Last week, in partnership with The Chronicle of Philanthropy we released our latest Millennial research project. The Millennial Alumni Study revealed findings from almost a year’s worth of surveying Millennial alumni (born 1980-2000) from four-year institutions across the U.S. For schools, alumni departments and university foundations, this research is nothing short of eye opening.
More than 13 million Millennials in the United States have at least a four-year degree. As universities work fervently to secure alumni donors and preserve their existing alumni base, they are doing so during a time of obvious and turbulent change in the world of higher ed. While smaller institutions across the country face declining enrollment, they find little solace when soliciting donations from alumni in their 20s and 30s. Declining enrollment and skyrocketing tuition are only two pieces of the puzzle.
Do universities find difficulty raising money from young alumni because of faulty tactics? Or are the obstacles more based on attitude and preference?
We know that Millennials like to give. But will they ever start giving to their alma mater?
These are some of the questions the Millennial Alumni Study seeks to answer, and the results paint a picture of hope for those tasked with rallying support from the next generation of givers and boosters. To learn more about this ongoing study, purchase the Report. But, as a preview, here are five of the main takeaways from the alumni study:
- 84% of Millennials said they would attend the same university again, but only 64% said they would pursue the same degree.
- 73% of Millennial alumni would actually like to receive more email from their alma mater.
- 75% of Millennials would donate to a different cause or organization before donating to their alma mater.
- Female Millennial alumni were less likely to donate to their alma mater than male alumni.
- 42% of Millennial alumni who have never given to their alma mater said they do not intend to.
The future doesn’t have to be bleak for institutions relying on alumni donations. Approximately 73% of the thousands of young alumni we surveyed intend to give to their alma mater in the future. This is good news for universities as well as students who rely on scholarships. The key is to learn how to engage your next generation of alumni, and who better to teach you than the Millennials themselves.