This fundraiser was initiated by a well-intentioned IDS alumnus who was trying to help send extra reporters to the basketball game. The IDS had already committed weeks in advance to pay to send one reporter and a photographer to cover the game, but others also wished to go. They were told they could go if they paid for the plane tickets themselves as our travel budget only allowed for the purchase of two tickets. The others agreed and then paid for their own tickets to Portland.
After this, an IDS alumnus decided he would try to help the reporters by starting a fundraiser. This helpful alumnus didn’t think to ask the IDS management and editorial staff to see if this would be okay.
While I appreciated the outpouring of support for IDS reporters and photographers in this fundraiser, IDS employees unfortunately cannot accept donations from the public for their coverage. There are IU and IDS regulations and procedures regarding soliciting alumni and the public for money and they were not followed for this fundraiser. Because of this, we were not be able to allow our employees to accept these donations.
Upon finding out that the fundraiser was taking place, I immediately asked that it be shut down and that all of the money be returned. The alumnus has assured me that the money will be returned promptly to those who donated.
A few alumni have emailed me after seeing the fundraiser to ask if the IDS is in financial trouble. This is not the case. While newspapers across the country have faced financial hardship, the IDS has also seen some decline in revenues, but we are on stable financial footing and this fundraiser was not initiated to help us pay to do our job.
We were already doing that, and a well-intentioned alumnus simply wanted to help us out a bit. Unfortunately, he didn’t think to ask first.
If you have any questions about this fundraiser or anything else, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Zach Ammerman, Editor-in-Chief of the Indiana Daily Student
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