Another Prince Donation
This week, Prince, the musician, gave $250,000 to the Eau Claire Promise Zone, a group that is trying to emulate the Harlem Children’s Zone in the Eau Claire neighborhood of Columbia, South Carolina. (Its board includes Geoffrey Canada’s brother Daniel.) Prince’s new donation is in addition to the $1 million that he gave to the Harlem Children’s Zone in February.
It is worth noting that Prince’s total contributions to HCZ-like endeavors now stand at $1.25 million, compared to the $10 million that the federal government has spent on Promise Neighborhoods so far.
If you’re moved to compare the two investments, there are two important metrics to keep in mind. The first is raw dollars, and by that measure, the federal government is clearly ahead, having thus far spent eight times as much as Prince. But if you compare promises to follow-through, the story looks different: President Obama promised in 2007 to spend “a few billion dollars a year” on HCZ replications. Which means Obama’s administration is currently spending about 0.2 percent of what he said was the minimum necessary to make the program work. (“I’ll be honest; it can’t be done on the cheap,” he said in the 2007 speech. “But we will find the money to do this, because we can’t afford not to.”)
Prince didn’t promise anything. Which makes his donations look all the more generous, by contrast.