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For $50 Million Dollars, I’ll Change My Name to Jack, Joseph, & Morton Mandel

Transactional philanthropy is happening around town and until now, humans have not been a part of the fun.

Written by: Cameron Mays

Consisting of different genders, races, and religions. Proclivity for children to ruin things. Looking good in black clothes. The standard person has more in common with the standard orchestra than they realize. We stem off, however, when it comes to money. The standard orchestra is generally the recipient of massive grants and donations while the standard person has been excluded from this regular funding. I previously assumed I could never get this sort of money because I add very little to the community, and because I am a human, not a nonprofit. As I now suspect, neither of these are the reasons foundations don’t give me money — it is because I don’t offer anything in return.

The Good Samaritan model no longer works in these modern times.

The Good Samaritan model no longer works in these modern times. The new model, which I dub the All Right American, follows the simple rule: the greater the deed, the greater the recognition. Holding the door for someone? A nod and a smile. Donating money to the homeless? One million views on YouTube. Giving $50 million to the Cleveland Orchestra? Naming rights to their concert hall. With that, Severance Hall has been rechristened Mandel Hall and the Severance Music Center thanks to a donation from the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Foundation.

Perhaps something as arbitrary as naming rights is keeping me from making some orchestra-level donations...

Whether or not this transaction was agreed upon, I cannot comment. I am here to learn, not to judge. When borrowing money from relatives or friends, my line of credit is generally restricted to a sawbuck. Not bad for lunch, not good for financial freedom. Perhaps something as arbitrary as naming rights is keeping me from making some orchestra-level donations... Therefore, I present the following transactions I am willing to make:

  • For $80K, I will add to the bottom of my diploma, “Courtesy of the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Foundation.”

  • For $300K, I will buy and renovate a home in Glennville and post a sign stating, “the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Foundation Single-Person Dwelling.”

  • For $50 million, I will change my name to “Jack, Joseph, & Morton Mandel, Cameron P. Mays Biological Unit.”

As far as I can tell, nothing has changed at Severance Music Center except $50 million dollars and a name. Rest assured that in the same way, nothing will change with me except $50 million dollars and a name. Should this work, I would encourage everyone to go about raising money this way. Although we would all have the same name, we would also all have $50 million dollars without any functional differences, which seems like a pretty fair trade off. This idea of getting money and not doing anything with it would likely appeal to local governments, who have all but mastered the practice. To help spur the imaginations of local politicians, I present these possible transactions between the City of Cleveland and the Mandel Foundation:

  • For $100 million, the city will rename Carnegie Avenue “Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Way, courtesy of Carnegie Avenue.”

  • For $250 million, the city will add a small plaque on the Free Stamp reading “Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel’s Claes Oldenburg’s and Coosje van Bruggen’s Free Stamp.

  • For $500 million, City Hall will be renamed “Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Center for Civic Operations and Legislation, Cleveland City Hall Complex.”


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