- Rabbi Dan Ehrenkrantz writes in the Huffington Post about the unintended consequences of major gifts on the effort to reduce rising costs in tuition and fees.
- Ehrenkrantz argues that major gifts which can reduce tuition, commonly aren't used because the higher education marketplace is set by prices students are willing to pay. Thus, only a portion of gifts are needed to cover scholarships for students who can't pay at all, while students who can afford to pay see increased costs to maintain institutional profitability.
- Restricted gifts for scholarships are an important part of controlling affordability, but governments should actualize other options to help colleges be removed from difficult funding decisions, he writes.
The subject of college philanthropy is a complex issue, because people are most comfortable giving to aspects that most appeal to them, it is not easy to redirect them to other areas of need. Additionally, some gifts can come with undesirable conditions attached, similar to Wayne State University's terms of donation with a wealthy family.
The answer for most schools is to find ways that unrestricted giving can be made more appealing to wealthy donors, and identify ways to match the personal philanthropy goals of targeted donors. Doing this requires a lot of personal engagement and campus showcasing to give donors a full view of how support translates into success.