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Student alumni fundraising campaigns are common on university and college campuses as they raise money for scholarships, project developments, and other expenses.

Compared to other types of fundraising, alumni fundraisers are the most profitable as they target supporters with first-hand experience of the benefits your college offers. However, not all student alumni fundraising activities can raise significant amounts. The strategies and methods used can either make or break your fundraising efforts. For instance, cold-calling alumni to support your goal can be a huge turn-off, leaving too much donor funding on the table.

Although many alumni are willing and eager to contribute to their former school’s cause, they need creative, fun, engaging, and fresh ideas that motivate them to participate. This guide will look at some of the best student alumni fundraising strategies and ideas that improve overall giving while establishing strong and healthy relationships.

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Student alumni fundraising strategies

When it comes to student alumni fundraising campaigns, your alumni should be your number one priority. Whether you want to increase their engagement or improve communication, your fundraising efforts must address your alumni and their needs.

Here are four strategies you should use to help create long-lasting bonds with current alumni.

1. Use alumni prospect research to plan your fundraising efforts

Each alumnus has a connection to your college or university, so your alumni requests need to fit individual profiles to motivate them to give more. For example, if you’re contacting former journalism students, your fundraising request should revolve around printing expenses and journalism competitions. Since the alumni profile is interested in journalism, they’re more likely to support the cause.

If you’re having a hard time creating alumni profiles, consider the following factors:

  • Past giving to your college
  • Business affiliations
  • Political contributions
  • Stock ownership and real estate
  • Previous involvement in college fundraising initiatives
  • Nonprofit giving and involvement

These factors go a long way in helping you understand what your alumni are interested in and how you can personalize your fundraising activity to motivate them. Another essential aspect to consider when sending fundraising requests is the financial capability of the alumni. Most colleges utilize wealth screening tools to analyze the giving capacity of each alumnus. For example, if the student owns real estate worth $1 to $2 million, they’re more likely to donate than the average person. Therefore, you can ask for higher donation amounts.

2. Modify your college’s fundraising communication methods

Never use awkward university fundraising cold calls and generic mailers to raise money. Many alumni find these methods annoying, which adversely affects their fundraising efforts. Instead, use a wide variety of communication channels, depending on what your target audience uses frequently. For instance, if your alumni are Millennials, consider using social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to reach them. Since they’re more active online, they’re more likely to receive and read your fundraising request.

Also, consider using emails and direct mail to connect with your alumni. This can be anything from newsletters to brochures, which constantly update your supporters about ongoing fundraising efforts.

3. Offer what your alumni want the most

In a student-alumni fundraiser, your alumni form the essential role as their contribution ensures you can fund your goal. Therefore, all fundraising activities need to offer what they want the most to increase their engagement. For instance, selling water bottles to alumni that love working out is your best shot at increasing overall giving in a product fundraiser. Alternatively, in an event fundraiser, hosting a cook-off for alumni that enjoy cooking improves engagement, raising significant amounts.

Therefore, do your research to identify your alumni’s hobbies, interests, and needs, and use this to develop an effective fundraiser.

4. Use your alumni to raise funds

Organizing any fundraiser can be hectic and challenging. You can ease the hassle of hosting one by involving your alumni in your fundraising efforts. From inviting volunteers to become part of your fundraising team to ask for resources for your fundraiser, there are plenty of ways you can use alumni to raise funds.

You’ll be surprised at the number of people willing to sacrifice their time, money, and effort to support a good cause.

Student alumni fundraising ideas

The best alumni fundraising ideas engage supporters and tell a unique story. They include event fundraisers such as gala nights and networking luncheons and product fundraisers such as t-shirt sales. The only downside with such fundraisers is that they take a lot of time and effort to set up. Additionally, they can be quite costly because you have to book a venue, purchase supplies, and pay organizers (if you have no volunteers).

As a result, many colleges prefer online fundraising activities such as crowdfunding, peer-to-peer, social media campaigns, and online donation pages. These fundraisers are low-cost, convenient, and take less time and effort to set up.

Here’s where Classful fundraising comes in. Classful is an online educational fundraising platform that connects educators and parents in the community. It also allows teachers and schools to get the funding they deserve.

How Classful works

On Classful, there are two ways to raise money. First, you can create an account and start receiving donations from individuals who care about you and your cause. This method is quite effective when you have a strong educational presence in your local community, ensuring neighbors and parents can support you.

Second, you can let your college raise money on behalf of your student alumni fundraising program. Start your search to find your school and claim. However, you’ll need your school’s permission to claim. Regardless of your chosen method, you can raise significant amounts to support your goal. And you don’t have to worry about commission fees. We charge a 0% platform fee to ensure all educators receive their full funding immediately.

Ready to get started? Sign up on Classful today and raise money for your college or classroom.