Feb. 17, 2010
We’re a few weeks into the annual fund drive that raises resources to support our student-athletes, and I’m encouraged with the results so far. Launched February 1, this year’s Beaver Athletic Student Fund (BASF) campaign is serving as our springboard to double our donor base by 2012.
You’ve heard it from me before. We’ve begun an all-out effort to grow our donor base from roughly 6,000-where it’s hovered for the last several years-to 12,000. Our “Expanding Beaver Nation—12,000 Strong by 2012” campaign is officially under way with volunteers making calls for renewals and new donors.
Although it’s still early in this two-month effort, I can see that many in Beaver Nation are hearing the message and responding. Momentum is on the rise. Last year at this time, we had 2,100 donors. This year our numbers already tally 2,300 at the same point. Additionally, our stats show that we have gained 170 new donors in the early stages of this year’s fund-raising drive.
So there I stood on the brink of becoming the latest BASF donator, one of the “12,000 needed by 2012” when…Bobby D’s greedy palm stood in my path and bitch slapped me across the nose. Apparently my $10, $20, $30, $35, or $39 donation is not enough. No, the “minimum accepted online donation is $40”! So get this, gentlemen, an AD who has cried and begged for money the past two seasons, is not willing to accept my donation of $39.99. Halt! He needs that extra penny or the transaction is not worth his time.
First of all, if I am running a fundraiser, and I truly need money, I am accepting any donation above breaking even, and I believe it costs 2% to process a credit card transaction. In the case of my 10 dollars, that would be $0.20, leaving the BASF folks with a net profit of $9.80 or 4900% markup and a 98% gross margin. I think any business in America would be thrilled with those numbers in a time of prosperity, yet Bob Decarolis and the OSU athletic department find those numbers offensive, even in this time of recession.
So what if I open my wallets and donate $39.99? That’s a $0.80 processing fee, leaving $39.19 to the athletic department. My cursory knowledge of high finance should be enough to figure out this calculation as well. Yes! That is a 4,900% markup and a 98% gross margin.
And what about the $40 donation that Bob insists on? Well, as you can imagine, that is $40-.80=$39.20 or a 4,900.00% markup and 98% gross margin.
That is right folks, since 2% is a ratio (2/100), there is actually equal markup on the higher donation and the same exact gross margin. Which in short suggests that the Beavers AD is more interested in gouging your wallet than getting your donation for all important facilities, scholarships, and upgrades.
What is likely going on here is probably not so calculated. Bob D probably thinks that someone who can definitely afford $10 or $39 is in the same economic class as someone who can afford $40, and he is right, but what he’s failed to understand (yet again) is that we’re in a recession and $40 is someone’s cable bill, gas, or groceries, where as $10 is much easier to part with. Why not just open the donation process to everyone? Is two people donating $20 not the same as one person donating $40?
I’m a huge supporter of Bobby D when it comes to the hiring process, but I view this latest campaign as yet another marketing nightmare, missed opportunity, and bottom line a turn-off for this particular Beaver. Bob could have had my $10, $20, or even $25, but he’s not getting my $40.