Comments on: On philanthropy: why must no good deed go unpunished? http://www.historiann.com/2014/05/06/on-philanthropy-why-must-no-good-deed-go-unpunished/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Tue, 23 Sep 2014 06:29:39 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2014/05/06/on-philanthropy-why-must-no-good-deed-go-unpunished/comment-page-1/#comment-2048836 Thu, 08 May 2014 12:58:37 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22720#comment-2048836 Oh, thank Dog. As usual, “Universities are . . . the last ones on the bandwagon.”

No one believes me when I say that universities are quintessentially conservative institutions. This is sometimes a strength, but it’s also a weakness in institutional culture. This is just another data point proving me right.

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By: Stephanie http://www.historiann.com/2014/05/06/on-philanthropy-why-must-no-good-deed-go-unpunished/comment-page-1/#comment-2048822 Thu, 08 May 2014 12:52:39 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22720#comment-2048822 I’m an academic married to a non-profit development person. The days of mass mailings to everyone who ever donated are coming to an end, it costs too much money and manpower to do so. Targeted marketing has come to fundraising and seems to be here to stay. Universities are usually the last ones on the bandwagon so it might take a while for all that junk mail to disappear.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2014/05/06/on-philanthropy-why-must-no-good-deed-go-unpunished/comment-page-1/#comment-2048809 Thu, 08 May 2014 12:49:21 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22720#comment-2048809 Good for her. And I hope she rewards the charities or non-profits who sent the fewest solicitations to clog her mailbox.

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By: LadyProf http://www.historiann.com/2014/05/06/on-philanthropy-why-must-no-good-deed-go-unpunished/comment-page-1/#comment-2047454 Thu, 08 May 2014 07:12:39 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22720#comment-2047454 A huge issue. My partner’s mother, age 79 and generous, recently announced that she will not give one more bent penny to charity again until she dies. Her USPS mailbox averages about six solicitations a day. Donating money “only encourages them,” she said. I too am thinking of focusing my charity on bequests in a will, rather than the live kind. Are professional fundraisers listening? Don’t think so.

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By: koshembos http://www.historiann.com/2014/05/06/on-philanthropy-why-must-no-good-deed-go-unpunished/comment-page-1/#comment-2042198 Wed, 07 May 2014 02:56:32 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22720#comment-2042198 Once retired, I’ll send a certain amount of money every month to my current employer (university). Donating now might change the attitudes of the higher ups towards me. Not interested.

Already donating to the U of Cal where I did my work. They need it, I benefited from being there and I can afford it. Gets me free parking on campus.

Other than that, I donate to social, environmental and human right organization in the US and my homeland. That’s the minimum I can do.

Muslims donate about 10% of their income. It’s a good ball park figure.

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By: truffula http://www.historiann.com/2014/05/06/on-philanthropy-why-must-no-good-deed-go-unpunished/comment-page-1/#comment-2042074 Wed, 07 May 2014 02:00:36 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22720#comment-2042074 I used to run mail campaigns to alumni of my department in the states. What Indyanna writes is true, but it is also true that more contacts you make, the more replies you get. Solicitation was only half of our outreach though. We also sent an annual newsletter that did not include an appeal, invited alumni to special events in the department, shared “where they are now” information about graduates, told the stories of interesting professional events, and so on. We viewed it as very much a community activity. This approach was successful for fundraising, I think, because our alumni felt included, involved, and part of the network.

We did our best to get people off the list who wanted to be off the list–but the official university alumni association (in the university foundation) would add them back in. We did not have a uniformly sympathetic relationship with those folks. We also hand-culled addresses in order to fix problems the foundation folks inserted. This saved us money on mailings (as Historiann suggests) and helped avoid annoying people but it was labor intensive and thus cost us wages.

I don’t think large scale fundraisers care about wasting money on mailings or annoying the small fry. They make their numbers in the aggregate. All they need is one big catch to make your grievance irrelevant.

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By: MPG http://www.historiann.com/2014/05/06/on-philanthropy-why-must-no-good-deed-go-unpunished/comment-page-1/#comment-2042036 Wed, 07 May 2014 01:37:45 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22720#comment-2042036 When I was chair in the midwest, my department had a “foundation” account which was enormously useful. We could use it for food and drinks when we took job candidates out, etc. (Why is “hospitality” always the hardest thing to pay for?) Anyhow, I gave money to it every year, because it made my life easier. I was going to spend the green no matter what, and this way, I got a nice tax deduction.

BUT…..

Because it was earmarked for my department, I was never approached for anything else. They must have me pegged as a single-issue donor.

As opposed to my undergraduate institution, which has found me every year for mailings and emails and phone calls, despite multiple moves. My most popular correspondent! 15 years and counting.

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By: Susan http://www.historiann.com/2014/05/06/on-philanthropy-why-must-no-good-deed-go-unpunished/comment-page-1/#comment-2041995 Wed, 07 May 2014 01:19:36 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22720#comment-2041995 Oh, I feel your pain. I gave to support a conference that used to be held at the University of Maryland, run by their Center for Renaissance and Baroque Studies, which has since been closed. I still get their alumni magazine!

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By: Eve http://www.historiann.com/2014/05/06/on-philanthropy-why-must-no-good-deed-go-unpunished/comment-page-1/#comment-2041419 Tue, 06 May 2014 21:17:16 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22720#comment-2041419 A well-run fundraising shop should do what you are suggesting – it ought not repeatedly solicit donors who have given to specific, probably one-time causes. Alas, they aren’t all well-run.

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By: Indyanna http://www.historiann.com/2014/05/06/on-philanthropy-why-must-no-good-deed-go-unpunished/comment-page-1/#comment-2040758 Tue, 06 May 2014 17:46:03 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=22720#comment-2040758 There was something on this theme on the back page of the _Chronicle of Higher Education_ a few weeks ago. I’ve gotten thank you notes that morph directly into requests for more donations. In their defense–or not really in their defense, but just acknowledging what the state-of-the-art is in fundraising now (not that I’m not just making this up, as I’m only inferring)–I think it’s a cardinal rule among consultants that the only people out there who have a high likelihood of donating anything are those who have already done so. On the paper-and-postage part, yeah. I even walk some donations in because in because it’s painful to see the first $.42 of my tiny gifts melt off in the postage paid return envelope. So then to get quick follow-ups with requests for another round is even more painful.

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