Publicizing the names of college students who don’t give to senior-class fund-raising drives has caused a backlash at both Dartmouth College and Cornell University, reports The Chronicle of Higher Education.
For example, a lone Dartmouth senior who did not respond with a gift this year was singled out in a column in the Dartmouth college newspaper and also criticized in a popular campus blog. In response, the student fired off a “testy” e-mail to her fellow classmates.
At Cornell, several seniors said they were turned off by the multiple e-mails and cell-phone calls they received. The contacts came from volunteers who were given the names of seniors who had yet not contributed to the class gift.
“I did not donate in the beginning,” said another Cornell student, a sorority member who was bombarded with e-mails and calls from her sorority sisters. “And the more I was approached by my sorority, the more I was turned off,” she said.
Such tactics can undermine class giving, according to Rob Henry, who has advised student-giving programs for a decade in his job at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
Among Mr. Henry’s tips about better ways to inspire class giving: Publicize the names of those who give rather than those who don’t, and avoid 100-percent participation goals to avoid undue pressure on students who do not or cannot give.