Sharing Solutions: Blog

How Your Scholarship Program Can Build Your Alumni Network


Author and Presenter: Kris McPeak

It’s no secret that alumni engagement and giving at the community college level is tough.  Many community college graduates tend to align more with their four-year college or university when it comes to giving.  Pasadena City College believes that there is more that can be done, which is why their Foundation launched “Lancers for Life” in 2014.

Do YOU Know Where Your Scholarship Dollars Come From?

It’s amazing, but not surprising, that most community college scholars have no idea where the money for their scholarships come from.  Connecting them to a donor at a ceremony is one thing, but teaching them about philanthropy and how the non-profit world really works has opened their eyes as to why people give.  This is merely one facet of the Lancers for Life Leadership Academy.  The advisers of the Academy schedule workshops that include speakers on storytelling, current and previous donors, Foundation Board Members, and event planners.  These workshop sessions give a small look at how these dollars come to be in their bank accounts for school, but the effect on these students has been huge. 

Cultivate Alumni While They Are Still Students

Jim Langley from Langley Innovations suggests that by treating students as stakeholders in the future success of the college, we encourage them to be supportive of THIS alma mater.  We should entrust them with responsibilities – like working on fundraising events and foundation meetings – so they feel valued at their current institution.

Create an Experience They Will Remember

Students participating in Lancers for Life have provided amazing feedback related to their current understanding of the role that the Foundation plays in the educational experience.  Meeting donors and board members is one thing, but allowing them to volunteer and be “in the field” when the Foundation team is doing their thing has made all the difference.  The volunteer hours that LFL members have dedicated to these events demonstrates that there is more than one way to raise a dollar.  And more than one way to steward a donor. 

Are you interested in learning more about scholarship management best practices? Subscribe to our sharing solutions blog to receive monthly updates about the latest trends in donor stewardship, donor reporting, and scholarship management. 

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Author: Morgan Love

Morgan Love

Morgan is a graduate of Texas State University with a degree in Public Relations and is passionate about event planning, communications, and marketing. She has been in the tech industry for a year and is loving her new home in higher ed. tech. When she's not in the office she loves spending time with her husband and puppy, reading a good book, traveling, and exploring the Texas hill country.