Yesterday I attended the San Jose Jazz Festival. In the main festival area I saw a couple of great high school bands on the “Next Generation” stage. In a loosely affiliated function, on campus SJSU’s African American alumni organized a BBQ that featured a jazz band. At the BBQ I was introduced to the community, along with other new African American administrators. There was also a presentation about a summer 2016 study abroad trip to Cuba, followed by an appeal for donations to help students make the trip. Overall the BBQ was a fun event, but afterwards my wife and I discussed a missed opportunity: the fundraising appeal did not provide any specifics about how much money is necessary to support the students, nor did it set suggested donation levels. While I can understand why the organizers were worried about being too pushy in asking for money at a social event — I’ve certainly experienced that before! — an appeal could have been crafted that set specific monetary goals at the event itself and afterwards via a soon-to-be-launched donation website. While any type of contribution would be welcome, of course, the appeal would be more successful with more information and targets for suggested individual and/or group contributions. I’ll have to keep that in mind as I start my own fundraising efforts later this week!