Friday, September 22, 2006

Alumni Giving and the 50% rule

I have been the target of many fund raising campaigns in the last few years. After management creates the idea of raising funds for some purpose, they generally poll the insiders about giving money and finally hire a consultant to poll a wider group of potential big givers. When you announce the fund raising campaign you must have 50% of your goal pledged or the non-profit will fail to meet their goal or even come close.

When we examine the Southern Way fund raising from alumni, we see a complete failure. They went to the state and asked for money and got nothing. The did a capital campaign and polled the big giving alumni a few years ago (the consultant talked to me) and found no support. The plan they put to me was pretty much exactly the Southern Way plan being pushed today. As I remember I told the consultant that if they built a $50M football stadium before fixing the academic problems on campus they would never see another dime from me.

If you hear an administrator tell you the alumni want a football stadium, it would be correct to ask them how much money they have given? You would be safe in knowing the alumni have given nothing and will give nothing to Saluki Way.

There is the big lie about giving to Southern at 150 fund raising. SIU receives gifts and puts it into their foundation (which is going a pretty good job), but that is money SIU deserves to get and has been getting, not money given for the Southern Way or Southern at 150. SIU was going to get that money anyway. It isn't Southern at 150's vision that is getting that money, it just needs to be picked from the trees.

If the alumni are giving zero and the state is giving zero, then who is going to have to pay? Why the students of course.

No comments: