Since its founding, MIT has maintained a commitment to serving the local community as a good neighbor, as a resource for education and technology, and by contributing to the state and local economy.
Some examples of how MIT strives to support its host community include offering expertise to nonprofits and programs via committee and board memberships; donation of funds; educational initiatives; facility use; and community service performed by students, faculty, and staff. The MIT's Collaborations in Cambridge document outlines the Institute's efforts in this regard.
The Institute, which employs nearly 10,000 individuals, and is the second largest employer in Cambridge, contributes significantly to the local and state economy, serving as a magnet for investment and fueling an innovation economy with the research, startups, and talent pool it generates. According to the 2009 Entrepreneurial Impact: the Role of MIT report by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, over 200 Cambridge companies have strong ties with the MIT community. The report also cites that many of these Cambridge startups have licensed technology from the MIT Technology Licensing Office.
In Cambridge, MIT pays taxes on its commercial property and provides an annual payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) for property that is legally tax exempt. In fiscal year 2012, the Institute continued this 83-year old tradition by providing the City of Cambridge with a voluntary PILOT contribution in the amount of $2.3 million. In addition, MIT paid or generated over $36.5 million in real estate taxes in fiscal year 2012, and in doing so represented 12.2 percent of the Cambridge tax revenue stream and was the City's largest taxpayer.
MIT also supports the financial base of Cambridge through other means, including payments for licenses, fees, and permits, totaling $7.2 million in fiscal year 2012. MIT is proud of its Cambridge First Purchasing Program, which resulted in the investment of over $58.4 million in Cambridge businesses in fiscal year 2012. This program, together with taxes paid, payments in lieu of taxes, and municipal fees, brought MIT's fiscal year 2012 economic contribution to the City to over $104.5 million.