Among the behind-the-scenes details never disclosed, the emails showed the Newark philanthropist Ray Chambers wanted to arrange a million-dollar donation, but a top aide to Mayor Cory Booker dismissed it as too small.
Indeed, the heavily redacted emails provide a window into how Booker’s aides and others courted wealthy donors days before Zuckerberg pledged the historic gift intended to revamp the troubled school district in front of a national audience on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”
… Sarah Ross — a close adviser to Booker and a co-founder with him of a social media venture — described a “community donation mechanism” of small, individual donations as “super important to Mark and Facebook.”“They believe it’s bad positioning for Mark if only higher end donors are able to contribute to the matching funds in large chunks,” Ross wrote on Sept. 18, 2010, even though that’s exactly what happened. In another message, she noted: “Consumer donations is a hot button for them right now.”
“On Oprah, ask has been made with no response either way — so this means no or that, as Gayle King said, she loves a surprise — if no surprise, she will come off the list I fear,” she wrote.