers of Engineering Education - Engineering is a global enterprise, and America's workforce for the 21st century must include well-educated engineers capable of working in, creating, and leading the industries that will drive our economy, create jobs, and solve many of the problems faced by our nation and the world. 

To meet this challenge, the NAE conceived Frontiers of Engineering Education (FOEE), a multi-year activity to identify, prepare, and nurture exceptional young engineering faculty to teach and train the next generation of engineers. FOEE holds an annual 3-day working convocation of up to 100 extraordinary young engineering faculty members who present their innovative approaches to classroom, laboratory, project, experiential, computer-based, or other modes of successful 21st century engineering instruction. Gifts made to this project support all aspects of the FOEE Program. 

Manufacturing, Design, and Innovation - The NAE is working to increase economic growth and quality of life in the United States by addressing critical challenges to the future of U.S. manufacturing, design, and innovation. Private support sustains NAE’s ongoing initiative to enable fast-paced innovation in the U.S., and to develop a workforce with the skills necessary for the future of U.S. manufacturing.


Diversity Award - This Award will honor an individual, project, organization, or institution for outstanding contributions to improving gender, racial, and other forms of diversity in engineering. The awardee will deliver a plenary talk at the NAE Annual Meeting and publish the lecture in the NAE quarterly, The Bridge. An important purpose of the lecture will be to offer a vision of the challenges and opportunities to achieving greater diversity in engineering. Funds raised to support the Award would be used to cover all aspects of organizing and presenting the Award.

Named and Endowed Positions - The NAE Program Office’s work is defined by its range and depth of expertise. Named and endowed positions help NAE attract and retain the best talent to staff projects and programs, and maintain an intellectually rigorous and independent agenda. Positions can be funded to support areas like energy, environment, education, ethics, diversity, health, media, and public engagement. By endowing an NAE officer position, you can help us continue developing staff who will provide crucial guidance to support the work and policy activities that impact society.


21st Century Communication - This fund would help assure that NAE is well positioned to fully leverage new and emerging forms of Internet-based communication including social media to improve the impact of our work. By taking advantage of these creative and innovative tools, the NAE can enhance its relevance, positioning us to fully engage in national and global engineering conversations.

Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series - For 15 years, NAE has been working with the Washington, DC, region's most-listened to radio station— WTOP Radio— and the nation's only all-news radio station for federal employees— WFED 1500 AM— to provide weekly features highlighting engineering innovations and stories that add technical context to issues in the news. Private funds provide core support of this program including staff time, equipment, and other associated expenditures as needed.

Public Understanding of Engineering -  Engineering has been a vehicle for change and progress throughout history, as well as a strong influence on our quality of life and economic prosperity. A better understanding of what engineers do and the challenges they face is crucial to inform members of a forward-looking society. Gifts support projects that promote the understanding of engineering and technical literacy among the general public, and encourage young people to pursue engineering as a profession. Current projects in this area include Changing the Conversation; the NAE’s continued involvement in the Grand Challenges for Engineering; the NAE’s participation in the USA Science and Engineering festivals; and the EngineerGirl! website and essay contest.