Alumni Giving Trends

Inside Higher Ed covers alumni giving trends today in “Donations Are Up, But Not From Alumni”. Examining the behavior of younger alumni, the site quotes an entry to my One Post Challenge:

Writing last year as a guest at the blog Tactical Philanthropy, Sam Huleatt, co-founder of a company that builds social networks for private schools, wrote that many colleges “instantaneously lose their relevance upon a student’s graduation.” New graduates have little interest in the alumni magazines, he wrote, that are a major way colleges communicate with alumni. “Why wait four months for ‘class notes’ when you could simply check Facebook to see what a friend is up to?” Further, while many colleges have online giving programs, many also still communicate with alumni as if writing a check is the normal way to give. “It likely shocks most development officers as to the percentage of young alumni who don’t write checks, or own stamps,” he wrote.

Huleatt also suggested that colleges need to think about ways to engage alumni who may not want or have the ability to make a financial gift. “Schools need to reevaluate what constitutes ‘giving.’ A recent graduate may not be able to afford an annual gift of $200, but if they help a rising senior find a job, isn’t that worth something? When was the last time a school published a list of alumni who helped find other alumni or students jobs over a given year? Don’t these people deserve credit?”

Blog content and user generated content continues to increase its mainstream relevancy as Mitch Nauffts notes today.