The college celebrated Giving Tuesday by hosting a massive drive for donations. Organized by the Office of Alumni Engagement, the strategy room on the second floor of the Hood Building was the center of operations for the push to set a new Alma record.
“[Our goals were] to raise at least $100,000 and to obtain 100 new student referrals,” said Brent Neubecker (‘95), director of annual giving.
“If the college raise[d] $100,000, three donors [would] provide an additional $100,000, bringing the overall total raised to $200,000.”
Giving Tuesday broke all expectations; Alma raised $323,023 total with 186 student referrals.
Neubecker said that their methods of outreach were social media, emails and individual outreach to alumni, parents and friends.
“Giving Tuesday is just a great annual reminder to check in with ourselves about what is important to support philanthropically. [These include] the institutions and organizations that have impacted each of our lives on a personal level,” said Melinda Booth (‘02), associate vice president for marketing.
Social media made a huge impact on the amount of alumni and parent donations.
“Social media is really the difference maker for Alma College,” Booth said.
“It’s where we see a lot of engagement from alumni, parents, staff, etc., sharing commenting and interacting with us on…Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.”
Individual outreach was an important factor and even students got involved.
“Current students are a wonderful source of new student referrals,” said Neubecker. “Students can encourage their siblings and friends to apply to Alma.”
Even small donations matter. “Giving Tuesday is about participating at every level,” said Neubecker.
“Last year, we saw many students participate by giving gifts they could afford, such as $5. Those gifts are very special and reflect the generous spirit of our student body and our college as a whole.”
He understood that most Alma students give back to the college once they have graduated and appreciated those who felt moved enough to donate before the students graduate.
“Students can be persuasive with people in their networks who have the resources to give to Alma College,” said Neubecker.
“Giving Tuesday is about spreading generosity and we are grateful when students can generate excitement for others to provide philanthropic support.”
Neubecker went into detail on where the donation money goes.
“Each donor decides how to direct their gifts. The college is placing particular emphasis on the Alma Fund, the Scot Scholarship Fund and the Jungle, Grove, and Campus Fair Fund.”
These three funds directly impact student life and financial aid.
“A gift to the Alma Fund provides flexible, immediateuse resources keeping the College affordable while enhancing the student experience,” said Neubecker.
“Gifts to the Scot Scholarship Fund allow you to invest in the education of deserving, qualified students. Gifts to the [Jungle, Grove and Campus Fair] fund help keep Alma’s campus welcoming to students, faculty, staff and guests throughout the year.”
Neubecker hoped that future Giving Tuesdays will be just as successful as this year’s. “Each year we learn a little bit more about what works well and does not work well with our alumni and friends,” he said.
“We have seen more and more success in every passing year on Giving Tuesday. Our challenge will be to keep the day exciting and meaningful to those who support our college.”