Wednesday, December 19, 2007

It's That Time of Year...

...when the CSC's love
all those checks appear-
ing that say
"This Donation
for the current year gets me
in the tix lottery!"

OK, Kate Smith it ain't. It's not even the Carpenters. But like their children penning letters to ol' St. Nick, ND grads around the world these days are writing to ol' Fr. Jenkins and sending their donation checks to make sure the mailman brings them that magic Scantron form come April.

Last week, I was one of them. Sure, we had to plan a little more this year because my company moved the annual bonus from December to March, but write the check I did.

But this year, I wrote it a little differently, and given all the complaining about ND's athletic funding policies I've done here (and here and here and here ... well, you get the picture), I wanted to share the how and why.

Those of you who read NDN (The Pit in particular) know the poster FontOKnow to be a quality contributor. He and I don't disagree on much, but our strongest arguments have been about my aforementioned criticisms. His believes I should put my money where my mouth is, saying if I organized a funding campaign via NDNation, I might see ND take some of the steps I've called for in revitalizing ND basketball's physical plant.

For the record, I still disagree with him on the general point. Even if I were to get people to pledge a million dollars over 10 or whatever years, the 70-100 rule would prevent ND from using that money for seven years, and by then, whatever had been planned would be almost a decade closer to obsolescence. Besides, as I've said many times, the fans of other sports at ND don't have to self-organize to see the playing and practice needs of their teams met, and the prospect of going hat-in-hand to ask ND to support a sport that makes money for the school, to be frank, pisses me off.

But I gave the matter some thought. For the last three years, I've been a member of the Sorin Society, meaning my gift to Notre Dame was unrestricted. And for the last three years, I've watched little to no progress on the Purcell Pavilion.

I decided that's inconsistent of me. As much as I don't like the way ND is handling this project, blogging about it don't feed the bulldog. I need to, as Font wanted, put some cabbage behind the rants, because every little leaf helps.

So that's what I did. My check for 2007 was restricted to the construction and maintenance of practice facilities for the Notre Dame basketball programs. Yes, I won't have improved access to football tickets next year, but I always seem to find some somehow. And if I don't, that's what bbdome's tailgater is for. Meanwhile, the project is infinitesimally closer to becoming a reality.

Who knows ... if enough of us infinitesims do the same thing........

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OpenID Domers93 said...

How do you earmark your contribution?

12/19/2007 03:38:00 PM  
Blogger Mike Coffey said...

If you're filling out the paper form, there's a box in which you can note how you want your contribution to be used.

On the online form, there's a similar comment box.

12/19/2007 03:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe all donations under $1,500 are unrestricted, meaning there is no restriction on how ND uses what you give them. I always wanted to donate to the department of my major, but I can't yet give to that level. How much was your check for?

12/21/2007 07:45:00 AM  
Anonymous TAR said...

That is incorrect anon. You can earmark as small a gift as you want. I've never given more than $200, and I've earmarked every last buck for specific funds or programs.

12/21/2007 08:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any donation amount can be restricted. Even those under $1,500.

12/21/2007 10:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have subdivided my tiny contributions among more than one department, and get thank you cards assuring me that the restriction was honored.

12/24/2007 09:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If ND thinks like United Way, your earmarking the money won't mean a thing. They will subtract your earmarked contribution from what has been budgeted and use that subtracted amount for the general fund. In other words, they'll add six inches to the blanket then cut off six inches from the other end, i.e. nothing changes.

12/24/2007 11:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They don't advertise this but I am reasonably certain that all gifts above $1500 (O'Hara, More, the womens crew team,...) receive the same preferential treatment in the lottery. You can confirm with someone in Development. And if you don't get a win rate consistent with Sorin unrestricted donors next year, you should ask why.

12/26/2007 07:47:00 AM  

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