I’m glad to see The New York Times‘ “staff ethicist” counsel against Harvard alums giving money to the university during such turbulent economic times. He points out that Harvard, despite the hits it has taken over the last year, still enjoys an endowment of $26 billion, while the endowments of even the most well-off historically black college (Howard University, $500 million) and community college (Valencia Community College of Orlando, Fla,. $67 million) pale in comparison.

Of course, this isn’t going to stop former Ivy Leaguers from giving to the schools that helped get them where they are today. But there are about a million more pressing causes at the moment, so they should think twice.

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Jesse Singal is a former opinion writer for The Boston Globe and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. He is currently a master's student at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Policy. Follow him on Twitter at @jessesingal.