Miss Manners: When you ask about financial transparency

DEAR MRS. WAY: There is a private, parochial school near where I live. Tuition is expensive and the school has a reputation as an elite club.

The community has noticed that this school will have to close unless they raise a large amount of money in a very short period of time. Local news reported that the principal has been fired for embezzlement and there are other rumored financial improprieties related to how the school recruits for its athletic programs.

Parents at this school have created and are aggressively promoting a campaign to raise funds for it, citing it as an essential part of the fabric of our community that we must keep open. I have been contacted to donate, but I am not inclined to do so.

I see it as rich people begging the public on behalf of their private school which they have mismanaged terribly. When asked, I stated that if the school is asking for money, officials should disclose audited financial statements to potential donors and explain what the long-term plan is. (I wanted to add that parents should get a cardboard sign and stand in the corner, but refrained.)

My inquiries about financial details were met with an attitude: It’s none of your business, just donate and don’t ask any questions. Due to this and financial mismanagement, I will not donate, despite being a very generous person.

Am I wrong to ask such questions when asked to donate to something? I just don’t appreciate a blanket raid on my wallet. Is it common for people of good means to ask for financial help from those with less, without offering any specific explanation?

I am so tired of being bombarded non-stop by the many forms of fundraising these days. Donor fatigue is a real thing and I’m getting weirder and more cynical every day.

GENTLE READER: Wow. Is it possible that you don’t like this school? Or the parents whose children go there?

Why, then, are you asking them about a campaign you have no intention of contributing to?

Miss Manners agrees that anyone considering a donation should ask how it can solve the organization’s problems. Feedback from none of your business is valid when accompanied by a plea for help.

But since you’re not thinking of donating, she understands that you just see it as an outlet to vent your dislike.

(Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, dearmissmanners@gmail.com; or by postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)



1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106; 816-581-7500

#Manners #financial #transparency
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