I’ve written about my wealthy Alma Mater’s brilliant fundraising techniques twice before (here and here), but yesterday’s attempt at moneygrabbing takes the cake. Here’s the email I received. I’m sure it will warm your heart as much as it did mine:
Subject: Happy Valentine’s Day!
Today is a day for letting others know how much we care about them. Why not show current students and faculty how much you care about their success through a gift to the University Development Fund. The University Development Fund supports student and faculty research, scholarships, libraries, and much more.
You can share your love for the university by ensuring it has the resources it needs to continue on its path to excellence. Make a gift today, we promise it’s better than flowers!
There’s so much wrong with this that I feel the need to just start listing punchlines:
1- If we’re talking Valentine’s Day and showing my love for 18-22 year olds, I can do that. As a result, you may receive dollars from us in about 19 years if we forget to use a condom. Since I couldn’t do that when I was a TA, I might not mind making up for lost time.
2- I have no interest in showing the faculty how much I love them in a Valentine’s-inspired way.
3- Why didn’t I think of that? What woman wouldn’t prefer a donation made in her name as opposed to flowers? How romantic! (However, if you know a woman who would prefer a donation to a much less fabulously wealthy organization that does charity work instead, I might like her phone number. 🙂 )
4- The university is on a path to excellence? Since students are going so far into debt to attend there, I would hope that the university is already providing them with excellence. If you provided me with something less than excellence, it doesn’t make me love you.
5- I know you’re a research university, but shouldn’t teaching resources figure somewhere in what the Development Fund supports? Sorry, but the libraries don’t quite count.
6- When I was a student, much was made of Valentine’s Day being V-Day, meaning Vagina Day. I realize that “Vagina Monologues” performances make a substantial contribution to funding important charities that serve women, but you don’t need to keep the genital-themed discussion going by acting like a [CENSORED]. It’s all in bad taste.
7- I remember how much you spent on landscaping and I wonder how many students could have graduated debt-free if you had gone for a simpler aesthetic. I can’t imagine how much of the Development Fund goes towards plants. But then again, university officials would likely cite that old poem: “Elsewhere I think I’ll never see a school as lovely as a tree.” I support that environmental sentiment in theory, but in practice your tree looks more like this:
8- Is it really such a good idea to ask for money on the same day so many people are giving such expensive gifts? However, I might be able to contribute if you’ll accept leftover chocolate. The grocery store is having a sale.