How Alumni Donations Impact Institutions of Higher Education

An accomplished fundraising professional, Matt Kupec serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Southern Illinois University Foundation. Over his career, Matt Kupec has helped raise more than $5 million for the organizations where he led fundraising efforts.

When an institution of higher education reaches out to alumni for financial support, it is working to collect funding that will provide the margin of excellence that will all these organizations to offer a full compliment of programming activities. In many cases, alumni donations provide the final funding to bring a program or initiative to fruition. Colleges and universities attain funding through a variety of sources, from tuition to state government funding, and, though this money might launch or initiate a project, it may not be enough. For this reason, alumni donations can be the deciding factor that completes a project, often referred to as “the margin of excellence.”

Alumni donations make a difference in less tangible ways, too. For instance, donating to an alma mater is a good way to stay connected to an organization that contributed to one’s professional and personal development. A strong alumni community can influence a university in numerous ways. Relatedly, the amount of alumni donations an institution receives is seen as a reflection of the quality of its offering, and some school ranking lists directly take alumni donations into account when rating colleges in the U.S.