This is a brief coda to the previous post, in which several commenters noted that they support selective special causes on their campuses. I have in fact done this too–for example there’s a “school is cool” program coordinated through Baa Ram U. I’ve supported in the past, which provides local needy schoolchildren with new backpacks loaded with the necessary supplies. I’ve also donated to several memorial funds and fellowships coordinated through other universities, but have been frustrated by the ongoing begging that goes on for years and years, meaning that the University of Whatever Foundation ends up spending at least the amount of my donation on paper and postage.
For example: In 2003, I made a one-time donation to the University of Colorado for a scholarship in honor of the late Jackson Turner Main, an emeritus professor there, and the University of Colorado Foundation still sends me invitations and solicitations. Eleven years later! It leads me to ask: who did I kill to deserve this?
Why can’t I make a one-time donation in honor of a deceased colleague or to support a scholarship without being continually hounded until someone sets up a scholarship in my memory? Jesus wept. Can’t I just check a box on my contribution form saying “upon pain of forfeiting my donation, never contact me again?” If not that, then you “development” people should get your act together the way that people deal with their Christmas card lists: two or three years of no reciprocation, and we’re off your damn list?
I’d be much more inclined to open my wallet if I knew I’d be left the hell alone after the thank-you note and tax receipt. And I’d probably stop writing all of these cranky blog posts, too! Now stuff that in your guitar and play me a tune.