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How To Use Networking As A Way To Increase Alumni Gifts

If you’ve gone to college, you’ve likely been the recipient of one of several letters asking you to donate to the institution.

Ryan Velez

If you’ve gone to college, you’ve likely been the recipient of one of several letters asking you to donate to the institution. Depending on your mindset or situation, you may be inclined or disinclined to do so. However, there are other ways for people to give than a simple check, and Black Enterprise explains how a human capital campaign can be more than a worthy cause.

Black Enterprise contributor Robin White Goode says that the idea of human capital campaigns made her think of Mullenberg College, where such a program is underway.

“Muhlenberg’s network expands on the idea Gallup advocates. Here’s how Gallup defines what it calls a human capital campaign: “It’s an effort to engage alumni in two vital functions for the university: serving as mentors for current students and helping these students get internships.”

According to Gallup, students who have mentors and internships that allow them to apply what they’re learning in school are more likely to feel emotionally attached to their alma mater—and twice as likely to give,” she writes.

She also shares an email sent to her by the college’s president, John Williams. “At Muhlenberg College, we’ve set out to engage all members of our global network, both on- and off-campus. A big part of the Muhlenberg culture is that we open doors, doors to opportunity and to powerful outcomes for our students. To supercharge our network, we’ve established a digital platform we call, quite simply, The Muhlenberg Network (www.TheMuhlenbergNetwork.com), where our alumni and parents sign up to connect, become mentors, and provide internships for our students.

In just over a year, about 2,000 members have already registered. We’ve taken hundreds of students on career road trips to employers in New York City and Philadelphia where our alumni or parents hold senior positions. They roll out the red carpet to our students who aspire to follow in their footsteps, opening doors to future opportunity. We’re thrilled with the vitality and power of the Muhlenberg Network.”

Technology also plays a role. “In the age of the internet, it doesn’t make much difference where you are in the world. So we’re thinking in terms of a network paradigm, which sees the college community as not just the campus community, but the global community of students, alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends,” Goode recalls Williams telling her.

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