Michael Maier - Donor Spotlight

Sarah Kowalevsky - 12 May 2021

Dr. Michael Maier (BCom ‘02) is no stranger to philanthropy. He was raised in a family where service and giving were ingrained in their values. He still remembers tagging alongside his grandfather as a small boy in Medicine Hat and Redcliff, AB, fundraising for international development. As an alumnus of the Alberta School of Business, it was a natural decision for him to support the future generation of students from his alma mater.

Michael Maier

Mike has been a donor to the Alberta School of Business for almost a decade. He was initially inspired to give after seeing the financial sacrifices made for his mom to return to school — she graduated with her nursing degree (BScN ‘89) and masters in nursing (MN ‘03) after Mike and his family moved to Edmonton in the mid-’80s. Mike later established two scholarships — one to support a graduate accounting student and the other supporting a female student with a healthcare background pursuing her MBA.

There are many giving possibilities at the university to accommodate donor needs and for Mike, his philanthropic journey with the university has been easy. He praised the development staff, who handled the paperwork and set up the donation to come off his paycheck. 

“I don’t even notice until it’s time to do my taxes,” he said, referring to the tax benefit you receive when a donation is given to the university. In fact, Mike said that he has also looked at donating stocks as another way to give, which provides an even bigger tax advantage. Though Mike isn’t someone who wants his name in lights, he wanted to share his story as a way to encourage others in the faculty who’ve been thinking about giving back to a charitable donation. He also recognizes that the school’s staff go above and beyond in their commitment to the culture of philanthropy that the school is working to strengthen. Philanthropy has a wide reach — from building a sense of community to improving research — and every gift, no matter the size, makes a difference in the school’s student experience.

Despite everything that is happening at the university, with the economy and the pandemic, Mike has continued his support. 

“It never crossed my mind to stop,” he said. “I have been really fortunate to work from home in a safe environment during these times. It’s infinitely more difficult for students to adjust. Now more than ever we need to support them. Gifts are most meaningful in this environment.”

A donor experience doesn’t stop at the money exchange. A relationship is built, and the donor has the opportunity to see the impact in the area to which they have given. Recently, Mike and his family were sent a heartfelt video from one of their student recipients. Not only did she communicate a thank you, but she demonstrated how the gift impacted her and her family. This will be a moment that is captured for Mike, his family and the student as a reminder of the generous support that they continue to provide. We really couldn’t do the exceptional work at the school without Mike and our other committed donors.

Thank you Mike for sharing your story and for all that you do in contributing to the success of our students and programs at the Alberta School of Business.

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Please contact our team to discuss how you can make a difference:

Sue Chaffey
Assistant Dean, Advancement
chaffey@ualberta.ca

Sarah Kowalevsky
Associate Director, Development
sarah.kowalevsky@ualberta.ca

Alicsa Timmons
Stewardship and Development Officer
alicsa.timmons@ualberta.ca