Donor Stars – Bring ‘Em Out Bring ‘Em Out

From Tnstate.edu

Are HBCU’s asking the right people for money? Here is an excerpt from the article:

Donor Stars – Bring ‘Em Out Bring ‘Em Out

Posted on June 26, 2012

By William A. Foster, IV

“If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” – General George S. Patton

HBCUs have a donor image problem. This is to say that we at times are overly concerned about where and who the money comes from. There is an old saying that beggars shouldn’t be choosy. HBCU endowments at best are in the range of $1.5 to $2 billion dollars combined spread out over 100 plus schools meanwhile the top 10 HWCUs have a combined $120 billion in endowment capital according to NACUBO. Yet, going back to the HBCU where I was working at the time a local pro NBA player, who had only a high school diploma had just signed a $98 million contract, I suggested we create an off season degree program for him to make him an alum of the school so that we could then court him for major donations. There was also the local music mogul whose financial origins while questionable had been given his own day by the mayor of a major American city. Easily these two gentleman combined could have donated in one day what was taking us one year to raise. Along with that the media recognition that both of these gentlemen would have brought through their various media outlets would have been a significant boom to recruitment. Did we ask either gentleman for money? No. When I pressed about this the response was that they’d neither thought about asking or didn’t like the reputation of that person. Instead, we took $25,000 from a pastor whose church is attended by the said music mogul and also happen to have bought the pastor a Bentley. It did wonders for recruiting new members from our HBCU to his church but very little in the way of impacting our bottom line.

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