Why I Make Alumni Donations

GivingKind_AlumniDonations

I can’t tell you how excited I am to be back and blogging again! Though my several month long hiatus was well-spent on studying, I definitely missed using my time creatively here on The Giving Kind. And with that, here we go…

Last week I went out to dinner with four of my closest friends from college, and somehow we got onto the topic of the unbelievable cost of higher education in this country. All of us having gone to what some say is the most expensive school in the country, we are particularly critical when we evaluate the question of whether schools are worth the cost. While we could all agree that we gained some highly valuable things from our university, we were left still angered by the uneven cost-benefit ratio. But there is one question my friends and I wholeheartedly disagree on, and that is on whether we should give donations as young alumni or not.

The short answer for me is a hard yes. But my friends’ reactions are a consistent “absolutely not,” their reasoning being that “we” just spent hundreds of thousands in tuition, why should we give more? Well, I have an answer, but it comes with caveats. For my friends still struggling to pay off student loans, of course I don’t think they need to give a donation on top of that. Would it be generous for them to donate an extra $20 to a fund of their choice? Of course. But in no way should it be expected of them.

For people like myself and many of my other friends, however, who have no loans to pay off and maybe never even saw a tuition bill, the answer is yes, if you appreciate your school, you should. How do you think universities lower tuition costs and pay for scholarships? Through donations. I would never tell other young, broke alumni like myself to give money to something they didn’t support, but if you believe in scholarships, or you really loved a certain club or group at your school, you might want to think about giving. While you were there you may not have seen alumni donations in person, but you benefited from them nearly every day. I certainly know I did as an active student in my school’s Hillel (Jewish student union). Without the donations of thousands of alumni before me who donated anywhere from $18 to $5,000, my Hillel experience wouldn’t have been the influential, wonderful thing it was.

I’m not saying I donate much, but I give what I can afford, and I sincerely believe even my small donation is helping my alma mater give a college student the great experience I was lucky enough to have.

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