With universities back in session, Fall is a popular time for planning university fundraising campaigns for the upcoming school year. One of the most common groups of donor prospects are alumni. The pride one carries from graduating is considerable, and often alumni have a deep desire to give back to the institution that gave so much to them. After all, the university provided them with experiences, an education and a solid skill-set to earn a living.
With so many different fundraising options available today, how do you decide what type of fundraiser to plan when targeting alumni? Below are just a few of our favorites (we have plenty more ideas at: alumni fundraising)
Sending a personalized donation request can be a very effective way to raise funds. After all, many alumni are busy with their families and careers and are therefore unable to attend a fundraising event. Yet, they may be willing to support a worthy cause by making an online donation for their Alma Matter. Make it easy for them to donate! Send an email with an explanation of the fundraiser and how they can make a difference. Be sure to include a link to a fundraising website where alumni can easily make an safe and secure online contribution, while learning more about the campaign. Be sure to post this link on your University website, and promote it through University blogs and social networking channels.
Alumni Fundraising Events
Alumni fundraising events can also be quite effective fundraisers while providing college faculty and students with an opportunity to network with alumni and build long-lasting relationships. However, if you plan to host a fundraising event, consider the group of alumni you are targeting first, as this may help you determine the type of event you’ll host.
Below are some popular alumni fundraising ideas:
- Networking Luncheon with Guest Speaker – Business school graduates may be interested in attending a networking luncheon that features an influential speaker discussing recent economic trends or thriving business opportunities. By inviting alumni to attend a luncheon that provides value through knowledge learned from the featured speaker, as well as an opportunity for them to network with other business professionals, they might be more inclined to attend.
- Fundraising Gala Dinner with Silent Auction – Fundraising gala dinners allow alumni to financially support the university while socializing with one another and enjoying a wonderful dinner and entertainment. Attendees pay a set price to attend a dinner, which raises profits to support your cause. Consider offering a silent auction as part of your gala event. This group of wealthy alumni has disposable income to spend, and if you can bring in “one-of-a-kind” items for them to bid on, you may be surprised at the results.
- Sporting Events – Alumni members actively involved in collegiate sports tend to be some of the most energetic and active members of the University, who are eager to support school fundraising programs. If targeting this group, it makes most sense to approach them if the funding will somehow benefit athletic programs, whether the initiative is building a new stadium or obtaining new sporting equipment. Consider hosting a VIP tent at a season opening event with complimentary food and beverages where they can mingle with fellow alumni, faculty, students and parents while cheering for their favorite team. For additional revenue, host a fundraising raffle as part of the event where you can raffle off signed sports memorabilia and season tickets!