All for One, One for All
Published: Friday, February 8, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 8, 2013 01:02
The 1634 Society launched the “One Campaign” early this week asking each member of the Class of 2016 to donate a dollar toward the university endowment. Advertising heavily via Facebook, a banner in Red Square and food giveaways, the society is making a concerted effort to create a giving culture on campus. By choosing an inclusive approach to donations and asking for a reasonable amount from freshmen, the society has demonstrated that money can be solicited tastefully.
The issue of student and alumni giving is a sensitive one. Georgetown’s endowment is small compared to that of its peer institutions and limits its ability to expand, offer scholarships and stay competitive as a top-tier research university. Soliciting donations is often a touchy subject, and campaigns asking current students and their tuition-paying families to begin giving has — understandably — provoked backlash at times.
The One Campaign is a more tactful approach to giving. Reaching out to current undergraduates when they are still on campus — indeed, when they are just starting their Georgetown careers — rather than telephoning them one day just a few months after they have graduated and asking them to donate, helps foster a relationship between them and the 1634 Society. Emphasis is placed more on the individual and their act of giving rather than the dollar amount they are willing to fork over. What matters is the percentage of students who will take part, not the amount the campaign will eventually raise. This focus on collective participation will not only create a sense of community among the Class of 2016 but also show that even they, the fresh and new residents of the Hilltop, can have an impact on Georgetown’s future.
As this paper goes to press, more than 30 percent of the Class of 2016 has contributed to the One Campaign. And ultimately, the financial impact of $474 may not be all that significant, but the willingness of 474 students to give to their university may just prove to be invaluable.