When I first started in educational fund development, at the University of Michigan in the 1980s, one of my first meetings was with a wealthy family who had sent its children to private schools and then to U-M. I asked them about whether they would consider a philanthropic gift to the university, and I heard, “Universities don’t need any money because the state takes care of them.”

While it was true that the State of Michigan supported public universities with more funds 30 years ago, there was still a need then for philanthropic support.

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