While mostly a lament about the plight of junior faculty, John Warner’s provocative blog on Inside Higher Ed also questions employee giving campaigns.
A fellow professor’s tweet, is cited by Warner as being at the heart of the issue: “One day someone is going to have to explain to me, slowly, how and why employees of a university are supposed to donate to said university.”
Our response is simple: Employees of a charitable organization are NOT expected to donate to it, but this doesn’t mean they should not be invited to do so. Certainly, there should be no pressure to give and no shame in not giving.
While Warner’s blog (which you can read at http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/just-visiting/little-big-ask) offers one perspective, ours is very different. We do not see employees as distinct from any of the organization’s other constituents.
Many may well have been attracted to the organization because of its mission and choose to support it with a gift. Others, for their own reasons including modest compensation, may choose not to give—a choice they should be free to make with no consequences.
Not every organization will choose to conduct an employee giving campaign, but for us the central question is, “Why not?”
We think everyone close to the organization should be given the opportunity to support it. Our experience includes many examples of joyful giving from employees regardless of their compensation.