- Do not ask the stupid questions trying to get the alumni to remember the wonders and joys of their time at Cedarville. Our time of wonder and joy is gone, and it's been pretty well stomped on by successive administrations lacking integrity. Can there be a button to press to forward through that part of the conversation and automatically be connected to a responsible adult, so we can be really honest about why we're not supporting the school any more? Does the administration even care why alumni are not supporting them anymore, or do they just consider that the cost of doing (their view of) good kingdom business? Yes, those were good old days, and I'm sad they're gone and you won't really get to experience them. Then again, maybe you will. For all I know the same shenanigans were happening when I was a blithely ignorant student, and I managed to have an awesome time . . .
- Do have glib explanations ready! I suppose they might work on, um, timid and uninformed people who didn't think and debate and research for 50 hours before coming to the decision to stop donating to the institution. I was a little sad that you only had a glib explanation for the destruction of the philosophy department, but, really, it's not fair for me to expect you to know/care about the other high-level institutional shenanigans, and I can't see the alumni office expecting the alumni to know about it, so why would they prepare glib explanations for those? I know I had no idea what was going on at that level until my senior year, and I'm pretty sure you sound like, what, a sophomore?
- Don't play the pity card. Does it ever work? "Just think of the poor students you are hurting (by your rigid desire to only support ministries with integrity)" kind of just makes me mad. See the next point for a better way to handle the disappointment when I say I'm not going to give you money.
- Do explain that the money you're soliciting only goes to students and not to the administration. That's pretty important. I do have to think about that a bit. I do want to bring the incredibly high tuition you current students are paying down to something slightly less ridiculous. I'd also give to a fund for the faculty who have to buffer you from all this crap. Do you know if such a fund exists? And can I separate my donations to that degree? I might need to do more research on the financials, but the administrations shenanigans DO trickle down to the students, meaning you do get influenced in ways that are not quite, in my opinion, above-board. But. I didn't choose the school because it was perfect and I agreed with everything. I chose it because it was Christian, had a good academic reputation, and was also the cheapest with the financial aid I could muster. Maybe the students who made their decisions to attend for the same reasons do deserve my financial support. But the administration decides how to use the funds, so . . . Gah. Back and forth. It's good to make people think and start going back and forth. Good for you.
- Do not play the breezy, administrations change all the time card. This has been a concerted effort to move things in a particular direction through multiple administrators, and mowing down a lot of good administrators and educators in its path, and it's been going on for over a decade. I'm not sure that refusing to give my money will make the situation worse. Although now I wonder if that's why the tuition has gotten so high . . .
P.S. I appreciate how you didn't lie and write down that I made a pledge (which is what the guy two years ago did).