Monday, September 04, 2006


Participation vs Dollars

In college fundraising, especially the Annual Fund, there is a question of what is more important: alumni participation or total dollars raised. In a small school, such as Ohio Wesleyan, it is impossible to focus on both in a given year. There are too few staff and not enough resources to be able to completely focus on both at the same time.

What is the difference between the two? Participation means the number of donors that give to the annual fund divided by the number of people that are marked as "solicitable" in the OWU database. For OWU, this number is 32%. This number is then submitted to various publications and is put toward the rankings of schools.

There are two inherent problems I have seen with participation and rankings:

1.There is no definitive way that schools decide upon what a "solicitable donor" is. How OWU determines what a solicitable donor is defined as is completely different than some schools. So to compare two schools can be deceiving.

2.When the rankings come out, if a school is not ranked as high as some donors believe it should be, they quit giving to the school until the ranking rises, which is ironic because the one way that a donor could immediately help to improve the ranking would be to give.

Total dollars means the total amount given to the University. The Annual Fund is budget relieving, as in the University relies on the Annual Fund to reach it budgetary needs. OWU has needs $3.8 million from the Annual Fund to balance the budget, otherwise the University faces a shortfall.

So what is the answer? Here is my solution: I need 4 donors to give $1 million each and then everyone else (all 25,000+ of you) to give $1. This way, we surpass the goal, jack participation up to 100%, and raise the ranking. It would also relieve a lot of stress around here. If all of this can be completed by the end of September, that would be great. That would raises all around and I could blog all day long, which leads me to the next section.

On the Prejudices of Philosophers
Last week’s blog drew this comment on the message board:

what is the purpose of your blog?
are you paid for doing anything productive?

I love it. Excellent questions.

The first question was covered a couple of weeks ago in another blog, so not much needs to be said. However, we can unfurl the second question together. When searching for truth (truth being in this case: am I paid for doing anything productive?), Friedrich Nietzsche says we have to ask "Who really is it that here questions us? What is it in us that wants 'the truth'?"

In this case, "Who" is Anonymous. And the "What", well, I can’t really speak for Anonymous- that would be to assume, and my dad had a dirty axiom about that. What drives anyone to truth? It is already a long story- yet does it not seem as if it has only just begun? It has been suggested that the truth is just a bunch of half-truths anyways, so what is the point? And finally, what does "productive" mean? If I am defining productive, the fact that I make it to work almost every day relatively on time is productive.

But I am even more productive than that: I maintain relationships with co-workers and constituents, I make the best coffee in the Mowry Alumni Center, and my golf swing is improving (which will help me raise money in the future). And those are just the beginnings of my responsibilities.

Besides, sometimes I mask bad news in the blog, but people are more forgiving because of the credibility established earlier in the writing or because they don’t catch between my stories about killing bats and gender-bending frogs.

What OWU should do is take the new streaming site ( and follow me around for a day. That way, everyone could watch me write a blog live. Now that is entertainment.

Division III Football Stat-of-the-Day
I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but in the past two years, Capital has outscored Wittenberg 111-7 in football, including a 57-7 drubbing on Saturday. I know that has absolutely nothing to do with OWU in any way except that Wittenberg is in the NCAC and Capital is in the OAC, but I just thought everyone should know.

And Finally...
Before anyone asks, the answer is "YES, as a matter-of-fact, I am going to the Motley Crue/Aerosmith concert at Germain Amphitheater tomorrow night." (I couldn’t get those 2 little dots to show up above the "o" on "Motely." Trust me, I tried.)

You possess the single requirement for membership in the Crue tonight.
# posted by Anonymous Anonymous : Tuesday, September 05, 2006
I beg your pardon, but I don't believe YOU make the best coffee in Mowry. Thanks.
# posted by Anonymous Ericka Kurtz : Tuesday, September 05, 2006
I do think Jason makes the best coffee. I read about it in the Denver Post.
# posted by Anonymous Anonymous : Thursday, September 14, 2006
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