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Daily Nuggets: A For Impact Blog

‘Experts’ Predict Decline in MegaGifts


*Note: This is a RANT. A rather long one. IF you believe, as I do, that this entire ‘game’ is about ATTITUDE… you need to read this.

I’ve been working with a number of great colleges that are in Aggressive, Transformative and ‘Think Big’ FUNDING INITIATIVES.

One of them shared with me the Chronicle of Higher Education article entitled COLLEGES WILL SEE A DECLINE IN MEGAGIFTS, EXPERTS PREDICT.

Just in case you saw this or heard about it… or are using this thinking as your own ‘EXCUSE’ for not asking for transformative leadership gifts… here’s my ‘take’/response.

In my humble opinion, the entire article (and this type of THINKING) was a CROCK!

Here are some of the things that I found amazing, absurd, and absolutely wrong:

  • “THE GOLDEN AGE OF PHILANTHROPY IS DEFINITELY OVER.”

    “The golden age of philanthropy – and the United States – may be over.”

    This was the lead to the article!!!

    WHAT? Can you say SENSATIONALISM? JOURNALISTIC HYPERBOLE? GARBAGE? The article tells how this “sobering message” was delivered at the Annual Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Conference.

    The VP from one of the ‘BIG’ (re: traditional, old-line, 1950’s) consulting companies actually was quoted as saying:

      “The golden age of philanthropy is definitely over.”

    (He then went on to say he expects to be talking to his clients about the need to refocus on “MORE MODEST GIFTS” [my caps]!!! Sign me up. Not.)

    Expected? Likely? Could?

  • DECREASE/DECLINE IN MEGAGIFTS. Another ‘consultant’ plus a VP at a ‘big college’ said big/megagifts are “expected” to decrease. The gift pyramid is “likely to change”. The top 1% of donors ($1 Million plus) “could shrink”.

    Where do they get this stuff?

  • “EXPERTS”. Robert Reich was the keynote. Former Secretary of Labor and government pooh-bah. He knows as much about MEGAGIFTS to higher education as I know about being Secretary of Labor. (He now teaches at the University of California at Berkeley. I personally believe that Reich and many others in this liberal, far left group believe that the major philanthropists, the successful entrepreneurs and business leaders, the people who are moving from Drucker’s Success-to-Significance are the ‘bad guys’. I not so respectfully disagree.)

    Remember: “X” is an unknown factor in math. A ‘SPURT’ is a drip of water under pressure. Therefore, an EXPERT is an UNKNOWN DRIP UNDER PRESSURE.

I have so many more problems with the article and this thinking, but I’m sure you get my point.

If you’re reading this and you know me at all… you know I’m all about ATTITUDE and SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY and YOU ARE WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT (Nightingale).

If you believe these people and the garbage that was printed… it will happen.

If you believe the opposite of all this… it, too, will happen.