Discussion of contributions to the MMSD

On Monday, April 9, 2007, the board Committee on Community Partnerships, chaired by Lucy Mathiak, meets at 5:00 p.m. and has an agenda item that reads, “Process and procedure the University of Wisconsin Foundation uses to engage people to make contributions to the University of Wisconsin.”
I’m delighted to see the topic on the agenda, because I have always wondered why people give millions to universities and little to public schools. A person’s university education might have been very important and the contributions show their appreciation, but they couldn’t have succeeded at a university without the foundation of earlier education, which needs their contribtuions as badly as any university.
I hope the discussion produces some positive ideas for the MMSD to use in approaching potential donors.

2 thoughts on “Discussion of contributions to the MMSD”

  1. Actually, the presentation is about best practices in development. Unfortunately, the MMSD attorney decided to rewrite the item without checking in with me.
    That said, I am uncomfortable with a tone that pits contributions to UW against contributions to MMSD. In the final say, people choose philanthropic opportunities based on a number of factors, including personal interest, the degree to which they are engaged with the program or project, and, most importantly, how they are treated before, during, and after they are asked for a gift.
    Don Gray is a seasoned professional who has tons of knowledge about what does – and does not – work in major development campaigns. This is an opportunity to learn what people across the US already know and consider how we might reset our thinking to build successful practices and campaigns in support of our schools and their programs.
    The presentation will, I think, be broadcast on MMSD channels for those who cannot attend.

  2. Lucy,
    You read more tone into my post than I put there.
    I simply hope for a positive discussion that might lead to sizable contributions to the MMSD, comparable to those received by universities.
    Are you aware of any public school district that regularly receives large contributions? If one is out there, it would be worthwhile to learn how it approaches development.

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