Purdue, other universities find young alumni a challenging audience for fundraising

Kylie Lacey's picture

"Our young alumni are probably some of the most philanthropic people, but getting them to give back to Purdue is harder than ever," said Tiffany Storm, director of annual giving.

At some point, 14 percent of Purdue's most recent young alumni cohort, which the school measures as anyone under the age of 35 who graduated within the last 10 years, has given gifts to the university, which has resulted in about $2 million, according to Storm. That represents a tiny chunk of the $300 million Purdue receives annually in gifts system-wide.

Universities face several challenges when it comes to reaching out to young alumni, and Storm said the university is working hard to combat each one.

The group is harder to get hold of: Nearly 60 percent of adults age 25 to 29 lived in homes without landlines in 2011, relying primarily on cellphones, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

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