If there’s one thing your fraternity is built on, it’s the community of brothers that you’ve spent decades cultivating. There’s nothing quite like connecting with a fellow member from a different background or life path over your brotherhood, even after graduation.
For many alumni, that relationship with your chapter is so deep that it doesn’t fade over time. That makes these brothers perfect candidates for your chapter’s fundraising campaigns. People are much more likely to donate to a cause if they have a personal affiliation with it, and for many alumni, your brotherhood is a core part of their identity. But, that being said, you still need to make your donor journey as accommodating as possible to ensure that your alumni continue to give over time. The best way to do that is to offer many options for giving back to your fraternity so all of your brothers have an opportunity to donate.
If you’ve relied on the traditional fundraising model of collecting money on an ad hoc basis for certain campaigns, consider making your alumni giving program more flexible with the following unique giving options.
One of the largest barriers to joining a fraternity is the hefty cost of a college education. Some students might be interested in joining but don’t have the financial capacity to pay your fraternity’s dues in addition to tuition. Fortunately, your brotherhood can do its part by offering scholarships to your brothers in need of financial support.
According to OmegaFi, making your recruitment process as inclusive as possible promotes a more diverse chapter and attracts more pledges to your organization. Offering scholarships helps ensure that your brotherhood is accessible to any qualified pledge, regardless of financial need. An alumni-funded scholarship is a perfect giving opportunity for alumni with a passion for diversity and inclusion.
Another great way for alumni to show their support for the chapter is by investing in its long-term future through endowment giving. An endowment is a fund that’s actively invested and grown to be made available for the fraternity to use over time. By chipping into your endowment, your alumni can provide a reliable source of funds for future generations of brothers.
3. Capital gifts
This giving option is ideal for your alumni who have an affinity for large development projects that your fraternity takes on over time. A common example of a fraternity’s capital project is renovating its house to accommodate more members and attract new recruits. Remember to launch your capital gift fund several years in advance (depending on the scope of the project) so that you have enough money to achieve your project when the time comes.
4. Matching gifts
Matching gifts are an effortless way for your alumni to maximize their impact on your brotherhood. If your alumni work for companies that offer a matching gift program, their employers will contribute to your chapter at a 1:1 or even 2:1 ratio to the original gift. It isn’t hard to see why 1 in 3 donors are more likely to make a gift if they know it will be matched by their employer, according to Double the Donation.
The biggest reason that billions in matching gift revenue go undonated each year is that donors simply are unaware that their employers have the programs. So, ensure that you educate your alumni about matching gifts by sending them information about how the programs work. Also, reduce the work for your alumni by integrating a matching gift software solution with auto-submission capabilities into your online donation page.
5. In-kind gifts
Donating money isn’t the only way your alumni can give back to your chapter. Your alumni can contribute in-kind gifts, which are goods, services, or experiences. Some examples of in-kind gifts include:
- An event venue
- Professional pro-bono services
- Experiences as fundraising prizes
- Computers for the fraternity house
Collecting in-kind gifts is so effective because they can address a specific need for your fraternity. Be sure to ask for specific types of in-kind gifts that are the most useful for your current priorities.
6. Alumni volunteer programs
Your fraternity likely invests a lot of money and time into your social activities and professional development opportunities for your members. Some of your costs might go toward hiring staff for these events, such as guest speakers or a set-up crew. But what if you could cut this cost by enlisting the help of your alumni as volunteers?
Unlike pro-bono work as an in-kind gift, your volunteer program should be accessible to all of your alumni, regardless of skill level. All you need to do is determine which activities need volunteers, send out a digital sign-up form, and properly train your alumni so they’re prepared. Then, after the event has ended, remember to thoroughly thank your alumni for donating their time!
The Bottom Line
If you’re excited about broadening your alumni giving program but feeling nervous about juggling multiple rollouts, you’re not alone. The key to effectively handling your alumni giving program is by using fraternity management software. This solution allows you to keep track of all of your most important alumni donor data so that you know exactly where your fundraising efforts stand. So, once you have your software up and running, let your imagination run wild when coming up with new giving opportunities! Your brothers will love reconnecting with your chapter by participating in your alumni giving program.