Alumni giving is a major priority for any and all top liberal arts colleges. Not only is total alumni donation a major funding contributor to liberal arts colleges’ annual operational costs, but it has a 5% weight in U.S. News and World Report ranking. Specifically, Colorado College has seen a significant decrease, per annum, of alumni giving participation rates since 1995. This thesis aims to understand potential causes behind this decrease in participation rates by interacting directly with a specific alumni sample in order to understand their perception of this phenomenon. Through a phone interviewing methodology, informed by prior data collection and analysis of survey results/alumni characteristic, findings will suggest actionable ways in which to improve alumni connection to Colorado College in order to foster increase alumni giving participation rates.
In 2012 Colorado College has a low rate of alumni giving of less than 19%. The top colleges in this category boast a rate of more than 50%. At this time, Colorado College is a highly selective and competitive private liberal arts college. In 2012, philanthropic giving to institutions of higher education totaled more than $31 billion. This study seeks to identify the motivations of Colorado College alumni to give philanthropically to their alma mater. A survey used by Hubert (2009) was modified and sent out to 1000 CC alumni. Five groups of alumni were targeted: those who give regularly, those who used to give but no longer do so, those who have never given, alumni who live outside the state of Colorado, and alumni who live in Colorado. In addition, different direct mailing strategies were used to attempt to influence response rates. This study finds that the major motivations of charitable giving among CC alumni are loyalty to the institution, the establishment of a relationship with the institution, and financial security.