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Why Alumni Do and Do Not Give to Their Alma Mater

Alumni and donors who hold degrees from two or more institutions tend to be generous across all colleges they attended but reserve their priority support for their undergraduate institution, according to a recent study.

Of the 28,295 respondents to the 2016 Burk Donor Survey, 67 percent who have graduated from or attended college have made at least one gift to an institution where they studied. The study reports, however, that there is "considerable room for growth" in fundraising as only 20 percent of alumni said their most generous gift goes to their alma mater.

Alumni who were engaged in campus life while students are more likely to give to their institutions, and 80 percent of giving alumni say they have remained connected to their institution since leaving, the survey reports.

Of the respondents who do not give to their alma mater, 39 percent admit they can afford to give while only 12 percent believe they cannot financially support their institution. Nearly half (47 percent) of respondents feel that their college does not need their donations as much as other not-for-profits.

This article is from the November 2016 BriefCASE issue of BriefCASE.