Charity, donations and community

Just got the annual letter from my old high school. As an ex-student they reach out annually to ask me for money. That’s pretty much all I hear from them. There’s no attempt to stay in touch or to create a sense of community.

They might be doing more, but I’m on their mailing list for donation requests and I don’t get any other correspondence from them!  They don’t even write back to say what the money was used for or enumerate the results of the programs it funds.

It appears that on the basis of a few years acquaintance a long time ago they think it’s alright to just ask me for money without any preliminaries or attempts at conversation. And that is really quite presumptuous of them!

Sure it’s an admirable thing to give a tax deductible donation to the College Scholarship & Bursary Fund so a young woman can have an Australian private school education. But why would I bother giving money to them when they don’t even bother with foreplay?

On the other hand the WSPA stay in touch with me often, ask me to get involved, find out what I think about issues as well as asking for donations.

I feel like I have a stronger relationship, or a deeper level of engagement, with the WSPA than with my old school. And, when making the decision on where to allocate my charity dollar, the organisation with which I feel an affinity is going to win.

Also, since I suspect that children living on the lower north shore of Sydney* could probably survive an education in one of the local state schools, it looks that some of my money is going to the animals instead.

* For those not from round here, Sydney’s lower north shore is a relatively wealthy region with a median house price of $1.03M post GFC.

Author: Kate Carruthers

Kate Carruthers is Chief Data & Insights Officer for UNSW Sydney, and is also an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the School of Computer Science & Engineering. She is certified in information security and is currently undertaking postgraduate studies terrorism and security. Kate has extensive experience in senior roles in ICT, marketing, data and digital; and is a member of the NSW Government’s Data Analytics Centre Advisory Board. Kate is currently working at the intersection of data analytics, AI, ML, privacy, cyber security, and data protection.

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