Frugal or Foolish?


Amy and Ed’s daughter Christina is enrolled in one of the poshest private schools in town.  With tuition pushing $25,000 per year, it’s a small fortune – but they agree it’s worth it.  One thing they don’t agree on?  What kind of extra donation – if any – they should make to the school…

Amy feels it’s understood that each family is expected to donate something extra, while Ed feels strongly that he’s paying his dues at $25,000.  And even though they could technically afford to donate, he refuses.  With the school’s annual fundraiser around the corner, they have been feuding again about what – if anything – to give.

In the interest of their daughter and their relationship to the school, is Ed being foolish not to give an extra donation?  Or is Amy just preoccupied with keeping up appearances?  What would you do?  Tell us what you think!

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2 Responses to “Frugal or Foolish?”

  1. Erin Sheehan says:

    As a former fundraiser I appreciate both sides. Tuitions are astronomical these days but most do not come close to covering the entire cost of running the school each day. Of course if I were paying $25k I doubt I would have extra to give! However since you mentioned they do have more to give-I think it is the responsibility of those fortunate enough/blessed enough to find ways to make a difference. If he is concerned with where it is going and for what-he should meet with an advancement officer, a board member or the head of school to speak of how best to make a donation-even if it is not a huge gift. Maybe there is a specific teacher project or student who is truly in need and that would speak closer to his heart. This way their family is recognized as donors and making a difference but to something they both agree on. People kid themselves when they think their tuition or ticket to Opera/symphony, membership to organization is considered giving in all those instances unless there is a huge endowment-most do not cover even general operations.

  2. Simone says:

    Totally agree with Erin. I can see both sides, but since the family isn’t struggling, the school’s do depend on extra donations. So if Ed got to help fund something that he felt was important, he could satisfy both his requirements and his wife’s.

Any Thoughts?

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