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Small Donations for a Big Vision: A Conversation with Dr. Pei-Cheng Liao, Vice President for Financial Affairs

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Prof. Pei-Cheng Liao of the Accounting Department took over as Vice President for Financial Affairs in January 2019. Between 2019 and 2021, the average growth in small donations to NTU reached 105% compared to 2018. “Many a little makes a mickle,” said Liao. If only each and every one of NTU’s 310,000 alumni could give back a little, the amount would be significant. With self-generated income becoming the primary source of funding, Liao’s mission is to get the alumni to give back regularly.

Donations Facilitated by Digitization

Liao’s success is due to her optimizing the user experience so that the donation procedure is fast and easy. The new website went online last year with a much better interface. The possibility of making donations online rather than having to do paperwork also helped. Many payment methods have also been made available, including credit card, bank transfer, and Line Pay. Moreover, information regarding the use of the donated funds has been made transparent to encourage people to donate. “We have incorporated accountability into the webpage so that the donors know exactly where their money is going.”

Donation Powered by Emotional Connection

At the NTU Affairs Meeting in March, Liao proposed the idea of facilitating small and recurring donations. “Alumni would be more willing to give back if they remain connected to the university. Letting them know the goals the university is focusing on and winning their recognition is the best way to secure their donations.” Inspired by the alumni reunions for undergraduates organized by the Alumni Center, Liao held fund-raising events for graduate school alumni. With the success of the EMBA fund-raising event last year and the Taichung alumni event this February, similar events are being planned for alumni based in Kaohsiung and from the College of Engineering.

With the goal of raising the Centennial Vision Fund for 2028, the series of events will also give alumni a sense of participation for being part of the program. Take the most popular scholarship donations, for example; donors are invited to interact with the recipients at the award ceremonies. On such a heartwarming occasion, donors can witness how their contributions make NTU a better place.

Dr. Pei-Cheng Liao, Vice President for Financial Affairs