To keep Stanford front and center in the minds and hearts of its graduates, the university’s alumni association—like other institutions—is investing time on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Betsy Mennell, Northern Arizona University’s development vice president, learned the hard way that “in fundraising, if you speak the language you can talk the talk, but you may not be able to walk the walk.”
After being burned a few times hiring the wrong people—“disorganized, not self-disciplined, afraid to ask for money”—she now requires candidates to tackle four tasks that every MGO must handle.
When Teri McIntyre was a University of Wisconsin undergrad in the early ‘90s, she volunteered to call alumni to ask for college fund donations and—believe it or not—she liked making those calls. A university development officer noticed and offered McIntyre a job after graduation.
Female graduates receive fewer solicitations for donations, and they give at a lower rate than do their male counterparts, according to the “Alumni Engagement and Giving” survey by Alumni Monitor, a higher education consulting service.
Smart advancement teams put thought and research into making stewardship individual and heartfelt. But how far will institutions bend on their mission when a donor offers big bucks? Are donors negotiating for honorary degrees, access to students, influence over scholarships or a leg up in recruiting graduates?