This section of our website is dedicated to news and information of interest to small businesses throughout Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley. You are welcome to contribute articles in this category. The types of articles that would be considered are helpful resources for small business owners, guidelines on legal issues for small business owners etc. Please review our contributor guidelines for addtional details.
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 08:00
Part Two of a Two-Part Series
Alumni associations offer memberships and raise funds for the colleges and universities they are associated with. Many are independent nonprofit organizations, others operate as part of the institution's alumni relations department. Some colleges have both an alumni relations department and an independent alumni association. Sometimes alumni fundraising efforts are coordinated, sometimes they are haphazard, and other times there is overt conflict between alumni and their alma mater. In our work with colleges and alumni we witness the good, the bad and the ugly. Here are four suggestions for how to grow your alumni association's fundraising program.
First, open communication between alumni and college leadership is a must. If you are an alumni leader we recommend regularly scheduled meetings with the president or chancellor. Develop a relationship. Learn his or her vision for the institution. Ask questions. Explore ways in which alumni can partner to advance the vision. Most importantly learn the president's fundraising priorities and expectations of alumni as donors. Share the concerns and interests of alumni. Most importantly find common ground. Differences of opinion will always exist. Move beyond those to create a shared vision that strengthens the relationship between alumni, their alma mater and current and future students.
Second, don't confuse membership and fundraising. Purchasing an alumni association membership is the first step not the only one. In general membership provides networking opportunities with other alumni and benefits such as discounts and access to events. Giving to your alumni association – or to your alma mater through the alumni association – is how you provide financial support for the institution and current/future students. When giving to your alumni association ask what your gift will support. If you are responsible for soliciting alumni, make sure your solicitations clearly communicate the use of funds. Let your members know when they are supporting the work of the association and when they are supporting their alma mater. Be transparent.
Did you know you can get the Pasadena Journal weekly print publication for more news and information?