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QOTD : Smithtown University’s fund-raisers succeeded

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QOTD : Smithtown University’s fund-raisers succeeded [#permalink]

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 2: Critical Reasoning


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Smithtown University’s fund-raisers succeeded in getting donations from 80 percent of the potential donors they contacted. This success rate, exceptionally high for university fund-raisers, does not indicate that they were doing a good job. On the contrary, since the people most likely to donate are those who have donated in the past, good fund-raisers constantly try less-likely prospects in an effort to expand the donor base. The high success rate shows insufficient canvassing effort.

Which of the following, if true, provides more support for the argument?

(A) Smithtown University’s fund-raisers were successful in their contacts with potential donors who had never given before about as frequently as were fund-raisers for other universities in their contacts with such people.
(B) This year the average size of the donations to Smithtown University from new donors when the university’s fund-raisers had contacted was larger than the average size of donations from donors who had given to the university before.
(C) This year most of the donations that came to Smithtown University from people who had previously donated to it were made without the university’s fund-raisers having made any contact with the donors.
(D) The majority of the donations that fund-raisers succeeded in getting for Smithtown University this year were from donors who had never given to the university before.
(E) More than half of the money raised by Smithtown University’s fund-raisers came from donors who had never previously donated to the university.

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Re: QOTD : Smithtown University’s fund-raisers succeeded [#permalink]

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On strengthen, weaken, and assumption questions, I generally start with the conclusion, stated exactly in the passage’s own words. In this case, the conclusion is basically the second and fourth sentences of the paragraph:

Quote:
This success rate, exceptionally high for university fund-raisers, does not indicate that they were doing a good job… The high success rate shows insufficient canvassing effort.


Great, and what’s the evidence to support this conclusion? Well, we know that fund-raisers have succeeded in getting donations from 80% of the potential donors they contacted, and “since the people most likely to donate are those who have donated in the past, good fund-raisers constantly try less-likely prospects in an effort to expand the donor base.”

Bottom line: the argument is accusing Smithtown’s fund-raisers of being lousy, lazy fundraisers who just keep contacting people who have donated in the past. The correct answer will support the conclusion that the fund-raisers were not “doing a good job” and that “the high success rate shows insufficient canvassing effort.”

On to the answer choices:

Quote:
(A) Smithtown University’s fund-raisers were successful in their contacts with potential donors who had never given before about as frequently as were fund-raisers for other universities in their contacts with such people.


This looks pretty good! Again: we’re trying to find support for the idea that the fund-raisers were not “doing a good job” and that “the high success rate shows insufficient canvassing effort.”

(A) is telling us that the Smithtown fund-raisers were no better than those of other universities – so that supports the idea that they were not necessarily “doing a good job.” Plus, if Smithtown’s fund-raisers were just as unsuccessful with potential new donors as other universities, then it must be the case that the “exceptionally high” 80% success rate came from targeting previous donors.

It’s hard to imagine that we’ll beat (A), but we always want to find four wrong answers –- so let’s go through the rest of them:


Quote:
(B) This year the average size of the donations to Smithtown University from new donors when the university’s fund-raisers had contacted was larger than the average size of donations from donors who had given to the university before.

Nope. If this is true, perhaps the fund-raisers deserve a cookie, but it’s not terribly relevant to the argument. We’re trying to support the idea that “the high success rate shows insufficient canvassing effort.” The SIZE of donations from new donors tells us nothing about canvassing effort.


Quote:
(C) This year most of the donations that came to Smithtown University from people who had previously donated to it were made without the university’s fund-raisers having made any contact with the donors.

This is pretty much irrelevant to the conclusion. It just tells us that a lot of people donated without being contacted. This doesn’t tell us anything about the fund-raisers’ canvassing efforts with new donors, or whether they were “doing a good job” in general.

Quote:
(D) The majority of the donations that fund-raisers succeeded in getting for Smithtown University this year were from donors who had never given to the university before.

Nope. This would definitely weaken the argument. If this is true, then the fund-raisers must have contacted a lot of new potential donors, with a high degree of success.

Quote:
(E) More than half of the money raised by Smithtown University’s fund-raisers came from donors who had never previously donated to the university.

If anything, this one weakens the argument. If (E) is true, it would be awfully hard to argue that the fundraisers were not “doing a good job” with new donors.

So (A) is our winner!
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Re: QOTD : Smithtown University’s fund-raisers succeeded [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2017, 05:09
The argument is saying fund-raisers succeeded in getting donations from 80% of people they contacted.

Author is saying they didn't do a good job as they contacted only those who are regular donors. So, they are not putting their alot of efforts.

Assumption: They contacted both the new and old donors.

We need to strengthen this.

(A) Smithtown University’s fund-raisers were successful in their contacts with potential donors who had never given before about as frequently as were fund-raisers for other universities in their contacts with such people. --> So, this is clearly telling us they contacted both types of donors. Hence, as per our assumption. Strengthener.

(B) This year the average size of the donations to Smithtown University from new donors when the university’s fund-raisers had contacted was larger than the average size of donations from donors who had given to the university before. --> Size of donations is irrelevant. We are more bothered about how many new and how old actually came forward.

(C) This year most of the donations that came to Smithtown University from people who had previously donated to it were made without the university’s fund-raisers having made any contact with the donors. --> A TRAP. It is saying money came without contacting. But we are talking about success rate after contacting. So, this option is incorrect.

(D) The majority of the donations that fund-raisers succeeded in getting for Smithtown University this year were from donors who had never given to the university before. Weakener. It is saying opposite of what conclusion is saying. Hence, incorrect

(E) More than half of the money raised by Smithtown University’s fund-raisers came from donors who had never previously donated to the university. Same as B
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Re: QOTD : Smithtown University’s fund-raisers succeeded [#permalink]

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Wow. A tough question. I would like to present my reasoning:

Smithtown University’s fund-raisers succeeded in getting donations from 80 percent of the potential donors they contacted. This success rate, exceptionally high for university fund-raisers, does not indicate that they were doing a good job. On the contrary, since the people most likely to donate are those who have donated in the past, good fund-raisers constantly try less-likely prospects in an effort to expand the donor base. The high success rate shows insufficient canvassing effort.

Which of the following, if true, provides more support for the argument?

(A) Smithtown University’s fund-raisers were successful in their contacts with potential donors who had never given before about as frequently as were fund-raisers for other universities in their contacts with such people.

Option A points that the success of Smithtown University’s fund-raisers were same as that of other university fund-raisers with potential donors who never contributed before. If yes, then 80% exceptionally high rate for a university standard rate comes in from donors who do contribute frequently or did previously contribute. This implies that they did not achieve much success in expanding their donor base. Hence, the high success rate shows insufficient canvassing effort. This provides support for the argument.

(B) This year the average size of the donations to Smithtown University from new donors when the university’s fund-raisers had contacted was larger than the average size of donations from donors who had given to the university before.

Average depends on the sum and number of people. It could be that Sum is really huge but number of people are less. We are talking about donor base i.e. number of people. Eliminated.


(C) This year most of the donations that came to Smithtown University from people who had previously donated to it were made without the university’s fund-raisers having made any contact with the donors.

This option is a contender. But the trap is "without having made any contact with the donors." We are evaluating their canvassing effort. So this option is irrelevant.

(D) The majority of the donations that fund-raisers succeeded in getting for Smithtown University this year were from donors who had never given to the university before.

Does not indicate if the university guys made an effort to contact them. Canvassing efforts are not highlighted.

(E) More than half of the money raised by Smithtown University’s fund-raisers came from donors who had never previously donated to the university.

It could be that few users donated huge sum. Doesn't mean that donor base increased. Incorrect.

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Re: QOTD : Smithtown University’s fund-raisers succeeded [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2017, 09:30
Strengthen the argument question.

Author is saying that 80% success rate isn't indicative of good work by fundraisers, and that the fundraisers aren't working hard because they aren't approaching new donors which are less likely to give.

The right answer will support the point that the fundraisers aren't approaching new donors or working hard to get donations.

A) This statement says that the fundraisers contacted new donors and were successful. This weakens the argument.
B) The fundraising team got larger donations from new donors than previous donors. This weakens the argument.
C) Most donations came from previous donors and the fundraising team didn't have to do any work to get these donations. This strengthens the argument.
D) Majority of donations are from new donors. This weakens the argument.
E) More than half of the donations came from new donors. This weakens the argument.

Answer is C.

Also of note is that all of the wrong answers said essentially the same thing: that the fundraisers were successful in reaching new donors.

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Re: QOTD : Smithtown University’s fund-raisers succeeded [#permalink]

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Quote:
Smithtown University's fund-raisers succeeded in getting donations from 80 percent of the potential donors they contacted. This success rate, exceptionally high for university fund-raisers, does not indicate that they were doing a good job. On the contrary, since the people most likely to donate are those who have donated in the past, good fundraisers constantly try less-likely prospects in an effort to expand the donor base. The high success rate shows insufficient canvassing effort.

Which of the following, if true, provides more support for the argument?

(A) Smithtown University's fund-raisers were successful in their contacts with potential donors who had never given before about as frequently as were fundraisers for other universities in their contacts with such people.

(B) This year the average size of the donations to Smithtown University from new donors when the university's fund-raisers had contacted was larger than the average size of donations from donors who had given to the university before.

(C) This year most of the donations that came to Smithtown University from people who had previously donated to it were made without the university's fund-raisers having made any contact with the donors.

(D) The majority of the donations that fund-raisers succeeded in getting for Smithtown University this year were from donors who had never given to the university before.

(E) More than half of the money raised by Smithtown University's fund-raisers came from donors who had never previously donated to the university.



GMATNinja wrote:
On strengthen, weaken, and assumption questions, I generally start with the conclusion, stated exactly in the passage’s own words. In this case, the conclusion is basically the second and fourth sentences of the paragraph:

Quote:
This success rate, exceptionally high for university fund-raisers, does not indicate that they were doing a good job… The high success rate shows insufficient canvassing effort.


Great, and what’s the evidence to support this conclusion? Well, we know that fund-raisers have succeeded in getting donations from 80% of the potential donors they contacted, and “since the people most likely to donate are those who have donated in the past, good fund-raisers constantly try less-likely prospects in an effort to expand the donor base.”

Bottom line: the argument is accusing Smithtown’s fund-raisers of being lousy, lazy fundraisers who just keep contacting people who have donated in the past. The correct answer will support the conclusion that the fund-raisers were not “doing a good job” and that “the high success rate shows insufficient canvassing effort.”

On to the answer choices:

Quote:
(A) Smithtown University’s fund-raisers were successful in their contacts with potential donors who had never given before about as frequently as were fund-raisers for other universities in their contacts with such people.


This looks pretty good! Again: we’re trying to find support for the idea that the fund-raisers were not “doing a good job” and that “the high success rate shows insufficient canvassing effort.”

(A) is telling us that the Smithtown fund-raisers were no better than those of other universities – so that supports the idea that they were not necessarily “doing a good job.” Plus, if Smithtown’s fund-raisers were just as unsuccessful with potential new donors as other universities, then it must be the case that the “exceptionally high” 80% success rate came from targeting previous donors.

It’s hard to imagine that we’ll beat (A), but we always want to find four wrong answers –- so let’s go through the rest of them:

So (A) is our winner!


GMATNinja Could you help to explain donors who had "NEVER GIVEN before" in answer choice (A) versus donate are those who have "donated in the past" in the argument?
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Re: QOTD : Smithtown University’s fund-raisers succeeded [#permalink]

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I'm not 100% sure that I'm interpreting your question correctly ziyuen, but the heart of the issue in the passage itself is that the fund-raisers' high success rate "does not indicate that they were doing a good job" because they've (presumably) focused their efforts on "those who have donated in the past." In other words, the passage alleges that the fund-raisers have mostly contacted potential donors who have given at least once -- and that the fund-raisers have mostly failed to contact people who have never donated.

And (A) talks explicitly about donors who have never donated in the past. And if the fund-raisers weren't unusually successful with those potential donors, then it must be true that they were targeting donors who HAD donated in the past.

Does that help?
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Re: QOTD : Smithtown University’s fund-raisers succeeded [#permalink]

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:roll: Its a tough question. :|

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Re: QOTD : Smithtown University’s fund-raisers succeeded [#permalink]

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Smithtown University’s fund-raisers succeeded in getting donations from 80 percent of the potential donors they contacted. This success rate, exceptionally high for university fund-raisers, does not indicate that they were doing a good job. On the contrary, since the people most likely to donate are those who have donated in the past, good fund-raisers constantly try less-likely prospects in an effort to expand the donor base. The high success rate shows insufficient canvassing effort.


Basic Story - STU's fund-raisers have been half assed in their efforts to raise funds, as that 80% success rate signifies that all majority of the donors were previous donors, and no new cheap asses were invited to the party!
So we need a premise to prove that they were NOT doing a good job.

Which of the following, if true, provides more support for the argument?

Quote:
(A) Smithtown University’s fund-raisers were successful in their contacts with potential donors who had never given before about as frequently as were fund-raisers for other universities in their contacts with such people.

At first, I skimmed through this option and barely understood what it said. Anyway back to the point.
This basically says STU's success rate = Other Universities' success rate => STU's efforts weren't extraordinary, they were the same as everyone else, and this would lead us to believe they were lazy and just contacted their previous donors for a new round. Keep this option!


Quote:
(B) This year the average size of the donations to Smithtown University from new donors when the university’s fund-raisers had contacted was larger than the average size of donations from donors who had given to the university before.

This doesn't tell me anything about their efforts, or whether they really did work hard, or didn't. It does however tell me that all new donors donated more, but that is irrelevant. OUT!


Quote:
(C) This year most of the donations that came to Smithtown University from people who had previously donated to it were made without the university’s fund-raisers having made any contact with the donors.

Honestly speaking, this option was fairly tempting to me, and I almost picked this option. Here is the kicker though. We are only concerned about the success rate post contact, so this option is irrelevant to the conclusion of the argument. OUT!


Quote:
(D) The majority of the donations that fund-raisers succeeded in getting for Smithtown University this year were from donors who had never given to the university before.

This weakens the conclusion. OUT!


Quote:
(E) More than half of the money raised by Smithtown University’s fund-raisers came from donors who had never previously donated to the university.
[/quote]
It seems like GMAT ran out of things to put in the answer choices, so they basically put similar options in D and E. This weakens the conclusion as well. It's OUT!

I almost got this one wrong. But A is the answer!
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QOTD : Smithtown University’s fund-raisers succeeded [#permalink]

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New post 05 Aug 2017, 04:21
Hi Experts GMATNinja GMATNinjaTwo
Can you elaborate contrast in the sentence starting with: In the contrary ...

As per my understanding, this sentence tells us that since people who have donated presently are one who did so in past, good fund raisers constantly try to make an effort to convince people who are less likely to donate so that their donor base is expanded.

What's the contrast here? Also as per me, only the last sentence in argument is the main conclusion (An answer to Q: What is the whole argument about: insufficient canvassing efforts -> high success rates). Any views on the same?
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QOTD : Smithtown University’s fund-raisers succeeded [#permalink]

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souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 2: Critical Reasoning


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Smithtown University’s fund-raisers succeeded in getting donations from 80 percent of the potential donors they contacted. This success rate, exceptionally high for university fund-raisers, does not indicate that they were doing a good job. On the contrary, since the people most likely to donate are those who have donated in the past, good fund-raisers constantly try less-likely prospects in an effort to expand the donor base. The high success rate shows insufficient canvassing effort.

Which of the following, if true, provides more support for the argument?

(A) Smithtown University’s fund-raisers were successful in their contacts with potential donors who had never given before about as frequently as were fund-raisers for other universities in their contacts with such people.
(B) This year the average size of the donations to Smithtown University from new donors when the university’s fund-raisers had contacted was larger than the average size of donations from donors who had given to the university before.
(C) This year most of the donations that came to Smithtown University from people who had previously donated to it were made without the university’s fund-raisers having made any contact with the donors.
(D) The majority of the donations that fund-raisers succeeded in getting for Smithtown University this year were from donors who had never given to the university before.
(E) More than half of the money raised by Smithtown University’s fund-raisers came from donors who had never previously donated to the university.

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Imo A

It is a very tough question .


The argument talks bout the canvassing efforts of the university fund raisers and how they were not very good at canvassing efforts even if they were able to get 80 % of the potential donors .
The argument also gives us conditions for canvassing effort to be a success "good fund-raisers constantly try less-likely prospects in an effort to expand the donor base"
Thus A gives us a reason why the canvassing efforts were not a success as their rate equaled that of other university fund raisers .


B is irrelevant
C is a trap as most of the funds came from from the donors who hand previously donated and without having contacted .
D But what about canvassing efforts may be the donors wanted to contribute to the university.
E Again same as D
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Re: QOTD : Smithtown University’s fund-raisers succeeded [#permalink]

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Hi Experts GMATNinja GMATNinjaTwo
Can you elaborate contrast in the sentence starting with: In the contrary ...

As per my understanding, this sentence tells us that since people who have donated presently are one who did so in past, good fund raisers constantly try to make an effort to convince people who are less likely to donate so that their donor base is expanded.

What's the contrast here? Also as per me, only the last sentence in argument is the main conclusion (An answer to Q: What is the whole argument about: insufficient canvassing efforts -> high success rates). Any views on the same?

Quote:
On the contrary, since the people most likely to donate are those who have donated in the past, good fund-raisers constantly try less-likely prospects in an effort to expand the donor base.

The contrast is between that sentence and the end of the previous sentence: "...that they were doing a good job."

In other words, the exceptionally high success rate might seem to indicate that they were doing a good job; ON THE CONTRARY, the evidence actually suggests that they were not doing a good job ("insufficient canvassing effort").

Yes, the conclusion is that the high success rate shows insufficient canvassing effort.
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Re: QOTD : Smithtown University’s fund-raisers succeeded [#permalink]

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New post 25 Aug 2017, 11:44
Hi GMATNinja,

Could you please throw some light on my below doubt:

In option A, we are essentially taking other universities as a benchmark and comparing STU with them. But how do we know that other universities' fund raisers are also lousy?

We are just told that 80% is not a good number because the fund raisers didn't approach new investors for funding. That means out of this 80% majority is the last year donators. But, on what basis are we having a comparison in option A?

Regards

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Re: QOTD : Smithtown University’s fund-raisers succeeded [#permalink]

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gmatexam439 wrote:
Hi GMATNinja,

Could you please throw some light on my below doubt:

In option A, we are essentially taking other universities as a benchmark and comparing STU with them. But how do we know that other universities' fund raisers are also lousy?

We are just told that 80% is not a good number because the fund raisers didn't approach new investors for funding. That means out of this 80% majority is the last year donators. But, on what basis are we having a comparison in option A?

Regards

Quote:
(A) Smithtown University’s fund-raisers were successful in their contacts with potential donors who had never given before about as frequently as were fund-raisers for other universities in their contacts with such people.

Remember, we are looking for something that strengthens the argument, which is that STU's exceptionally high donation rate does NOT indicate that they were doing a good job.

We are told that STU's 80% donation rate is exceptionally high for university fund-raisers. Thus, we can infer that the other universities generally have a lower overall donation rate. But if STU and those other universities have equal success rates when contacting new donors, this suggests that those other universities spend LESS time contacting past donors (low risk, high donation rate) and MORE time contacting new donors (low donation rate but, according to the author, a habit of a "good" fund-raiser).

Thus, choice (A) strengthens the argument that STU was not necessarily doing an "exceptional" job (according to the author's definition of a "good" fund-raiser), despite the "exceptional" donation rate.

I hope that helps!
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Re: QOTD : Smithtown University’s fund-raisers succeeded   [#permalink] 20 Sep 2017, 20:53
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