Staff Donor Gives Willingly

Margaret “Mag” Gottlieb loves GW, so she’s putting her money where her heart is.

As a staff donor and volunteer for the “We Are GW” Faculty & Staff Campaign, Gottlieb is issuing a challenge to her colleagues.

“For me, GW means ‘Give Willingly,’” explains Gottlieb. “I’m willing to give up whatever raise or bonus I get this year from my review and I encourage others to do the same. I’m willing to give up 100%. I understand other people may not think they can afford that, but I feel that people should give something.”

Before coming to GW six years ago, Gottlieb was a successful lawyer and lobbyist and the head of an executive search firm. She wanted to help others get into her field of politics, so she became the Career Services Director for the Graduate School of Political Management.

“Coming from the political world, I’ve done a lot of fundraising for politicians and sometimes people feel like you have to be rich to give,” says Gottlieb. “The Chronicle of Philanthropy shows that people earning less money give a higher percentage of their incomes than people making a lot of money.”

As a member of the Knowledge in Action Career Internship Fund (KACIF) committee, Gottlieb sees first-hand the effects of even the smallest gifts. With a maximum award of $3,000, KACIF grants allow GW students to pursue necessarily unpaid internships in order to gain experience and enhance their careers prospects.

“I recently went to a dinner for KACIF and there was a student there, an undergrad in political science and public policy, [who] really made an impact on me,” recalls Gottlieb. “He said, ‘I used the money to buy a suit. Otherwise I would have had to work two part-time jobs plus this unpaid internship to be able to buy that suit.’ And I thought to myself that night, ‘I can afford to buy somebody a suit.’

“That’s why I’m issuing my challenge,” continues Gottlieb. “I want money to go to funding these unpaid internships through the KACIF fund and I want money to go to scholarships.”

But why should GW faculty and staff, many of whom are not alumni, give to their employer?

“Because it’s part of our futures,” says Gottlieb. “Students do have other choices, so if enough families feel like they can’t afford it, then more families are going to prohibit their children from coming here.”

The Career Services Director also hopes her colleagues feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves.

“If they’re teaching here, they should give. If they’re working here, they should give,” says Gottlieb. “GW is a really great institution in the best city in the world.”


GW faculty and staff can support the “We Are GW” Faculty and Staff Campaign through direct gifts and payroll deduction. Visit to learn more about how you can help Support Students, Enhance Academics, and Break New Ground  at GW.

Author: Craig Burdick

Craig Burdick is a writer on GW's development communications team. If you have a story idea, let him know at

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