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Alumni Fundraising

Alumni fundraising campaigns are common for University students and alumni associations at college campuses across the country. Alumni fundraising initiatives may be designed to bring in dollars to support development of school projects for the University itself, or to help fund programs for school groups they were involved in such as fraternities, sororities, poetry clubs, political groups, sport teams, and more. Targeting alumni for fundraising efforts is an excellent idea. The pride one carries from graduating in 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.

In addition, providing alumni with opportunities for recognition can also provide a strong incentive for them to contribute. For example, if a new library is under construction, offer to recognize contributions at a certain level by imprinting their names on a brick used to build the building, or on a Featured Donor Wall. This gives alumni bragging rights and when they come back for Homecoming, they will love seeing they have a place in history of the college or University.

Keep these points to mind for alumni fundraising campaigns:

  • Different alumni groups should be targeted specifically, based on their interests
  • Social Media is a powerful tool, as many alumni are still connected to their former classmates
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns allow your alumni to tap into their group of friends and raise money for the alma mater
  • Alumni value recognition for their gifts

Online Donation Campaigns

An alumni association fundraising campaign can consist of contacting previous students by telephone or e-mail and sending a link to an online donation page. Often with a good explanation about the cause of the fundraiser and reasoning behind what their donation will support, alumni may be more willing to write a check or make an online donation than take the time to attend a fundraising event. University alumni associations have been successful launching an Annual Fund. A program such as this allows alumni to sign up for continual yearly donations. An annual fund allows University alumni to feel dedication for continuing to support the school without having to choose which fundraising initiative to invest in or attend fundraising events (if they happen to be too busy or live far away).

Start an online donation campaign with us for free! Read more on our Free Donations Website.

Alumni Fundraising Event Ideas

Alumni fundraising events can also be quite lucrative while providing college faculty and students with an opportunity to network with alumni and build long-lasting relationships and incoming revenue. Below are some popular alumni fundraising ideas that have proven to be successful for alumni associations and university groups across the country.

Networking Luncheon with Guest Speaker

If you intend to target alumni for a specific fundraising project, consider the audience you are targeting, and what is important to them. For example, business school graduates may be interested in attending a monthly 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, they might be more inclined to attend. A networking luncheon allows alumni to mingle with fellow alumni and "keep fresh" with what's going on in the business world. Don't forget to use your luncheon as an opportunity to promote future fundraising events and initiatives. Perhaps your Networking Luncheon is a recurring monthly event. Hand out invitations with details about next month's guest speaker and offer on-site registration. Include a link to your website so alumni can make online donations if they are unable to attend the event.

Fundraising Gala Dinner with Silent Auction

Fundraising gala dinners and other fundraising events allow alumni to socialize with one another while financially supporting the university. The premise of a gala event is simple: guests pay a set price to attend a dinner, which raises profits to support your cause. When targeting wealthy alumni, you may want to consider a black-tie event with entertainment and a three course meal by an acclaimed chef, rather than a casual grill-out on campus. Contact local wineries or distributors to see if they'd be willing to donate wine to compliment the menu and contribute to a great 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. Consider obtaining signed memorabilia from college athletes who have gone "Pro", unique pieces of art from top design students, or why not auction off "Naming the New Library" after the alumni with the highest bid?

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 ideas 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 (or section) at a season opening event. Prior to the game, invite alumni to a private party with complimentary food and beverages where they can mingle with fellow alumni, faculty, students and parents. Or host a gala dinner where athletes (and possibly a few professionals) attend the event and socialize with supporting alumni. For additional revenue, perhaps you'd be interested in hosting a fundraising raffle as part of the event where you can raffle off signed sports memorabilia and season tickets!

Alumni Charity Golf Tournament

A common fundraising event university students host for alumni is a charity golf tournament. Golf tournaments provide a great opportunity for networking and creating long-lasting relationships. If the charity golf tournament is hosted by a group such as a fraternity, consider a golf tournament format such as "Alternate Shot" which is played in two-person teams. Pair up alumni with current frat brothers as kind of a "mentorship" or brotherly bonding activity. Expand your participation and revenue by inviting parents, local businesses and school faculty. In this scenario you may want to host a "Scramble" tournament, which is played in groups of four. What a great way to bring the campus community closer together with family, local businesses, alumni. Don't forget to look for additional revenue through sponsorships. Reach out to local businesses on campus to see if they are interested in sponsoring the golf tournament and participating in the event. There are also plenty of ways to raise additional dollars on the course such as: "on-the-course contests", beverage cart sales, raffle fundraising and more. GolfRegistrations, DoJiggy's sister site, offers golf tournament websites as well as a complete set of resources for golf tournament planning.

DoJiggy's Fundraising Software makes planning and managing alumni events simple and effective.

DoJiggy's fundraising software solutions

Promoting Your Alumni Fundraiser

Whatever fundraising initiative you decide on, don't forget to promote it. DoJiggy can help with our affordable fundraising websites. College campuses have numerous media outlets including college newspapers, radio stations, and student websites that post announcements about "what's happening on campus". Write a press release explaining the cause that the alumni association fundraiser will support. Media are often very interested in covering a story about charity. Invite media to attend your event free of charge — perhaps you can get a post-event write-up that shows photographs of your event along with a link to a donation website for any follow-up online donations. Post announcements on community bulletins, send out emails to friends and group databases, and encourage supporting businesses and volunteers to help spread the word.

University Fundraising Resources