27.Feb.2010 Bob De Carolis Responds
Bob De Carolis responds to my concern over a $40 minimum donation:
Angry, sorry for the tardy response. Was out of town and delegated this to staff but we dropped the ball, our bad. Here is what I found out.
While the online process is very convenient for the donor it comes with a significant price per transaction to the athletic department because it is contracted out to a third party. So at some level below $40 we would actually lose money, therefore the minimum. To correct this in the short term we will be adding some type of info on the site for those that choose to donate below the minimum to either send a check directly to BASF or better yet call us toll free with credit card handy and we can process the donation internally over the phone. That piece should be up by next week some time. Long term we will be searching for a new less expensive third party. Hope this all helps. Thanks for bringing this to our attention and thanks for your support of the Beavers. If you have any additional questions let me know.
Bob De Carolis
Director of Athletics
Oregon State University
Fair enough, Bob, but it makes me wonder why donations are being processed through a third party when there is so much cheap labor available on campus, and why the third party is so expensive (i.e. is there a bidding process, accountability, etc?), and why there isn’t information about small donations via check or credit card on the site.
Also, “thanks for your support of the Beavers” cracked me up, and it would crack you up as well, if you saw what I wrote in the body of my email. Though, I might actually send a few bucks now that I have received an explanation.
In the end, I am happy with Bob’s response, especially the fact that he is now aware of the problem and seems ready and willing to improve it. I’m just disappointed that the leadership didn’t see the flaws in this system on their own.