Unrestricted Futures 2017

Keep Science Sailing!

Thank you for your dedication and interest in the mission of Boyce Thompson Institute! A world without science funding is a world without science. More than ever, philanthropic support of discovery science is necessary to secure our collective futures. Join us in supporting research and education at the Boyce Thompson Institute through this year’s Unrestricted Futures Campaign!

Become a campaign fundraising champion!

Just as important as donations are the ambassadors who communicate our vision to prospective donors. Join our campaign today by becoming a fundraising champion through our GiveGab portal!

You can support BTI by extending our fundraising efforts to your network! To learn more about how to join the campaign, download the Champion Toolkit.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for Live at BTI: BTI Gives Back! If you missed any or would like to watch again, all interviews and more information can now be found on our #GivingTuesday page.

Your support means so much to us and to future generations—and is the basis for the next big breakthrough.

Make your gift conveniently and securely online by contributing to our GiveGab campaign today!

Contributions are 100 percent tax deductible and are acknowledged with a letter sent from our Development Office.

The Heroes of Science work in the shadow of the laboratory.

How will YOU open their doors to discovery?

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Why do unrestricted gifts matter?

Grants only support about 67% of the annual budget, and are restricted to specific project needs. Your support helps to fund everything from “blue sky” research projects not yet covered by grants, to operational needs, and enriching post-graduate training and educational programs such as the high school summer intern program.

Innovative Pilot Projects

Philanthropic support allows researchers to be nimble in exploring intriguing results or surprising new research opportunities. Your support for bold ideas leads to cutting-edge discoveries, setting the stage for applications to agriculture and human health.

Education Programs

Summer internships pair undergraduate and high school students with mentors, offering hands-on opportunities to learn advanced techniques in molecular biology, genomics and bioinformatics, make discoveries in plant science, and explore potential careers in research. The high school internship program is 100% donor-supported.

Postgraduate Society

BTI’s Postgraduate Society (PGS) promotes professional development, builds community, facilitates communication and represents postdoctoral associates, graduate students, and technicians at BTI. The PGS organizes events that foster career development, like guest lectures, seminars, and symposia. PGS also coordinates a new mentorship program which recently completed a successful debut, that pairs members with mentors in a variety of fields, including industry.

PGS members at our 2017 Annual BTI Science Symposium.

BTI faculty member Michelle Heck examines an orange sapling for signs of citrus greening disease.

High School Student Scholarship Drawing

If the goal of $280,000 is reached, a name will be drawn from among those who donate $250 or more* between September 1 and December 31, 2017. The winning donor will choose a recipient high school. BTI staff will coordinate with the school’s administration for the nomination of a student recipient.

The scholarship will be given to a potential first generation college student who is accepted into either a two or four-year program related to STEM fields. Recipients will be nominated by school personnel, mentors, or program leaders from the school district chosen by the winning donor, and the scholarship will be presented at graduation. The scholarship will be provided by BTI and sponsored by the Board Chair, Laura Philips.

*Donors receive an entry for every $250 donated, (e.g. a gift of $500 = two chances to win).

Have questions?

Call: (607) 254-6775

Select a Giving Level




A letter from our President

When I first joined Boyce Thompson Institute in 1989, the world’s population was about 5.2 billion. As I write this letter a short 28 years later (where did the time go?) our population has surpassed 7.5 billion and the United Nations estimates it will continue growing by over 150,000 humans each day. While society works to ensure an adequate and healthy food supply, climate change alters precipitation patterns, bringing more frequent and severe droughts and floods that magnify existing challenges to agriculture, public health, and our environment. I invite you to take an influential step toward meeting these global challenges by joining me in supporting research and education at the Boyce Thompson Institute through this year’s Unrestricted Futures Campaign.

Philanthropic support of science is needed now more than ever. Discovery research, like that performed at BTI, is a valuable investment in our collective futures. By making a gift today, you personally contribute to research with the potential to combat plant diseases, advance bioenergy initiatives, improve breeding, or to identify important chemicals that can be the basis for new medicines, promoting the health of our communities for generations to come.

Your gift encourages BTI scientists to re-think the status quo and take risks, whether it is launching a difficult project, offering an opportunity to a student who would otherwise not experience hands-on research, or exploring innnovative applications of new technologies in the lab, classroom, or field.

For a second year in a row, thanks to the generosity of BTI board chair, Laura Philips, we are offering an exciting incentive. Upon reaching our $280,000 goal, Laura has pledged to sponsor a $1,000 scholarship to be awarded to a first generation college student from a high school of one lucky donor’s choosing. For every $250 you donate between September 1st and December 31st, you’ll be entered! You can find out more about the scholarship opportunity, what the campaign supports, and how you can participate on the back of this letter.

Thank you for your commitment to BTI and for investing in the health and sustainability of our planet.

In gratitude,

David Stern,
President of Boyce Thompson Institute

Help the Colonel’s vision sail on!

In 1917, William Boyce Thompson traveled to Russia with the America Red Cross on an aid mission to a nation ripped apart by revolution. There, “the Colonel” had a revelation. He witnessed, first-hand, the connection between agriculture and food security, and social and political stability. Thompson returned to the States determined to push the US government to invest in plant science. When the president and congress dragged their feet, Thompson used his own wealth to found BTI. For more than 90 years, BTI researchers have worked to unlock discoveries in support of agriculture, the environment, and human health.

True to the Colonel’s vision, BTI science aims to support the most crucial needs of the global community. BTI’s diverse group of researchers work on foundational projects related to biofuels, food production, flavor and diseases, human autoimmune disease, and more.  Some collaborate with breeders in developing nations to make crops more disease resistant and more nutritious. Others examining the insect gut, learning how viruses like Zika live within insects and how they’re spread people. Still others delve into the chemistry of roundworms, bringing us closer to developing therapies for chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, and arthritis. Some of your favorite crops like corn, coffee, and citrus are constantly at risk from viruses, bacteria, and environmental stresses. We’re on the front line, diving deep into their biology, combing through their genetics, looking for clues that will lead us on a path to long-term sustainability. Your support helps to provide capacity to make all of this work possible.

The health and economic impacts associated with plant science cannot be overstated. The life processes that exist beneath us and surround us offer a bridge to an uncharted territory where discoveries lie in waiting. You can help us to find them, by investing in BTI with your gift today. Thank you!

Note for Restricted Gifts

Effective 10/1/2017: Restricted endowment and program gifts are subject to an indirect cost recovery policy which require that 20% of gift funds be retained by the institute, to be applied to the costs associated with the specific restricted gift purpose. Restricted gifts below $5,000 will be subject to a reduced 10% IDC rate.

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