March 28, 2012, 6:33 am
This post is co-authored by Nelson Bowman III, director of development at Prairie View A&M University.
Recently, Claflin University, located in Orangeburg, South Carolina, reported that 45 percent of its living alumni had given to the institution. Not only is this the highest giving rate recorded by Claflin, it is one of the highest among all colleges and universities. The institution is determined to reach the 50-percent mark in the near future, which would make it the first HBCU to boast an alumni giving rate of 50 percent.
Other HBCU’s, as well as colleges and universities overall, are probably wondering how Claflin achieved its success. We have outlined the institution’s strategy below:
First, Claflin received a $1.5-million grant from the United Negro College Fund’s Institute for Capacity Building (ICB). The ICB has a proven track record for strengthening various as…
March 4, 2012, 8:25 pm
“I can tell you that the days of white, wealthy, upper-class students from prep schools in cashmere coats and pearls who marry Amherst men are over. This is unfortunate because it is this demographic that puts their name on buildings, donates great art and subsidizes scholarships.”
This is a quote from a letter to the editor of Smith College’s Sophian. The author of the letter is Anne Spurzem. She was reacting to statistics related to diversity, which were recently published in the Sophian. Ms. Spurzem, like many older white alumni, is unhappy with the direction that her alma mater is taking in terms of reaching out to students of color and increasing diversity on campus. Her assumption is that the presence of students of color has lowered the quality of Smith and she states this quite clearly in her letter: “As someone who has followed admissions for many years, I can tell…
February 28, 2011, 12:57 am
Note: This blog post was co-authored with Nelson Bowman, Director of Development at Prairie View A&M University.
This past week we presented at the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) conference in New Orleans. CASE is a professional organization for fundraisers in education. The conference brought together two districts of the organization, mainly fundraisers from Southern states. We presented a two-part workshop that focused on the history and trends of African-American philanthropy as well as engaging and soliciting African-American alumni. The presentations were well attended and well received with audience members asking important questions of us and their institutions.
However, we made two important observations. One, we noticed that despite the great numbers of whites at the overall conference, our sessions were mainly populated by African-Americans a…
November 15, 2010, 9:03 pm
I’ve written about Fisk University before—most recently for my blog Access Granted, which is on the Diverse Issues in Higher Education Web site. As I’ve mentioned in the past, Fisk has a venerable history of educating top students who went on to become top scholars and leaders throughout the country and beyond. These leaders are one of the hallmarks of the institutions—individuals such as two-time Pulitzer Prize winning author David Levering Lewis, poet Nikki Giovanni, Vanderbilt philosophy professor Lucius Outlaw, and Ambassador to the Bahamas Timothy Donaldson.
Recently some of these leaders wrote to the board of trustees of Fisk University, asking for the resignation of Fisk President Hazel O’Leary (also a distinguished graduate of the institution having served as President Clinton’s energy secretary). Although the disgruntled alumni are upset with many facets of…
October 30, 2010, 10:05 pm
Several news stories in outlets such as The New York Times and The Chronicle have reported that two Ivy League institutions—Cornell and Dartmouth—pressured students to give to the Senior Gift drive. Although the institutional administrators did not do the pressuring themselves, they enlisted the services of students—giving them lists of “non-giving” students. In the hands of trained fundraisers, lists of non-givers are not dangerous. In fact, these lists are quite necessary. However, in the hands of students, with little fundraising training and a tendency to apply peer pressure, these lists can become harmful.
In the case of Cornell and Dartmouth, students placed repeated cell-phone calls and wrote high-pressure emails to non-givers, and even published the name of the one lone non-giver in the graduating class. Rather than being educated about giving or understanding the…