Sun 29 Mar 2009
The College gives about $500,000 each year to local charity. There was never a plausible reason to do so when we were rich. There is no money left to spend now that we are poor.
UPDATE: Apologies for not including more details on this.
1) I don’t know of any place that the College spells out this giving in detail. Here is a citation for the $500,000 number. At some point, Director of Public Affairs Jim Kolesar ’74 kindly sent me a list of the donations and I thought I published it on EphBlog, but now I can’t find it. I will reach out to Jim again.
2) The annual spending may or may not include the major capital gifts that the College makes to local non-profits. (The details, like most aspects of the Williams budget, are totally opaque to outsiders.) Classic examples from the past include: $250,000 to Mount Greylock High School (a classic of early EphBlog snark), $2 million to MASS MoCA and $1 million to North Adams Regional Hospital.
3) A very small amount of giving (like $16,000 per year to the ambulance service) isn’t giving so much as it is a fee for service. No one complains about those items, but a) other than the ambulance service I can’t think of other examples and b) they make up a tiny percentage of the $500,000 as a whole.
UDPATE II: Recall that the Presidential Search Prospectus tells us:
A recent study showed that over the previous ten years Williams had made annual financial contributions in the community that averaged more than $500,000 and additional one-time contributions of $5 million.
That would suggest annual spending of $750,000. This should be cut by 80% or more.
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