As more students transition from one school to the next during their undergraduate years, engaging and soliciting these students as potential donors is becoming more challenging.
Recent data from the study by the Council for Aid to Education (CAE) finds that total contributions to colleges and universities rose in 2013 while the percentage of alumni who are giving is decreasing. In 2003, alumni giving was at 13 percent, while last year the number dropped to 9 percent.
"What motivates alumni to give is a sense of loyalty, an indebtedness that 'I am who I am because of my education,'" said Shaun Keister Vice Chancellor for Alumni Relations at the University of California, Davis. "What we don't know from this generation that jumps around a lot is: Are they ever going to have that warm and fuzzy feeling for the campus?"
While Mr. Keister concentrated on what makes alumni give, Mr. Kish, President at the Emeril Lagasse Foundation and Annual Giving Consultant at Campbell & Company, shared his take on the reasons behind the declining participation rate and the “transfer” phenomenon.
"So let's say you went to three different places undergrad, and then to grad school — because we have more people going to grad school, too. Now you've been to four schools. Where's your love? Where's your affinity? Where's your passion?" said Mr. Kish in the interview to CNNMoney.
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Campbell & Company is a national consulting firm offering advancement planning, fundraising, communications and executive search services for nonprofit organizations in the education, health and medicine, arts and culture, environment, social service, and professional society fields.
Through thirty-eight years and thousands of engagements, Campbell & Company has helped nonprofit organizations anticipate and manage the challenges of the philanthropic marketplace. The company maintains offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Washington, DC. For more information, please visit www.campbellcompany.com.