The Price of Donation

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Earlier this week the Chronicle of Higher Education ran an article called "The Wrong Type of Solicitation" about the sexual harrassment of higher education planned-giving personnel.  

Sexual harassment can occur in any job, but certain aspects of fund raising make it more likely. For one thing, women now dominate the profession. Three-fourths of the 30,000 members of the Association of Fundraising Professionals are female.

In many cases, those women are appealing to older, powerful men for large donations. To succeed, fund raisers must build long-term relationships with donors. And they often visit donors in their homes or meet them in social settings where alcohol and personal information are plentiful.

Apparently, the Chronicle reporter spoke to over 20 planned-giving professionals and most were reluctant to use their names.  Why?

"It is a disempowering experience," says one woman. "I do not want to publicly acknowledge weird experiences in my career. It puts an X on your head. And I do not want people to think I brought it on myself."

The full article is available here (pay site – sorry; day passes available).

-Bridget Crawford

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