Giving to Universities and Legacy Acceptances

Giving by alumni is a business decision, don't think otherwise. It is not, in the main, a response to a philanthropic urge. It is weighted in favor of those who have children and carefully calibrated by the age of those children. As an alumnus' children get closer to college age, the amount of giving rises and it declines after graduation. Not many childless alumni give and certainly not for very long.

Giving by alumni is a business decision, don't think otherwise.  It is not, in the main, a response to a philanthropic urge.  It is weighted in favor of those who have children and carefully calibrated by the age of those children.  As an alumnus' children get closer to college age, the amount of giving rises and it declines after graduation.  Not many childless alumni give and certainly not for very long.

Not surprisingly, if an alumnus' child is not accepted, giving stops. 

But for many, it is a good business decision, and it is often a successful one.  After all, universities understand the quid pro quo and they regularly set places aside for "legacy acceptances."

For an excellent treatment of this issue, see this article from Slate:  http://www.slate.com/id/2169858/ 

 

Daniel Socolow
Daniel Socolow: President, Socolow Group. Former Director of the MacArthur Fellows Program, President of the American University of Paris, Vice President of Spelman College. BA, MA, Ph.D.

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