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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Alternative Giving

Harvard alum Carroll Bogert has an excellent op-ed in the New York Times about what to do with Harvard's big endowment besides make it even bigger. She notes that T
he university’s endowment stands at $35 billion and is likely to hit $100 billion in a decade. At an annual growth rate of 13.3 percent — the average since inception, and regularly exceeded in recent years — Harvard can cover next year’s entire undergraduate financial aid budget with what it earns in the market in eight and a half days.
Deciding that swelling this flood of money was pointless,
A few hundred alumni have formed Harvard Alumni for Social Action, to try to channel 25th-reunion giving to destitute universities in Africa. In three years, we’ve raised $425,000 — a lot for the University of Dar es Salaam but hardly a match for our annual class “gift.” And evidently not enough to win the respect of President Faust, who has begged off meeting the group. Harvard clearly doesn’t like any effort that might divert a dollar away from its Cambridge coffers.
Bogert offers some decent explanations for why college grads - or at least Harvard grads - love to make the rich richer, but more to the point, you can find the Harvard Alumni for Social Action here.


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