According to a US News and World Report article titled 10 Colleges Where Most Alumni Give Back by Delece Smith- Barrow the schools that have the most alumni support are actually smaller colleges instead of big universities. The list is as follows:
School Name Average Percent of Alumni who donate
Thomas Aquinas College 63.7%
Princeton University 62.4%
Williams College 58.3%
Carleton College 56.6%
Amherst College 56.4%
Middlebury College 53.7%
Bowdoin College 52.3%
College of the Holy Cross 52%
Bates College 51.9%
- Centre College 51.8%
Princeton University, the largest school on the list with a current undergraduate enrollment of 5,264, has been incredibly successful in its alumni relation’s efforts. The Alumni Association of Princeton University ‘s website is the most extensive alumni relations source of the list and makes it easy for alumni to connect; it even has a whole section of Alumni Communities where alumni can find fellow graduates through their class year, current region, affiliated groups (like multicultural and LGBT groups) and there is even a section for future alumni to interact.
The school hosts a few different alumni centered events throughout the year. Princeton hosts Reunions Weekend that attracts 25,000 alumni, family and friends for parties, concerts, picnics, forums, the ‘P-rade’ parade and much more. In February, Alumni Day helps alumni and current students connect through workshops, lectures and campus tours. The alumni association even also hosts shockingly popular lectures the mornings before home football games. This years lectures include: “African Grand Challenges: Can Wildlife Conservation and Human Development be Balanced?” and “Intersections: Art and Science in America”. The amount of alumni event opportunities and the popularity of these events prove that Princeton alum love coming back and helping their alma mater.
Williams College, which is ranked number 3 on the list, also has a great alumni website. Their site has the EPH Network, a network where alumni can register a username to connect with fellow alumni to start discussion forums, look for and post jobs and exchange e-mail information. The EPH Network also allows Williams graduates access to their online alumni magazine full of photos, weddings, births and obituaries of classes dating all the way back to 1935. The alumni network also boasts 70 regional associations throughout the United States and the globe; these regional associations host events and meet ups throughout the year.
Amherst College, number 5 on the list, has an amazing alumni website as well. Like the two previous colleges, Amherst hosts many opportunities for alumni to come back to campus or to meet up in different regions all over the country. Whether it is at one’s class reunion, Homecoming or Family Weekend alumni can return to their alma mater throughout the year.
While these three colleges all host alumni events and offer networks for graduates to keep in touch, one interesting thing they do is offer postgraduate learning opportunities. Princeton offers lectures before football games, Williams gives alumni interactive online video lectures and Amherst allows their alumni to return to campus for a day of learning. Keeping alumni connected and in touch with current campus happenings is important, but giving alumni opportunities to use and continue their degrees is what sets these schools apart from the rest.
Getting alumni involved is tough, but getting them to give back to their alma mater is even harder. These small colleges have mastered alumni relations by keeping their alumni involved and coming back to campus causing them to donate more of their time and money back to the school. These small colleges have made it so their alumni truly care about the status and reputation of the school after they graduate. But what is it about these small colleges that make their alumni more willing to donate than the alumni who graduate from bigger more recognizable universities? Could the tight-knit feel of these small colleges (the biggest only having 5,000 students) be the key to keeping alumni involved? It is obvious thee small colleges know how to keep their alumni involved and many large universities should follow in their footstep to get more support and donations.
Author: Katie FitzGerald is our Fall Community Manager here at Verge Pipe Media. Verge Pipe Media assists public institutions, enterprises and the non-profit sector with Imaginative Inbound Marketing strategies + campaigns. We also have a development team chock full of Marvelous Mobile Migrators, poised to help transition our clients into a mobile + social world with custom software, iOS and Android mobile apps.