The following article contained misinformation in the print edition that has been corrected for the online version. The article misidentified the UR Involved program. The programis managed by the Admissions Office and has nothing at all to do with career networking and alumni event participation, as was stated in the original printing. The CT apologizes for this error.
Graduation for the class of 2010 is fast approaching, but no sooner will our seniors receive their diplomas then they will be asked to donate back to the University. That UR aggressively fundraises is not uncommon universities everywhere contact former students and parents of current students. This common practice is not necessarily the right tactic; asking former students one year after graduation is insensitive to their financial situation and potentially alienates future donors.
Within a year of graduation, alumni can expect mailings and phone calls about donations. Many former students are still paying interest on loans, trying to meet ends at graduate school or simply struggling with their newfound financial independence. To ask former students so soon after they graduate may seem harmless there’s certainly always the option of saying “no.’ However, requesting donations may estrange some from their alma mater, whose memories of paying close to $200,000 in tuition are quite fresh.
As they move along in their careers, alumni are in a better situation to donate. In the meantime, it is important that they remain connected to the University, even when a monetary connection is not feasible.
Some alumni do donate, evidenced by 389 young alumni who supported the College through the True Blue Society a society comprised of graduates from the past 10 years between 2008 and 2009. There is little reason to ask alumni until they have their feet firmly on the ground after several years. However, overt requests for money may alienate many more young alumni, discouraging them from donating in the future.