Creating a Culture of Giving Among Current Students

Topics: Alumni Affairs, Advancement, Donor and Prospect Relations, Fundraising, Major Gifts and Campaign Strategy

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Executive Summary

The recent recession reduced private support for higher education, while dwindling state support and federal cuts to research funding forced institutions to rely on advancement to fill budget gaps. Long-term declines in alumni participation rates and average gift amounts still pose urgent problems for advancement professionals.

Current students represent an untapped resource for advancement offices. Acquiring students as donors now will ultimately yield larger gifts and long-term institutional support.

Advancement leaders enjoy a number of benefits with current students that can aid fundraising efforts. These include proximity, open communication channels, clear impact, and accessible affinity data. By creating positive philanthropic experiences for students before they leave campus, advancement leaders establish a basis from which to build enduring, high-return relationships after graduation.

Included in this study

This study outlines strategies to establish student giving habits that will continue post-graduation, including:

  • How to create passion-driven giving opportunities for current students
  • How to make direct asks of all students
  • How to systematize student data collection

Check Out Our Related Toolkit

Our Culture of Giving Toolkit includes 10 tools to help you pinpoint areas to which students and young alumni would be likely to donate, recruit senior gift committee members, demonstrate gift impact, and develop crowdfunding initiatives.

access the toolkit