Wednesday, January 22

Engagement Is Key to Successful Alumni Fundraising

by Rosetta Clay

by Rosetta Clay

For years, alumni relations professionals have created, implemented, and executed events and programs that are intended to build relationships with alumni of their respective institutions in hopes of alumni becoming loyal donors. In most cases to achieve this goal, alumni need to feel there has been some level of engagement before their first gift, and any annual giving.

This article addresses three key aspects of alumni fundraising:

  • Alumni engagement models behavior
  • Transformational versus transactional
  • Focus on philanthropy

Alumni Engagement Models Behavior

Through the years, it has become increasingly important to engage alumni in ways that resonate and are meaningful to them personally. This is usually through student programming, as most alumni recall their life as a student and how important it was to have interactions with alumni. Creating opportunities for alumni to engage with students accomplishes a few things:

1) It models behavior for students who become alumni.

2) Alumni have a sense of connection and impact with current students.

3) It strengthens relationships with other administrative offices on campus that service students, in particular Student Affairs, Career Centers, and Admissions Offices.

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