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Tips and Techniques for Successful Alumni Fundraising

Just like many organizations, colleges and universities spend a lot of their time fundraising. Many will have a particular time of year when they have a drive to raise funds from alumni, and current students often help out. Whether you’re a student on a fundraising committee or part of the permanent staff, you might be looking for ideas to encourage more or bigger donations. Alumni are often happy to donate to their university, but it can also be a struggle to get people interested. During your next fundraising drive, whether it’s general or for a particular project, consider one of these fundraising tips and ideas.

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Howard Lake

Telephone Campaigns

One of the main tactics that colleges and universities use in their funding drives is telephone campaigns. Calling up potential donors is something many charities and other non-profit organisations do. It can be a very successful technique, but the people on the phones need to know what they’re doing. It’s essential to be able to talk and listen in the right way to raise your chances of securing a donation. Listening in the right way can be just as important as saying the correct things. Targeting the people who are more likely to donate is vital too.

Chasing Big Donors

Not everyone is best contacted by phone. Calling up a long list of alumni for small to medium donations is a good start, but you need to go after the big bucks. It can be much more efficient to identify people who could potentially give substantial donations. However, these big donors need to be looked after if you want to convince them to part with their money. It won’t be enough to give them a call. Often you need to send in important figures to talk to them, as an undergraduate isn’t likely to have the right stuff.

Give Them Something in Return

Donating your money will often come with a warm, fuzzy feeling, but donors sometimes want to know what else is in it for them. If you’re parting with thousands at once, feeling good about your donation might not be enough. Offering something in return, whether it’s goods or recognition, can help to convince people. For example, if you university is currently undertaking a building project, they could institute a brick fundraiser. You can learn more at Fundraisingbrick to find out how these work. Anything where donors get to leave their mark is a good way to convince people that there’s something in it for them.

Tap into University Pride

Many alumni have fond memories of their college or university, and don’t need much convincing to support it. Letting people show how much they’re proud of their university is a great way to get them to donate. For example, you could sell t-shirts and other apparel. This type of fundraiser can have many benefits, including few up-front costs and the ability to raise funds online. Donors then have something to show for their donation, and they can show off their university pride whenever they want.

It may be tough trying to convince alumni to donate to their old college or university, but it’s one of the best ways of raising funds. Fundraising teams just need to tap into what makes people want to give to a particular cause.