Author Topic: Do you give back to your College/University?  (Read 23612 times)

JPinDC

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #50 on: April 25, 2014, 07:52:47 AM »
A school isn't asking for donations because its mismanaging its budget. Every school intentionally budgets for a section of money which comes from donations. This allows people a tax-advantaged way to contribute to the school, and keeps tuition lower (I know it's still very high, I really know).

I would also caution focusing too much on the "efficiency" of an organization. There is truth to the saying that it "takes money to make money," and the people who work in administration and fundraising for an organization add a lot of value. Without people directly soliciting gifts, there would be no annual giving or alumni program, without which the school couldn't take on initiatives like expanding scholarship endowment and campus improvements, because they wouldn't have a donor base.

I'd suggest this TED talk about philanthropy for anyone who's interested: http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pallotta_the_way_we_think_about_charity_is_dead_wrong

CommonCents

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #51 on: April 25, 2014, 07:54:03 AM »
Just a datapoint: many foundations give money to universities based on the percentage of alumni who donate to the university.  So if you do support your university, an annual gift of $10 or $15 helps raise their alumni-donation percentage, which will be worth more to them than merely $10 or $15.

I donate a small amount every single year for my college in part for this reason.  I will continue to do so.  Now that I'm on better financially footing, I'll up it, but less than I do to my main charity where I serve on the Board.  DH does not believe in donating to our college, so he doesn't.

I've donated irregularly to my law school, swear I'm going to stop and then foolishly this year accepted a coffee invitation from a fundraising person when in town, and said I would donate something so I ought to follow through.  (In the past I did some non-monetary, non-cold calling work for them, helping organized accepted student events, and have talked to them about it and other things.)  But now I'm going to turn down any coffee invitations!

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #52 on: April 25, 2014, 09:59:20 AM »
I'm in the "I paid enough already" category on this one. My school is doing just fine without a donation from me. Maybe I was just a very sheltered, ignorant kid but I never even realized this was so prevalent until maybe 5 years out of college.

It still doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Why not just charge full tuition? If less people attend, maybe they'll all be forced to reduce tuition prices.

dragoncar

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #53 on: April 25, 2014, 10:07:02 AM »
A school isn't asking for donations because its mismanaging its budget. Every school intentionally budgets for a section of money which comes from donations.

Cool, I forgot to put a line item in my own budget for donations to me.  I'll post a GoFundme on Facebook when I'm behind on rent because nobody donated.  Don't tell me I'm mismanaging my budget, though.

atlbrew

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #54 on: April 25, 2014, 10:21:42 AM »
You can include me in the "give small amounts annually" group.  I graduated from a large public in-state school and felt, for the money, it was and continues to be a tremendous value.

As for the the crowd protesting use of university donations/tuition to fund athletics, I am not sure how each school operates but I know the athletics department at my school provides a significant contribution to the academics budget annually (in excess of $13 million) and is entirely self-sufficient (i.e. does not receive funds from the academics side of the university). 

beltim

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #55 on: April 25, 2014, 10:23:01 AM »
I'm in the "I paid enough already" category on this one. My school is doing just fine without a donation from me. Maybe I was just a very sheltered, ignorant kid but I never even realized this was so prevalent until maybe 5 years out of college.

It still doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Why not just charge full tuition? If less people attend, maybe they'll all be forced to reduce tuition prices.

Because all the other colleges don't charge full tuition.  Any college that suddenly switched would see a drastic increase in tuition, and a drastic decrease in applications.

Sonorous Epithet

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #56 on: April 25, 2014, 10:30:49 AM »
A good number of the people on this thread seem to see their alma maters as an institutionalized version of the superconsumer, who will spend their donations unwisely.

My alma mater closed in 2008 due to funding issues, and reopened 5 years later after reorganizing. It had a sad, measly endowment in the neighborhood of $10-20 million, which was not enough to see the school through their tough times. Part of the reason for this is that their alumni have a tendency to use their education and pursue careers with an emphasis on social justice, rather than remuneration. In their poor but noble career paths, it's always a struggle for the school to get generous donations.

So I do give once and awhile. I wish I felt like I could afford to give more.

Argyle

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #57 on: April 25, 2014, 10:38:18 AM »
So let's say you raise tuition and fewer people attend.  That actually loses money.  Because there are economies of scale.  Particularly in the subjects with smaller enrollments, for instance let's say Italian, Classics, Linguistics, Religious Studies, and Music Performance. There are usually 10-15 departments with smaller enrollments like this.  They were puttering along with classes 2/3 full, but suddenly they're only 2/5 full.  But you still have to pay the professors' salaries.  So enrollment in those drops below the limit and you cut the programs. (You can fire even tenured professors if you're axing the whole program.)  But suddenly you have a university without a lot of breadth more of a glorified trade school, with an attenuated liberal arts program.  So fewer students are attracted to the university, and your enrollments drop again.  And the smaller programs tend to be populated by the more high-achieving students, who not incidentally bring National Merit Scholarships and the like. So suddenly they're going elsewhere, and your rankings drop as well as your enrollements.  Meanwhile you have all those dorms to maintain, even if they're partially empty.  You want to sell them off?  If you're a state school, that idea is going to take some beating from the legislature -- "Why have you lost enrollments?  Are you not doing your job properly?" -- and who's going to buy a high-rise dorm on the edge of a campus? 

In short, universities already have figured out how to balance tuition and enrollment to maximize things, and they're working as hard as they can to get those things in line.  Generally the larger the university, the more they can utilize economies of scale.  Reducing student numbers very often makes things more expensive. 

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #58 on: April 25, 2014, 10:55:09 AM »
I'm in the "I paid enough already" category on this one. My school is doing just fine without a donation from me. Maybe I was just a very sheltered, ignorant kid but I never even realized this was so prevalent until maybe 5 years out of college.

It still doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Why not just charge full tuition? If less people attend, maybe they'll all be forced to reduce tuition prices.

Because all the other colleges don't charge full tuition.  Any college that suddenly switched would see a drastic increase in tuition, and a drastic decrease in applications.

I agree it would be tough to implement. I just have a hard time understanding why colleges need donations. It seems to me this is only fueling higher tuition costs.

Step 1 - Receive donations.
Step 2 - Spend more on buildings, technology, etc.
Step 3 - Hire expensive new teachers.
Step 4 - Charge more tuition to keep up with fancy new costs.

If you give someone an increased budget (i.e.-more money) they will find a way to fill it up with new needs. Then if the donations don't keep coming they will need more operating revenue from tuition.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #59 on: April 25, 2014, 11:15:00 AM »
A good number of the people on this thread seem to see their alma maters as an institutionalized version of the superconsumer, who will spend their donations unwisely.

My alma mater closed in 2008 due to funding issues, and reopened 5 years later after reorganizing. It had a sad, measly endowment in the neighborhood of $10-20 million, which was not enough to see the school through their tough times. Part of the reason for this is that their alumni have a tendency to use their education and pursue careers with an emphasis on social justice, rather than remuneration. In their poor but noble career paths, it's always a struggle for the school to get generous donations.

So I do give once and awhile. I wish I felt like I could afford to give more.




If these numbers are correct per you link....There seems to be a severe imbalance Academic staff   29[1]
Admin. staff   84[1]
Students   200[1]

Sonorous Epithet

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #60 on: April 25, 2014, 11:28:49 AM »
A good number of the people on this thread seem to see their alma maters as an institutionalized version of the superconsumer, who will spend their donations unwisely.

My alma mater closed in 2008 due to funding issues, and reopened 5 years later after reorganizing. It had a sad, measly endowment in the neighborhood of $10-20 million, which was not enough to see the school through their tough times. Part of the reason for this is that their alumni have a tendency to use their education and pursue careers with an emphasis on social justice, rather than remuneration. In their poor but noble career paths, it's always a struggle for the school to get generous donations.

So I do give once and awhile. I wish I felt like I could afford to give more.




If these numbers are correct per you link....There seems to be a severe imbalance Academic staff   29[1]
Admin. staff   84[1]
Students   200[1]

The school reopened in 2013 with a single class (i.e., all the students are Freshmen.) They lost their accreditation as a matter of course -- to earn it back, they have to have a certain number of that single first class stick around and graduate. How do you lure students to a school when your pitch is, "Come to Antioch, where our campus is falling apart and after you've invested 4 years of your life, maybe your degree will be accredited!"? Give everyone a full ride, which I believe most of them have. Even then, that's a big investment of your time and emotions to risk having a worthless degree. It's no surprise that the current student body is small.

The campus is also designed to have a student body of I believe 2,000 students. There is a lot of overhead for the campus as they try to regrow the enrollment, which accounts for much of the apparent administrative bloat. Also, Antioch is aggressively renovating. When I went there in the mid-2000s, many of the buildings were in poor repair, with old wiring (couldn't get Internet in my Freshman dorms) and black mold. Now they've torn them down and are determining what to rebuild.

The student/teacher ratio is probably a little low right now but Antioch always had small classes when I went there. The largest class I had had perhaps 35 students in it. The smallest classes I had (which were absolutely wonderful) had less than 10, as low as perhaps 4 students. I imagine that's less than ideal for the school, but the point is that there are no state school research university style classes with 200 students in an auditorium where the professor doesn't learn your name and you only interact with a TA.

Antioch is an interesting case study. Their heyday was over by the 70s, and they had a long decline, which is very much as Cheddar Stacker descibed.

beltim

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #61 on: April 25, 2014, 11:53:59 AM »
I'm in the "I paid enough already" category on this one. My school is doing just fine without a donation from me. Maybe I was just a very sheltered, ignorant kid but I never even realized this was so prevalent until maybe 5 years out of college.

It still doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Why not just charge full tuition? If less people attend, maybe they'll all be forced to reduce tuition prices.

Because all the other colleges don't charge full tuition.  Any college that suddenly switched would see a drastic increase in tuition, and a drastic decrease in applications.

I agree it would be tough to implement. I just have a hard time understanding why colleges need donations. It seems to me this is only fueling higher tuition costs.

Step 1 - Receive donations.
Step 2 - Spend more on buildings, technology, etc.
Step 3 - Hire expensive new teachers.
Step 4 - Charge more tuition to keep up with fancy new costs.

If you give someone an increased budget (i.e.-more money) they will find a way to fill it up with new needs. Then if the donations don't keep coming they will need more operating revenue from tuition.

You're assuming that donations go into capital costs for which the only source of maintenance funding is tuition.  This is one destination for donations, but there are many others: scholarships for needy or meritorious students, support for student activities, for an endowment, startup packages for professors who will later bring in grant money, etc.  These other uses of the money can have no impact on tuition and some are even investments which will increase funding to the school.

Fishingmn

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #62 on: April 25, 2014, 11:55:05 AM »
My alma mater pays for three football coaches whom they fired, is constantly building new facilities and 'upgrading' things that are perfectly fine. Because of this, I feel like they need to learn how to manage their own money before I give them mine.

However, if you benefited from a scholarship or some other program, I could see how you would want to give back. To each their own.

Most larger schools have totally self funded athletic departments so this isn't a great argument. The ticket revenue & media revenue pay for all the sports and both past & present coach's.

I just tell them that I did contribute by paying $75k to send my daughter to our alma mater.

GuitarStv

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #63 on: April 25, 2014, 12:59:28 PM »

Step 3 - Hire expensive new teachers.
Step 4 - Charge more tuition to keep up with fancy new costs.


Let's get one thing straight here . . . professors are not teachers.  Teaching is not the reason they're at the university, as most of them demonstrate daily in the classes they lead.  Research is what the professors do.  This is why so many profs can hardly speak English, are unable to answer questions asked in class, and generally suck.  I can count on two fingers the number of professors who were talented teachers that I ran into in my university.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #64 on: April 25, 2014, 01:16:19 PM »

Step 3 - Hire expensive new teachers.
Step 4 - Charge more tuition to keep up with fancy new costs.


Let's get one thing straight here . . . professors are not teachers.  Teaching is not the reason they're at the university, as most of them demonstrate daily in the classes they lead.  Research is what the professors do.  This is why so many profs can hardly speak English, are unable to answer questions asked in class, and generally suck.  I can count on two fingers the number of professors who were talented teachers that I ran into in my university.

you are describing a particular kind of university. I went to a school with 6,000 students for my undergrad, and a huge, well-known, "R1" (although they don't use those designations anymore) type of university for my MS. HUGE difference. if you can pay for it, I actually would highly recommend using each type of school for those purposes (small school for undergrad, big research school for research grad degree), although unfortunately small schools are usually private and stupidly expensive.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #65 on: April 25, 2014, 01:23:06 PM »
My undergraduate institution gave very generous scholarships to my wife and me, which allowed both of us to graduate without any debt. I would love to have an opportunity to pay that forward to future students by donating to the scholarship fund. The school seems to be very well managed right now. I saw a news article not too long ago praising them for being one of the only schools in the country to increase its full-time faculty and decrease the size of administration over the past decade, all while increasing student retention rates and keeping tuition under control.

Argyle

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #66 on: April 25, 2014, 03:19:04 PM »
I'm a professor and I'm surprised to hear that hardly any of the teachers speak English.  Do you mean they're foreigners, or do you mean their native-speakers whose English is bad.  Is my English faulty or incomprehensible?

What I can say is that I'm at an R1 (a "research" school) and 80% of my week is taken up with teaching and its responsibilities (prep, grading, advising students, etc. etc.)  The other 20% is taken up by meetings and admin.  For instance, I'm on the committee that students appeal to when they've gotten a long string of F's and are about to be kicked out; that takes up one afternoon per week.  The research that is a required part of my job, I do in the summers when, incidentally, I get no salary.

GuitarStv

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #67 on: April 25, 2014, 03:39:40 PM »
I did a systems and computing degree in engineering.  I'd say about 10% of the teachers were English as a first language . . . At least three were barely English as a language at all.  One prof was hilarious to listen to.  He talked about mad Mexican models for 20 minutes until I figured out it was mathematical models.  Kinda just bailed on class and learned from the text after that.

CU Tiger

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #68 on: April 25, 2014, 09:21:19 PM »
I give targeted amounts to the library and to the department I graduated from. I loved my time in school and want things to keep getting better for future students.

mlipps

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #69 on: April 25, 2014, 10:38:22 PM »
Unfortunately for my alma mater, I am now an employee and see all the ways big and small we waste students' money. For example, absurd procurement practices that result in crazy expensive supplies and furniture, a multi million dollar student center with an inept staff, and a president making half a million dollars, but since he's a priest the money goes as a donation to his order. Not to mention the misogyny and lack of women in leadership. No I will not be donating, now or ever.

Crabricorn

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #70 on: April 25, 2014, 11:08:57 PM »
I told him I was on the pre-pay plan

Love it -- did you really come up with that on the fly?

edit: to be fair, don't you usually get paid (very little) for a PHD?

I'm a smart ass by nature, so coming up with that on the spot was easy :-)

I did okay as an academic, but better now as a self-employed person. My beef is with all they spend on things like administrators - way to many of those and other nonsense.

Investing4Freedom

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #71 on: April 26, 2014, 07:22:46 AM »
My college's president actually managed to drop a plug for donations into the graduation speech of the class before me.  I know the president's job is chief fundraiser, but that was pathetic.  Tuition where I went is near what houses cost in the area.

I had a good experience at college, but feel that I already paid the price agreed to at the time (even though looking back it was high) so I do not need to throw more money at them.

wealthviahealth

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #72 on: May 04, 2014, 06:26:48 AM »
I'm loving the wide range of thoughts on this topic. Wondering if for those of you who are less likely to give back, if certain variables would make a difference in your desire to
such as; who the person is that is asking you to consider making a gift, how they asked you; i,e in person over lunch/ coffee or less directly by either phone or letter, and lastly
if you had maintained a close connection to the school post graduation via trips back, communications with faculty and students, and meaningful communications from the school that were not just the once a year call asking for donations, if this would likely have made a difference. I imagine that it would be a very annoying scenario to have the only communication from your school be a yearly call just asking for a donation. I am fortunate that this has not been the case for me, but through reading this thread I am realizing that it may be for others.





nawhite

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #73 on: May 04, 2014, 10:31:31 AM »
I'm loving the wide range of thoughts on this topic. Wondering if for those of you who are less likely to give back, if certain variables would make a difference in your desire to
such as; who the person is that is asking you to consider making a gift, how they asked you; i,e in person over lunch/ coffee or less directly by either phone or letter, and lastly
if you had maintained a close connection to the school post graduation via trips back, communications with faculty and students, and meaningful communications from the school that were not just the once a year call asking for donations, if this would likely have made a difference. I imagine that it would be a very annoying scenario to have the only communication from your school be a yearly call just asking for a donation. I am fortunate that this has not been the case for me, but through reading this thread I am realizing that it may be for others.

You sound like you work for an alumni giving office. :-)

I know of one item that would make me not only give to my school, but call up every one of my old college friends and ask them to give. If the school said, "We think the rising costs of college is a problem. As such, we will only be increasing tuition this year by inflation (or not increasing at all). We challenge other schools to keep their tuition increases low and we will continue to be leaders in this area"

I would redirect quite a bit of my charitable giving back to my school, I would become active in the alumni association, and I would volunteer with alumni interviews of prospective students. As it is though, my school is not that great a value and I don't encourage many students to go there (despite the fact that I love my school and had an amazing time there and got a great job because I went there). At today's tuition rates, it is not a good value. They are as expensive as an Ivy League school without the prestige and without the endowment to give full ride scholarships to worthy needy students. I think there are better choices for a student's education (2 years community college followed by 2 years of state school, possibly with a masters afterward mostly paid for by doing research).

Nords

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #74 on: May 04, 2014, 01:45:09 PM »
Quote
Do you give back to your College/University?
I'd rather give scholarships to students who are trying to afford the cost of the university.

There are few things more annoying than the U.S. Naval Academy's relentless alumni fund drives.

Rube

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #75 on: May 04, 2014, 04:53:47 PM »
I'm loving the wide range of thoughts on this topic. Wondering if for those of you who are less likely to give back, if certain variables would make a difference in your desire to
such as; who the person is that is asking you to consider making a gift, how they asked you; i,e in person over lunch/ coffee or less directly by either phone or letter, and lastly
if you had maintained a close connection to the school post graduation via trips back, communications with faculty and students, and meaningful communications from the school that were not just the once a year call asking for donations, if this would likely have made a difference. I imagine that it would be a very annoying scenario to have the only communication from your school be a yearly call just asking for a donation. I am fortunate that this has not been the case for me, but through reading this thread I am realizing that it may be for others.

Well my dissociation started when they got involved with social agenda du jour.

Dr. Doom

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #76 on: May 04, 2014, 06:37:34 PM »
Sort of, I give back my labor because they're now my employer <grin>

They still send me all sorts of requests to donate real cash, though.   Knowing what their endowment is, I find this ridiculous and abstain.  I do some amount of charitable giving each year, but I don't consider my alma mater a charity. 


peppermint

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #77 on: May 04, 2014, 09:40:10 PM »
I went to a Canadian public university and then moved to the USA for grad school. Getting some perspective on what American tuition can cost makes me want to hug my (large, soulless) alma mater and donate, at least to need-based scholarships -- the student experience wasn't exactly optimized, but I got a great education at a great value.

I got a great education at the American school I went to for grad school too, with a stipend and tuition waiver, but as a private institution with a huge endowment, I feel less inclined to give there.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2014, 09:43:33 PM by peppermint »

mm1970

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #78 on: May 04, 2014, 10:01:36 PM »
No, I don't.  I think I did once.

So, here's the thing. I went to a very nice, very expensive private school.  I worked, got scholarships and loans, and left only about $11k in debt in the early 90's, but most of that was my 3 year ROTC scholarship.

I loved my school, had a great time there, but it's crazy expensive.  I worked my butt off.  And I have two children who might actually want to go to college some day.  So - hey, if one of my boys goes there, then consider his tuition my gift to the school.

RapmasterD

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #79 on: May 05, 2014, 01:27:23 AM »
No. i went to a public university in a high tax state. They can figure it out. I'll donate money to buy limbs for people who had them blown off in the Middle East.

chasesfish

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #80 on: May 05, 2014, 04:01:11 AM »
One thing I'll mention about all of this:  You're usually not donating to the university, but to the foundation that supports the school.   In a public university, your money is separate from the general pot of funds everyone is referencing as "wasteful spending" and tuition dollars.

There's some targeted good that can come from donations to a university, its generally how they fund scholarships and handle real estate transactions outside of government red tape.


That being said, I still don't give mine much.  I just have other charitable interests

stripey

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #81 on: May 05, 2014, 09:22:16 AM »
An Australian here- government funding means they recieve a portion my taxes, and this is sufficient. Quite frankly, they are principally about making money, and education is secondary. Sounds harsh, but that's the harsh fact of the matter.

However, given that I recieved some modest funding from a couple of Trusts for conference attendance, purchase of equipment for research, etc. which were certainly generous and not entirely necessary as I was financially fine at the time -- I may give a small contribution to each of the relevant Trusts if I'm feeling generous.

BlueMR2

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #82 on: May 05, 2014, 10:07:49 AM »
Definitely not.  I didn't like how they ran the place while I was there.  No idea what they're like now, but they're not getting any money from me.

Elaine

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #83 on: May 05, 2014, 10:11:26 AM »
Absolutely not. I went to an expensive fancypants private school. They ran it (and charged for it) like it was a business. I don't donate money to any other business that I like, I see no reason why college should be any different.

dragoncar

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #84 on: May 05, 2014, 10:25:35 AM »
Absolutely not. I went to an expensive fancypants private school. They ran it (and charged for it) like it was a business. I don't donate money to any other business that I like, I see no reason why college should be any different.

Hey, some of the best times I ever had as a kid were at Chuck E. Cheese's.  And they give small scholarships to kids who bring in good report cards (just a token amount).  So I should probably start donating.

Elaine

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #85 on: May 05, 2014, 10:26:58 AM »
Absolutely not. I went to an expensive fancypants private school. They ran it (and charged for it) like it was a business. I don't donate money to any other business that I like, I see no reason why college should be any different.

Hey, some of the best times I ever had as a kid were at Chuck E. Cheese's.  And they give small scholarships to kids who bring in good report cards (just a token amount).  So I should probably start donating.

Maybe you can get your name engraved on the ball pit.

Tyler

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #86 on: May 05, 2014, 10:36:03 AM »
Would you regularly donate money to a former employer because you valued the knowledge you gained and experience you had during your time there?  Even if they were insanely profitable on their own?  And profited off of you while you were there?

It seems to me that the idea of donating to your college is an artifact of an older time when schools truly behaved more like nonprofit organizations.  But today schools are big businesses with massive endowments, revenue streams, and lobbying activities.  They can take care of themselves.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 10:46:26 AM by Tyler »

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #87 on: May 05, 2014, 12:30:15 PM »
Absolutely not. I went to an expensive fancypants private school. They ran it (and charged for it) like it was a business. I don't donate money to any other business that I like, I see no reason why college should be any different.

Hey, some of the best times I ever had as a kid were at Chuck E. Cheese's.  And they give small scholarships to kids who bring in good report cards (just a token amount).  So I should probably start donating.

Maybe you can get your name engraved on the ball pit.

Whacka-dragoncar!

norabird

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #88 on: May 05, 2014, 12:31:35 PM »
Peter Singer of The Life You Can Save is pretty vehemently against giving to universities I believe. Endowing a scholarship does seem meaningful but blanket giving? The money is needed more elsewhere. If it matters to you, keep it up, but think carefully about whether this is the cause you want to be supporting.

shotgunwilly

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #89 on: May 05, 2014, 02:51:28 PM »
Nope.  If I did, it would have probably went to the $450 Million dollar football stadium upgrade they are currently doing...

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #90 on: May 05, 2014, 08:08:02 PM »
I don't donate to my alma mater and have no intention of doing so in the future. There are innumerable other causes where my contribution is both more needed and more meaningful. I think the tuition paid was more than adequate. Of course, while my particular institution did indeed provide excellent teaching, it also provided a great deal of top-notch instruction in the ways of anti-mustachianism. I can't help but smile at the irony each time I receive one of the many emails and letters telling me how much they really truly need my contribution. They must really be strapped for cash, except for that $32 billion endowment that never seems to be mentioned in those letters.

dragoncar

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #91 on: May 05, 2014, 09:54:17 PM »
Absolutely not. I went to an expensive fancypants private school. They ran it (and charged for it) like it was a business. I don't donate money to any other business that I like, I see no reason why college should be any different.

Hey, some of the best times I ever had as a kid were at Chuck E. Cheese's.  And they give small scholarships to kids who bring in good report cards (just a token amount).  So I should probably start donating.

Maybe you can get your name engraved on the ball pit.

Whacka-dragoncar!

In that case, I should be getting royalties.  People would be lining up with cash in hand!

AH013

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #92 on: May 06, 2014, 02:08:28 PM »
My Alma mater (business school) asked me at least once a year after I graduated for donations, which then escalated after I then got my MBA, always asking for donations at the "President's" or "Chairmen's" level (aka $1,000+/$10,000+).  They were aware that the job I was in averaged six figures, and thought I should share the wealth with "the university that made the investment* to help me get to where I am".

I remember a particular phone call from a fundraiser around my 10th year from graduation.  He asked for money for the general fund, to help "provide scholarships to invest in the future great business leaders".  I asked what percent of tuition most students received as scholarships, and he said they usually get a 50% scholarship (plus federal grants).  I thought that sounded wonderful.  I asked what percent of salary they would consider appropriate for an alumni, and he said they generally recommend 2%.  I said that sounded fair.  I said I earned $150,000. The eager fundraiser said "Wow.  That's great!  So today you'll be making a $3,000 donation?"

I told him, "Well, let me tell you a story first.  You're probably aware your 50% average figure come from the university offering full ride scholarships to the top 3 applicants from every state, and generous scholarships to the next few applications.  I graduated high school with a 3.7 GPA from a very great high school and scored a 1380 on my SATs.  Unfortunately, our high school was very competitive in a very competitive state, and I wasn't the top student in my high school who applied, much less one of the top 3 for my state, so I didn't get a penny in scholarships from the university.  I had to work part time during school, live off campus, and use my childhood savings to cover the $120,000 you charged me during my 4 years there.  During my time there, I got to listen to a fellow classmate from New Mexico, who proudly talked about how he graduated high school in juvie during his 6 year incarceration and got an 1120 on his SATs, who would rant about how he got a full tuition scholarship, free on-campus room & board, and was given an incredibly well paying school job, all due solely to his adding "geographic diversity" to our school.  You invested nothing in me.  You invested at least $250,000 in him.  10 years later, I now make $150,000 a year in a growing career.  I know for a fact he makes $30,000 a year as a low-level manager in some $%#^ local business that he's content to be in for the rest of his life.  As a business school, you should know you only earn the dividends off your investments.  You invested nothing in me, so you'll get nothing from me.  But best of luck in collecting $600/year from my classmate -- in a little over 400 years your investment in one of the 'future great business leaders' should fully pay off".

They haven't called back since.

It was well established during my time in university and by fellow classmates that most of the people receiving "merit" scholarships at our school were the people with the least merit.  As we've succeeded in our own respective careers, we've generally agreed on the same bottom line -- if your university didn't give to you, they shouldn't expect you to give back.  Only those who received from strangers should be expected to pay it forward to the next generation of strangers.  The scholarship "fund" should be making investments like any other fund -- invest your dollars in the investments (applicants) who have the best potential to produce a return (not necessarily earn a lot of money, but also those who make meaningful contributions in art/science/business to humanity)

* - As others have pointed out, I HATE that this is the new buzz word, usually for things that have nothing to do with an actual investment.

The knitter

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Re: Do you give back to your College/University?
« Reply #93 on: May 06, 2014, 02:58:01 PM »
I received lots of scholarships and grants through my alumni office as a student. Enough so that it made it possible for me to attend the state school I went to.

I can say the education I received made a big difference in my life, so now I do donate to the alumni scholarships each year.

The school I went to has lots of students who are really struggling financially, and every little bit of scholarships/grants they can get make a big impact on their lives/future earning power.

While I think there are plenty of other causes that also deserve my money, education is an empowering experience that yields many good results as well.

I also donate to my small catholic elementary school, because I found out as an adult that my tuition was heavily subsidized by church/alumni donations. I was blown away to find out that someone I didn't know found a catholic education important enough to help a low income family pay for it.

I can't pay any of these people back so I try to pay it forward.