In the Mail

This past December, I received two head-scratching solicitations from well-known educational institutions:

#1 discusses a current first-generation student and how gift support helps create access for him and others like him to be able to attend. Here are three sentences from the letter:

NAME wasn’t sure it would be possible for his family to afford to have two sons in school at the same time.

At SCHOOL it’s amazing how many first-generation hard-working students are here, but also how tenuous their financial situations can be.

Your gift of $75 will transform the life of another SCHOOL student like NAME.

#2 leads with the following sentence on the outer envelope: Celebrate SCHOOL by ensuring campus remains beautiful now and for future generations.


And then, in the body of the letter: Together we can make sure our beautiful campus continues to have a great first impression on the next generation of THE SCHOOL’S NICKNAME.

Are there some for whom these above messages may tug at the heartstrings? Yes. But for others, they may raise questions:

  • Will my $75 really transform the life of a student?

  • Just how important is making a great first impression on the next generation of students?

You decide which is better.

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