You had me at free parking
My company sponsored a scholarship at Western Washington University. (For not-at-all altruistic reasons: you apply for it by showing up at a meeting where we get to introduce our company and internship opportunities. We want first pick of the best students!)
I got a thank you letter from the university, which didn’t surprise me. What did surprise me was that it included an all-campus parking pass.
This pass has little cash value. It’s not transferrable, and not good for events. I’m on campus just a few times a year (an advisory board, visiting a class, etc.) and there is always a free day-permit reserved for me at the visitor’s center. I don’t need this pass.
But I love it. Parking is always a mess at universities, and I’ve got a golden ticket. I can drive from my office right to the building I’m visiting.
This pass costs the university nothing. But it’s the free prize inside. And I’m embarrassed by what a difference it makes in my attitude towards visiting and contributing to the school.