Challenge Grant to Boost Alumni Participation by July 1
A member of the University Board of Trustees who is an alumna has issued a challenge grant to boost Fairfield’s participation numbers by 1,000 by the end of the fiscal year. The goal is to raise the participation rate — a strong marker for a University’s strength and one used in rankings and other measurements — from 15% to 18%. The challenger, who is anonymous, could donate as much as $25,000 if the goal is met.
The move comes as the University seeks to strengthen its participation rate in relation to its peer institutions. While 16% of Fairfield alumni support the University through donations, by comparison, peer schools like Holy Cross (49%), Boston College (26%), Villanova (22%) and Providence (18%) show higher participation rates (see chart).
So as the University strengthens its position — with new facilities, a new strategic plan and new program offerings among other initiatives — it continues to perform below many of its peers when it comes to alumni participation.
“When I came to Fairfield several years ago, I could sense the strong bond between and among alumni; the decades of friendships, the unusually high number of graduates that marry one another, and the number of alumni who come back to visit each year, it goes on and on. Fairfield connections are everywhere and our graduates from every generation make a powerful difference in their professions, communities and beyond,” said Vice President for University Advancement, Wally Halas. “The loyalty and bond that our graduates feel towards Fairfield, and each other, should be reflected in a much higher alumni giving participation rate, and we are working hard to make that happen for the benefit of our students.”
Participation rates are important, not only because of the impact of the donations themselves, but because colleges and universities are ranked based on a number of factors, and alumni participation is one of those critical metrics. Going forward, the University has set a goal of reaching a 25% participation rate by 2020.
"Reaching our goal of over 25% would allow us to provide more scholarships to students, invest in new programs, provide our students with the best learning environments possible and help improve our national ranking,” said Vice President for Marketing and Communications, Jennifer Anderson '97, MBA '02. "Fairfield already creates strong leaders, and with my fellow alums' help, we can continue to ensure our students go out and set the world aflame. To do that, we need 1,000 alumni who haven’t made a gift this year to make one now.”
For every alumni who participates in the challenge, our challenger will contribute $25, up to $25,000. Click here to learn more.