Ivy League Grads Who Give Back to Their Alma Mater
As a rule of thumb, there are two kinds of alumni donors that highly selective colleges, like the Ivy League colleges, greatly appreciate: the loyal donor who gives every year since their graduation and the major donor. The major donor’s gift could be one lump sum payment without an extensive history of giving, though typically even major donors have given loyally ever since their graduation. Over the years, we’ve come to realize that folks out there just don’t seem to get what a major donation to an Ivy League school means but, hey, let’s save that for another day. Today, we thought we’d share some insight into what percentage of an Ivy League class really does give back loyally each and every year since their graduation.
A Case Example of Ivy League Alumni Giving
To shine a lantern on this figure, we thought we’d take one Ivy League graduating class to use as a case example in giving: the Dartmouth College Class of 2006. Alumni who have given back to Dartmouth every year since their graduation — without even a single miss — are members of the Harold C. Ripley ’29 Society. So 13 years after their graduation from Dartmouth, we thought our readers might be curious to know what percentage of graduates are members of this society — what percentage of grads have given back every year since graduating from the Hanover, New Hampshire-based college? Well, by our count, 63 Dartmouth Class of 2006 alumni have donated to the College on the Hill every year since their graduation. That’s an estimated 5.8% of the class.
Now keep in mind that many grads may have donated several times to Dartmouth after their graduation in 2006. Some of these donors may have even made significant donations — likely so. But less than 6% of the graduating class have given every year since 2006. So to anyone who should suggest that the Ivy League colleges only value folks who can give absurd amounts of money, you are wrong. They value the loyal donors too, the folks who give annually to their alma maters. After all, in the context of the full graduating class, there often aren’t that many of them and these colleges rely on these loyal donations too…however small they might be.
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Most students have no idea that the school tracks alums who donate every year after graduation, let alone have a club. If they did, perhaps more of those people would donate, being competitive and all. My high school, puts an asterisk by your name if you’ve donated every year. Who knew? My non-scientific survey shows that those who eventually become reunion chairperson or head of alumni giving or want to become a school trustee are the most likely to have asterisks.
You’re spot on, Ken.