Make believe you’re the director of a non-profit organization. You’re always on the prowl for money. It’s what you do. It’s what you have to do if you and your organization are going to survive. That money’s not gonna raise itself.
Or will it?
That depends on the organization, of course. What if it’s a little one, just trying to stay afloat from year to year? No one’s going to write a check without being asked. Cajoled. Begged.
If you’re a big deal museum, elite college, renowned center of excellence? That’s a whole different ball of wax. Donors line up, wanting to make contributions, getting their names on buildings, scholarships, hospital wings. It’s an ego thing for the donor. And a big catch for the recipient.
Or is it?
What happens when that money turns out to be tainted? Ill-gotten? You accepted it. You agreed to it. Now, you’ve got egg on your face and your organization by association. And everyone’s wringing their hands. The gift you thought you’d never see turns out to be the one you wish you’d never seen.
So what to do?
Well, it seems that Harvard, that bastion of higher education esteemed by so many, took big bucks from Jeffrey Epstein. Oops.
Harvard spent most of Epstein’s “gifts” before all the bad stuff about him hit the fan. The good news is that they have a good sized chunk of change left over and they are going to designate every penny of it to organizations that support victims of human trafficking and sexual assault.
Go Harvard. Rah rah, Crimson. They did the right thing and plan to work with peer institutions on similar concerns.
They turned lemons into lemonade. That’s what they did.
Image thanks to AmericanBanker.com