In Our November, 2017 Issue:

OPINION: To give is to receive: The value of student donations

by
Rita M. Dibble joined Metro State as Chief Advancement Officer on May 1. Photo courtesy of Metropolitan State University.

What is your reac­tion when some­one approaches you for a dona­tion to your uni­ver­sity? Let me guess: You roll your eyes and won­der how any­one could ask a stu­dent for money! But give me 10 min­utes of your time and I can open the door to the won­der­ful world of philanthropy.

There is a dif­fer­ence between cost and value. For instance it costs you $2 to buy your favorite ice cream. But what price can you put on the plea­sure you get from eat­ing ice cream on a hot day? I sus­pect it is much more than $2.

It is the same with your edu­ca­tion. It costs a Met­ro­pol­i­tan State Uni­ver­sity stu­dent $7,860 to attend the uni­ver­sity for one year. A degree can get you a job with a start­ing salary of $48,000 each year. The value is a six­fold increase in this example.

Give to the Max Day at Metro State

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Metro State’s goal is to raise $10,000 on Give to the Max Day on Nov. 16. Every gift made on givemn​.org or met​rostate​.edu/give will count toward the goal.

You may choose to des­ig­nate your gift to:

  • The Metro Fund: Unre­stricted gifts to sup­port uni­ver­sity programs.
  • The Hol­i­day Giv­ing Pro­gram Fund: A hol­i­day tra­di­tion at Met­ro­pol­i­tan State; it allows fac­ulty and staff the oppor­tu­nity to make stu­dents’ lives a lit­tle brighter in December.
  • The Stu­dent Suc­cess Fund: Sup­ports stu­dents who are near­ing com­ple­tion of their degree, but have exhausted their finan­cial aid options. Gifts to this fund will pre­vent stu­dents from drop­ping out for finan­cial reasons.

How to help:

  • Give on Nov. 16. Each hour on Give to the Max Day, one “Golden Ticket” of $1,000 will be awarded through a ran­dom draw­ing of all dona­tions trans­acted dur­ing the pre­vi­ous hour. One “Super-​Sized Golden Ticket” of $10,000 will be awarded, drawn ran­domly from all dona­tions made through GiveMN​.org.
  • Or give at any time between Nov. 1 and Nov. 16. Addi­tional Golden Tick­ets of $500 will be awarded dur­ing the 15 days of sched­uled giv­ing from Nov. 1 through Nov. 15.
  • Share your feed­back with Kris­tine Hansen, Alumni Rela­tions Direc­tor, at Kristine.​hansen@​metrostate.​edu or 6517931810 . Let her know can how stu­dent can help you be ambas­sadors for phil­an­thropy at Metro State.

What is less clear is what it actu­ally costs the uni­ver­sity to edu­cate each stu­dent. I will let you peek behind the curtain.

A stu­dent pays 45 per­cent of the cost of edu­ca­tion at Metro State. The state of Min­nesota kicks in 40 per­cent. Now we are left with 15 per­cent. This gap is made up through gifts; gifts that make up schol­ar­ships, pro­gram funds, intern­ships, stipends, hard­ships and gap grants. This is also the gap that allows us to send stu­dents to con­fer­ences, show movies, hold cul­tural events and buy pizza for meetings.

So why should some­one want to close this 15 per­cent gap? Sim­ply put, some­one else did it for them when they were students.

The value of your edu­ca­tion is so much more than what it cost you to get your diploma. And there won’t be a day in your pro­fes­sional career when you will not draw upon your ‘Metro State experience.’

Mem­bers of the Metro State fam­ily, alumni and friends, have long under­stood the value of liv­ing in a com­mu­nity with edu­cated peo­ple. Some have decided to con­tribute to build this com­mu­nity by invest­ing in edu­ca­tion – your edu­ca­tion! I urge you to join them and become an archi­tect of your own future.

Start a new trend, become a stu­dent phil­an­thropist! Set aside $1 each week, in 20 weeks you will have $20. Get five of your friends to join you and together you can give $100 to be applied to stu­dent schol­ar­ships or any fund you choose.

But it’s about more than the money. The foun­da­tion office can use your phil­an­thropy to inspire peo­ple with deeper pock­ets to give to your cause. It is dif­fi­cult to resist an appeal from a stu­dent who is also a donor!

You might be amazed at how you feel when you become an active par­tic­i­pant in the progress of your alma mater.

Start the habit today and lead in the most ele­gant way — by exam­ple. Stop by the Met­ro­pol­i­tan State Uni­ver­sity Foun­da­tion Office on the sec­ond floor of Founders Hall and bring us your ideas, your plans and your gifts. We wel­come all conversations.

Rita M. Dib­ble is Vice Pres­i­dent for Uni­ver­sity Advance­ment and Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the Met­ro­pol­i­tan State Uni­ver­sity Foundation.