Magazine article University Business

Cultivating a Culture of Giving Back-Starting Freshman Year

Magazine article University Business

Cultivating a Culture of Giving Back-Starting Freshman Year

Article excerpt

"START EARLY" SEEMS TO BE THE BEST ADVICE IN helping college students develop lifelong giving practices. But student philanthropy programs don't yet exist at more than 40 percent of institutions surveyed by Academic Impressions, which offers professional development for higher ed leaders. Among those with these programs, many are new, with 43 percent instituting them within the last three years. Advancement and development professionals use student philanthropy programs to nurture future alumni and donors by engaging them while they're still on campus.

The December 2009 survey yielded responses from nearly 200 development, alumni relations, and student giving professionals at public and private higher ed institutions of various sizes. Among the challenges respondents were asked to rate in starting or developing a student philanthropy program, the most

salient was getting young alumni to continue giving after graduation, with 57 percent rating it "very challenging." Other significant challenges relate to educating students, senior gift participation, program awareness, and getting student volunteers. Lesser but still notable challenges include managing faculty/staff pushback, getting buy-in from leadership, and getting program resources.

In a webcast on these programs, a panel of experts-including Elise M. Betz with the University of Pennsylvania and Angelo Armenti Jr., with California University of Pennsylvania--offered best practices for instilling a culture of student philanthropy beginning when students are freshmen:

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