Higher rate of alumni giving helps the university in many ways

The Council for Aid to Education’s Voluntary Support of Education 2009 Survey showed that the rate of alumni giving for that year declined from 11 percent to 10 percent, the lowest level ever recorded by the survey.

While the fact that only one alum in 10 nationwide gives annually to his or her alma mater sounds pretty dismal, the giving rate for Newman University is even worse. Between 2007 and 2009, the rate for alumni with undergraduate degrees stagnated at around 6 percent, a significant decline compared to 2004 and 2006. The giving rate for alumni with graduate degrees is even lower — just 2.2 percent for the 2009-10 academic year.

As a private institution, Newman relies on charitable giving to remain accessible and affordable to as many students as possible. Alumni giving plays an important role by supporting student scholarships, maintaining facilities and ensuring future growth, but it is crucial in other ways.

“Many people may not know that the rate of alumni giving is as important as the amount given,” said Newman Director of Development Molly Fox. “A higher rate helps the university when we apply for grants or other charitable giving, because funding organizations consider that when making their decisions. Savvy students or parents will also ask about the giving rate when looking for a college, to see how committed alumni are to the university.”

Fox also noted that a low giving rate places an unfair burden on alumni who are regular donors, especially when the university must seek gifts for important projects.

“Small gifts really do add up,” Fox said, “and pledging to give regularly through our annual appeals or other programs can make a big difference. I urge all alumni to remember that your gifts can help future students and your alma mater much more than you may realize.”

 

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