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Establishing Effective Student Philanthropy Programs: A Closer Look at Successful Student Giving Programs on College Campuses

Amy Harrell, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


University alumni are integral to the well-being of the institution, and their monetary support of the institution helps with essential functions not otherwise covered by tuition and fee revenue. Often, universities delay asking for the first gift from undergraduates until the fourth year as a senior gift campaign, or worse, until they graduate. In this case, students often graduate with misconceptions about funding and private donor support for the university. This study examines programs aimed at educating students about philanthropy while they are undergraduates, as well as soliciting them for gifts before they graduate. Successful student philanthropy programs engage students and teach them the importance of giving back and finding causes within the university they are passionate about. This, in turn, translates to alumni giving after they have graduated from the university. This study took a closer look at 11 successful student philanthropy programs and how they are structured, implemented, managed, and maintained. The literature on this topic lacks specificity on how to create and maintain effective programs, and this study provided clarity around this topic. It is imperative that the specific features of successful student philanthropy programs are identified so other universities can use them as a model.

Subject Area

Higher Education Administration|Education finance|Educational leadership

Recommended Citation

Harrell, Amy, "Establishing Effective Student Philanthropy Programs: A Closer Look at Successful Student Giving Programs on College Campuses" (2019). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI27667362.