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No, it’s not a new horror flick, but it is scary. As private schools, like Upper East Side preschool hit the upper limits of what they can charge for tuition (or $21,000 per year), fund raising has become more intense and aggressive. In fact, the “development offices” for these schools are mining online data for details about parents’ homes, luxury cars, private planes, stock holdings and donations to other charities.


1. What percentage of their time do the heads of the private schools surveyed spend on fundraising? Comment.
2. Explain why Rae Goldsmith sees the strategy of going after the richest parents in a school as short-sighted.
3. Based on the “back-of-the-envelope assumption” mentioned in the article, what percentage do families with more than $5 million in assets give away annually?


Anderson, J. (2012). Private Schools Mine Parents’ Data and Wallets. The New York Times, March 26 (Retrievable online at