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Anonymity in Donating



Some nice examples of the preservation of anonymity in charitable donations, 
both for the donor and for the recipient, caught my attention today.

An article by Clare Ulrich in the December 1994 Communique (Vol.18 No.3), 
published by The Cornell Campaign, pays tribute to an anonymous donor
to Cornell U.:
"While some acts of generosity are marked by a name on a building or a plaque
on a wall, others, so to speak, can be counted among the philanthropic 
`whodunits.' These are the anonymous gifts, and Communique would like to 
profile several innovative projects that one anonymous donor helped launch
this year. According to the donor, anonymity provides greater freedom to `pick
and choose' projects that are personally interesting. This donor is 
particularly attracted to programs that involve computer technology or promise
to generate benefits beyond the scope of the immediate project. [...] The
same donor who declined recognition for these high-tech projects also provided
support for 24 high school juniors from Boys Harbor in Harlem to attend the
six-week Cornell Summer College Program in 1994, as well as the two previous
summers. [...] Although this anonymous donor may not be interested in getting
a name on something, he certainly leaves an indelible mark on the quality of
education at Cornell."

Closer to home, our dept. chair Dave Stemple broadcast a request for donations
to an anonymous recipient:
"One of our undergrad majors lived in Amherst Crossings, which burned down
last week. As a result this student, a senior who had planned to graduate this
spring, is destitute and needs help or he will be unable to complete his
degree. If you would like, you can contribute clothes or money (cash only
please in order to maintain the student's anonymity) to him. [...]"

Incidentally, I received my B&W C'punks shirt from Kevin Prigge a few weeks
ago, and consider myself a very satisfied customer. I made a point of wearing
it on the flights both ways for a recent vacation I took in California. On the
return trip, I was delayed at O'Hare for over an hour due to a leaky window
on the airplane. A man in his 50s or 60s approached me and asked, with a smirk,
what a Cypherpunk was. I explained a bit, mentioning the passage of the DT
bill. Noting the mention of the NSA on the shirt, the man mentioned that his
son is working at Apple "with the NSA"....

 -L. Futplex McCarthy; PGP key by finger or server   "The objective is for us 
  to get those conversations whether they're by an alligator clip or ones and 
  zeroes. Wherever they are, whatever they are, I need them." -FBI Dir. Freeh

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