Why should I donate to my alma mater?

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JupiterJones
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma mater?

Post by JupiterJones » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:49 am

flamesabers wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:12 pm
There's a major difference between the American Red Cross and a college. The latter has a supply of customers paying large sums of money every year for its services while the former does not.
True. But the Red Cross does have a supply of customers paying large sums of money every year for its products.

(i.e., hospitals buying blood)
Stay on target...

Mingus
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma matter?

Post by Mingus » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:25 pm

deleted

Admiral
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma mater?

Post by Admiral » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:45 pm

JupiterJones wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:49 am
flamesabers wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:12 pm
There's a major difference between the American Red Cross and a college. The latter has a supply of customers paying large sums of money every year for its services while the former does not.
True. But the Red Cross does have a supply of customers paying large sums of money every year for its products.

(i.e., hospitals buying blood)
You want to talk about waste? ARC has one of the worst ratings for a charity (in terms of dollars spent on mission vs overhead) of any charity in the country. Like I said, lots of big orgs waste money.

nolesrule
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma mater?

Post by nolesrule » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:21 pm

I donate to my alma mater but it's directed to an endowment fund to provide academic scholarships for students who attend from the county I grew up in.

scrabbler1
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma mater?

Post by scrabbler1 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:30 pm

I throw a few dollars ($55) to my alma mater, NYU, every year. I recognize the reasons many don't wish to donate, and at times I feel ambivalent about donating. But NYU was good to me while I was there back in the early 1980s, both academically, financially (they paid for half of my tuition), and otherwise.

I am fine with them sending me one letter every year to donate, like it was a magazine subscription. What I don't care for are the phone calls from students representing NYU also hitting me up for money. That and the letters from other NYU funds hitting me up for money (I ignore them).

I put NYU in my will, so when I croak one day they will get a 5-figure bequest. Then they won't call me any more! 8-)

Whakamole
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma mater?

Post by Whakamole » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:52 pm

I look at the extravagant (IMHO) facilities that my alma mater has built, their multi-billion dollar endowment (for a public university no less!), and their statement by their investment managers that they think they can find active managers who can do better than passive. I do note that their 10 year returns for public equity investing is slightly under the returns for Vanguard's Total Stock Market fund, and their real estate investments have lost money over the past ten years compared to Vanguard's REIT fund which has a positive return.

jalbert
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma mater?

Post by jalbert » Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:45 pm

If you don't feel a need to help your alma mater, you can donate to a need-based scholarship fund at your alma mater (or other university) to help less fortunate students experience the same education you had.
Risk is not a guarantor of return.

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dodecahedron
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma matter?

Post by dodecahedron » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:13 am

gd wrote:
Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:26 am
dodecahedron wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:36 pm
By the way, college admissions officers pay big fees to consultants who use econometric methods to predict which applicants will be most likely to donate generously after college graduation.
I got a laugh out of this. I went to two very well-known universities, both well funded. Received no aid I didn't give services back for (grad school), and had a surprisingly lackluster experience in both due to being just before major reorganizations. I have never donated any money, never given any encouragement other than once ~25 years ago (and 4-5 moves) gave an address update to stop junk mail to a relative unappreciative of somehow getting mine, unsubscribe from every email I get (from countless sources, official and alumni), have contacted one of them separately to specifically request stopping the flow. It still comes.
Your admission happened well before these models were widely used. However, your giving record is probably data for some consultant's model in current use.

juliewongferra
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma mater?

Post by juliewongferra » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:33 am

knightrider wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:04 pm
I graduated 20+ years ago and every year give a token $50-100. I do it mainly to add to their "participation numbers". I have no dreams/plans for my children to attend this school. I also do not keep in touch with any of my classmates, apart from a once every few years meetup...

I was on a huge aid package when I attended. So I sort of feel obligated to donate something... But the whole thing rubs me in a weird way. Why don't my high schools or kindergartens ask me for money? Weren't they just as important to my development?
knightrider,

I agree! I feel weird about it. My alma mater was instrumental in my development, but the PEOPLE who were instrumental are no longer there. (I mainly had teachers who were adjuncts or who have retired.) So if I donate, I am supporting the fuzzy idea of an alma mater, when in fact I may not necessarily be supporting the experience that I had and helping those younger than me have the same experience. (It might be better, yeah, but it might be worse.)

Also, my alma mater is pretty well off, and doesn't "need" my money as, compared to, some other institutions, like a foodbank or homeless shelter, or even another university that may not be in as strong a financial position.

I don't think that you should feel obligated to donate, even if you got an aid package. Aid packages should not be quid pro quo. If you got the package due to your financial situation, then it was a decision that the alma mater made so you could have the chance to attend. If you received other grants or awards as part of the package, then it was a "reward" for the work you did up to that point. I think that you should feel free not to donate with a clear conscience.

cheers,
jwf

benevo
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma matter?

Post by benevo » Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:31 pm

cutterinnj wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:14 pm
Why would I donate money so that they can have a nicer rock climbing wall?
My undergrad had an annual Scholarship Ball. When I was a student, it just seemed like a ritzy glamorous "gala" where the higher-end donors came and donated to the university at a live and silent auction, etc. Literally seemed like it was just a place to be wined and dined. As an alum, I worked marketing for the advancement department and saw it from different eyes, however.

One year not too long ago while attending (working) the event, I heard a speech from a student who - a year previously - was walking on the side of a street. It was the year in the northeast where a huge blizzard hit (I think 2014 or so?) and the area the student came from got about 30" of snow. They were out of food and needed to walk the block or two to the store. A car didn't see them walking to get groceries and hit them all. She and her brother were injured. Her sister, mother, and father all died on the way to or at the hospital.

Because of donations through the University's Emergency Scholarship Fund, the student was able to complete her degree. She spoke at the Scholarship ball during her senior year to thank those who donated to that fund. 20 minutes later, the University raised its largest amount ever for the fund.

Granted, some schools do use donations toward things like rock climbing walls I'm sure (oof!), however many schools have great funds for great reasons.

To answer OP's question, I only give a little each year to my undergrad alma mater - less than $50 - but I do it for students like her.

KSAL889813
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma matter?

Post by KSAL889813 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:04 pm

flyingaway wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:13 pm
When a nonprofit university president makes two or three times as much as the U.S. president does, I just don't see why anyone should denote to a university?
+1

jalbert
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma matter?

Post by jalbert » Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:12 pm

dodecahedron wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:36 pm
By the way, college admissions officers pay big fees to consultants who use econometric methods to predict which applicants will be most likely to donate generously after college graduation.
I've seen evidence they do this to recruit applicants and to predict likelihood of successful graduation from the school:

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/education/ ... s-big-data

but can't find any evidence of using it to predict future donations.

Is this being done as an intrinsically different process from accepting family members of big donors as has gone on for years at major private schools?
Risk is not a guarantor of return.

Da5id
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma matter?

Post by Da5id » Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:29 pm

KSAL889813 wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:04 pm
flyingaway wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:13 pm
When a nonprofit university president makes two or three times as much as the U.S. president does, I just don't see why anyone should denote to a university?
+1
Seems not a big deal to me. I think getting someone good to run your large enterprise is important. I just looked, and my undergrad school has ~10K employees, and my grad school has 12K employees. I expect when hiring someone to run your large enterprise, you are competing with private industry/etc, and have to pay something like the going rate. Guess it doesn't outrage me. I think the administrate bloat as a whole and the competitive escalation of "Taj Mahal" buildings/facilities is more of an issue. As is the relatively low priority of undergraduate education at research universities (publish good stuff->tenure, teach awesomely->maybe no tenure). But that is just to me. We each get to pick our own issues and our own charities.

cheesepep
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma mater?

Post by cheesepep » Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:49 pm

Me? Absolutely not.

The Wizard
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma matter?

Post by The Wizard » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:19 pm

dodecahedron wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:36 pm
By the way, college admissions officers pay big fees to consultants who use econometric methods to predict which applicants will be most likely to donate generously after college graduation.
Legacies, yes...
Attempted new signature...

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sunny_socal
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma mater?

Post by sunny_socal » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:30 pm

Back when I went to school it was a paltry $10k/year. Now it's $35k/year, not including room & board.

No way I'm donating to them, they're already raking in the cash. Someone paying full price would need $200k just for an undergraduate degree! :annoyed

daveydoo
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma mater?

Post by daveydoo » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:06 pm

Gotta say I'm really impressed by the anti-college sentiment here. Maybe I shoudn't be surprised. An awful lot of threads about folks saving for their kids' college, though.

Lots of folks railing against the huge endowments but maybe you get it now. New taxes on grad student tuition (!), taxes on endowment, tax breaks for one single non-descript college, etc. My "state-supported" uni gets 3% of its operating budget from my crappy state. The universities are really just BH -- trying to save for a rainy day...like now.

GraduateStudent
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma matter?

Post by GraduateStudent » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:43 pm

flyingaway wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:13 pm
When a nonprofit university president makes two or three times as much as the U.S. president does, I just don't see why anyone should denote to a university?
You should see what universities look like that can't afford to hire a good president. It aint pretty.
Life after grad school is great.

mouses
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma matter?

Post by mouses » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:48 pm

flyingaway wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:13 pm
When a nonprofit university president makes two or three times as much as the U.S. president does, I just don't see why anyone should denote to a university?
The U.S. Presidents, regardless of party, in recent times have made giant bundles of money outside of their salaries, at least after their terms. Half a mil per speech, payments for sitting on boards, earnings from books.

mouses
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma mater?

Post by mouses » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:54 pm

I probably should donate to my alma mater, since I got financial aid, but I feel my money helps more given elsewhere, mostly to small local charities. Plus they have a multi-billion dollar endowment, so its not like they're going out of business without my puny contribution.

As to high schools and elementary schools, they often can use help. But my town charges me thousands in property taxes and I have no kids in the school system, so I figure that's enough.

ks289
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma mater?

Post by ks289 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:13 am

We donate to each of our undergraduate schools and my spouse's private high school. Initially, we donated because of positive and rewarding experiences attending these institutions, but recently it has been done also to optimize legacy admission for our children. No idea if it will result in the desired outcome or not, but we are essentially signaling our willingness and ability to pay to the schools.

juliewongferra
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma matter?

Post by juliewongferra » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:16 am

knightrider wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:51 pm
dodecahedron wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:36 pm
By the way, college admissions officers pay big fees to consultants who use econometric methods to predict which applicants will be most likely to donate generously after college graduation.
Are you sure about this ? A significant percentage of students at top schools are south asian and asians. These types generally come from very frugally minded households and don't donate much. When I look at the list of donors , I rarely see an asian sounding name..
+1 for casual racism!!

cheers,
jwf

TimDex
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma mater?

Post by TimDex » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:20 am

Colleges SHOULD face financial pressures. They have gone off the rails. Contributing even a mite to them only worsens the problem. Let 50 percent of them fail, save the useable math, science, tech and vocational portions, and let the "liberal arts" faculties go down the chute. Tim
"All man's miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone. " -- Pascal

Da5id
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma matter?

Post by Da5id » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:32 am

juliewongferra wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:16 am
knightrider wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:51 pm
dodecahedron wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:36 pm
By the way, college admissions officers pay big fees to consultants who use econometric methods to predict which applicants will be most likely to donate generously after college graduation.
Are you sure about this ? A significant percentage of students at top schools are south asian and asians. These types generally come from very frugally minded households and don't donate much. When I look at the list of donors , I rarely see an asian sounding name..
+1 for casual racism!!
Yeah, I don't get it. As an alternative perspective, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/09/nyreg ... hropy.html. I'd also be surprised to hear that, other than favoring legacies, there is that much by way of admissions selection based on projected donations. Because schools also care very much about selectivity, and taking less qualified folks (and attendant lower GPAs/SATs/whatever) hurts in that regard. There are a number of articles/court cases about Asian applicants needing higher GPA/SAT to get into selective schools, but that seems to be based on "too many" qualified Asian applicants and attempts to have a racially "more diverse" class.

First generation immigrants, Asian or otherwise, are presumably less likely to have capital built up for serious philanthropy (some of which comes from family money, which takes rich parents etc). And I suppose different cultural choices may come in as well (e.g. supporting one's religious institution rather than a college, supporting one's extended family, higher savings rate due to childhood extreme poverty leading to fears about the future), but that applies to many groups.

mouses
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma mater?

Post by mouses » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:19 pm

TimDex wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:20 am
Colleges SHOULD face financial pressures. They have gone off the rails. Contributing even a mite to them only worsens the problem. Let 50 percent of them fail, save the useable math, science, tech and vocational portions, and let the "liberal arts" faculties go down the chute. Tim
Oh, nice. Way to create a society of ignoramuses. Semi-illiterate, no history, no literature, no art, no music.

bhsince87
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma mater?

Post by bhsince87 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:32 pm

I don't do it.

I was treated like a number, and a source of revenue when I attended "Dear Old State" 30+ years ago. I was nickled and dimed at every opportunity.

I vowed then I wouldn't give them any money after I graduated.
BH87

daveydoo
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma mater?

Post by daveydoo » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:38 pm

TimDex wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:20 am
Colleges SHOULD face financial pressures. They have gone off the rails. Contributing even a mite to them only worsens the problem. Let 50 percent of them fail, save the useable math, science, tech and vocational portions, and let the "liberal arts" faculties go down the chute. Tim
I'm pretty sure that colleges taught liberal arts before there was much to be taught in the way of science. They were not vocational schools, although they are increasingly becoming technical vocational schools. Colleges helped make one more informed about the world and, presumably, a more effective contributor to society. It's funny how in less than a decade, the public perception has changed so dramatically: colleges are now viewed as vile places that exist only for liberal brainwashing of our children. It's the same old professors -- how did they all join hands and decide to do this? is there a club or a website? :D Even mortal enemies like Michigan and Ohio State decided to embrace and conspire to ruin our children :D .

student
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma mater?

Post by student » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:19 pm

mouses wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:19 pm
TimDex wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:20 am
Colleges SHOULD face financial pressures. They have gone off the rails. Contributing even a mite to them only worsens the problem. Let 50 percent of them fail, save the useable math, science, tech and vocational portions, and let the "liberal arts" faculties go down the chute. Tim
Oh, nice. Way to create a society of ignoramuses. Semi-illiterate, no history, no literature, no art, no music.
+1. As a STEM area professor, I support the concept of "liberal arts." These courses help us to be more multi-dimensional.

Wakefield1
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma mater?

Post by Wakefield1 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:19 pm

If I felt that my alma mater had increased my earning power significantly or served as a gateway to a more privileged existence I would give back much more than I do.
There is a group that sometimes gives scholarship aid to young members and also preserves a piece of land for traditional purposes,sort of ethnic based,I will probably give them (1/8 "us"?) a donation again this year. (I believe they have a small affiliate student club at my alma mater)

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma mater?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:00 pm

I have a friend who donated substantial sums to Yale and Columbia, where he attended. The donations were politely received, but they were just another day at the office for the development officers.

One year, he decided to divert his money to Cooper Union. Cooper Union had enabled his father, a waiter at the time, to attend free, which gave him the opportunity for an office job, which resulted in his kids being able to attend selective schools (two kids: one a doctor, the other a lawyer). He says that the same sum that Yale and Columbia accepted, as a matter of course, were enthusiastically received at Cooper Union.

In line with that, my son intends (someday) to donate to his high school. His high school, a selective private, accepted a student whose future academic achievements were not yet a sure thing. Yale, fwiw, accepted the much more mature and accomplished student that he became.

The educational decision that was life trajectory altering was college for my friend’s father, and HS for my son. Both of them say something similar to “if it hadn’t been {Yale, Columbia}, it would have been {Princeton, Harvard, MIT, etc.}.”

MrNewEngland
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma mater?

Post by MrNewEngland » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:10 pm

knightrider wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:04 pm
I graduated 20+ years ago and every year give a token $50-100. I do it mainly to add to their "participation numbers". I have no dreams/plans for my children to attend this school. I also do not keep in touch with any of my classmates, apart from a once every few years meetup...

I was on a huge aid package when I attended. So I sort of feel obligated to donate something... But the whole thing rubs me in a weird way. Why don't my high schools or kindergartens ask me for money? Weren't they just as important to my development?
Seems like you should find a scholarship fund you like and donate to that.

If you listen to podcasts I would highly recommend you listen to the episode called “My Little Hundred Million” that’s on Revisionist History. It’ll show you how little the big schools need money.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma mater?

Post by DaftInvestor » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:25 pm

I don't donate to my alma mater - they have a huge endowment such that my money would be a very small drop in a very large bucket. I have researched and found more worthy charities (most local so I know where my money goes).
In do also donate 10s of thousands a year for my daughter's education at another school.

2 bits
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma mater?

Post by 2 bits » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:10 am

I don’t donate to my undergrad school as I am disgruntled about some of the directions they have taken in the last couple of decades. And I tell them that when they call.
We do however donate to a different small school with a bigger need, a different mission, and not nearly the endowment of my alma mater.

On another note, I got an engineering degree at a school known for its liberal arts programs as well as engineering.
I treasure the few liberal arts experiences that I was able to fit into my curriculum. I like to think they made me a better, more well rounded individual.
There are other missions that get more of our donations.
I sometimes think that I am living the life of which my immigrant ancestors dreamed.

snowox
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Re: Why should I donate to my alma mater?

Post by snowox » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:22 am

No, I dont. I find giving time and charitable donations to families/ kids that I know is going in a way/at a time I believe in is more important.

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