January 4, 2007

Colleges raising more, but from fewer alumni

Universities consistently report equal or higher levels of giving from non alumni at the major level. When this is discussed, the solution always jumps back to increasing focus on alumni participation. Of course, increasing this participation is a good thing.

What amazes me is the success in engaging non alumni at the major level when they are generally ignored in broad-based acquisition strategies. What are the opportunity risks of ignoring non alumni from the beginning? Perhaps, universities should consider "constituent participation rate" as a higher metric than "alumni participation rate."

The following article discusses this trend.

"All over the country, the percentage of alumni giving has dropped, and it's a concern among all institutions except maybe for the very elite," said Sheldon Caplis, vice president for institutional advancement at UMBC.

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