DONATIONS FOR PROFIT
While working as the director of junior golf at a Nashville area golf course, I was put in charge of fund-raising. This task required me to spend numerous hours calling and visiting local businesses, seeking their donations for our end-of-the-summer golf tournament. After weeks of campaigning for money, I was pleased to have raised $3,000 for the tournament. The money was intended to be used for prizes, food, and trophies for the two-day Tournament of Champions. I notified the golf course manager of my intentions to spend the money at a local golf store to purchase prizes for the participants. Upon hearing of my decision to spend all of the contribution money on the tournament, my manager asked me to spend only $1,500. I was confused by this request because I had encouraged various companies to contribute by telling them that their money would all be spent on the children registered in the tournament. My manager, however, told me that the golf course would pocket the other $1,500 as pure profit. He said the economy had been struggling and that the course could use any extra money to boost profits. I was deeply angered that I had given my word to these companies and now the golf course was going to pocket half the donations. Feeling that my manager was in the wrong, I went to him again, this time with an ultimatum. The money was either to be spent entirely on the tournament or I would return all of the checks personally, citing my manager’s plan as the reason. In response, he said that I could spend the money any way I desired, but he would appreciate it if I were frugal with the money. I spent it all.
1. Was my manager wrong for seeking to pocket the donation money as profit? Does it make any difference that the golf course was experiencing perilous economic times? (After all, if the course goes out of business, tournaments cannot be held at all).
2. Was I right in challenging my manager? Should I have handled this differently?
3. Do you think the companies would have felt cheated if the golf course had pocketed their donations?