SOURCE: Academic Impressions

Academic Impressions

December 14, 2009 13:58 ET

Academic Impressions Webcast: Cultivating a Culture of Philanthropy Should Start Freshman Year to Secure Future Funding in Higher Education

A Holistic Approach Including Raising Awareness, Appreciation and a Spirit of Giving Back Is the Key to Turning Satisfied Students Into Generous Alumni Committed to the Future Success of Their Schools

DENVER, CO--(Marketwire - December 14, 2009) - More than 40 percent of higher education administrators polled in a recent Academic Impressions ( survey reported that their institutions have not yet instituted a student philanthropy program, and among those that have, 43 percent instituted their programs only within the last three years. These findings indicate that student philanthropy programs are relatively new to a large number of institutions, and that students represent a philanthropically ignored, yet essential piece of the fundraising pipeline for current and future gifts.

In a complimentary webcast presented on Friday by Academic Impressions titled "Cultivating Student Philanthropy," higher education administrators heard proven strategies designed to cultivate lifelong giving practices among undergraduates, starting when they are freshmen. An experienced panel of experts, including Elise M. Betz with the University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Angelo Armenti, Jr. with California University of Pennsylvania, offered best practice solutions to instill a culture of student philanthropy, which include:

1.  Be intentional and deliberate in communicating student philanthropy
    messages. Unapologetically lay out expectations for students
    regarding their relationship with and responsibility to their
    school starting at the beginning of freshman year. While key
    messages will likely be fairly standard across institutions, there
    are many innovative ways to reinforce messages to students
    including events, trivia games and giveaways.

2.  Offer choices regarding the ways in which students can give back.
    Schools often overlook the value of time and participation versus
    monetary donations, when in fact, those students that commit time
    and talent are more likely to donate financially in the future.
    Encourage volunteerism in the form of serving on a gift committee
    or writing thank you notes to donors, in addition to financial

3.  Instill a culture of gratitude. Remind undergraduates why they
    should be appreciative of philanthropic contributions and
    understand the critical role donations play in the future success
    of their schools. Exposing students to philanthropic role models --
    including young alumni donors and current students that give back
    to the school community -- can help remind students of the impact
    of philanthropic giving.

4.  Make giving meaningful, not gimmicky. Instilling a culture of
    student philanthropy means encouraging committed, lifelong giving
    as opposed to sporadic contributions tied to various promotions.
    Avoid one-off initiatives such as taking housing deposits or
    offering a premium that can only be received through a gift drive.
    The goal should be to incite students to want to give and give
    consistently from their own pockets -- no strings attached.
"Successful programs require significant up-front investments of manpower and money, but they pay off in long-term returns as generations of alumni keep their alma mater in mind when it is time to donate and participate in fund-raising efforts," said webcast speaker Dr. Angelo Armenti, Jr., president of California University of Pennsylvania.

In response to the intense demand for the webcast, Dr. Armenti and Ms. Betz will participate in an in-depth conference January 27-29, 2010 in Atlanta that will continue the conversation launched during Friday's webcast. The conference, "Building a Culture of Student and Young Alumni Philanthropy," will offer intensive work sessions aimed at helping administrators design effective student giving programs best suited to their institutions and provide the necessary tools to communicate the vision of student philanthropy to institutional stakeholders to obtain internal buy-in. To view the conference agenda or to register, visit

To download a complimentary recording of Friday's presentation, visit "Cultivating Student Philanthropy" is the first in a series of complimentary webcasts presented by Academic Impressions. Future events, including a webcast addressing campus crisis preparedness on January 22nd, will feature esteemed thought leaders addressing the challenges and opportunities associated with varying higher education domains ranging from enrollment management to facilities management to IT.

About Academic Impressions

Academic Impressions offers focused and intentionally crafted learning experiences to help higher education professionals address their most pressing challenges. Our professional development programming addresses a range of issues related to student recruitment and retention, faculty support and development, alumni engagement and development, and increasing organizational productivity. Learn more at

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