Alumni Giving: Generational Trends and Effects
With reductions in state funding and an increasing competitive landscape, higher education institutions are looking to diversify funding streams. Older generations, Matures and Baby Boomers, have followed the lifecycle theory of giving, where giving has increased with each year of age until retirement age. Using data from social surveys, this study focuses on four factors: income and employment; trust and connection to social institutions; service engagement; affiliation and loyalty to one’s alma mater; to assess how current charitable giving trends may be impacted for Millennials. To remain relevant and attract younger generations, higher education institutions need to leverage their optimism for the future and service engagement, address Millennial skepticism about how their donations make a difference, and improve engagement channels and strengthen their emotional connection to the school.