I head off today to St. John’s, Newfoundland to attend the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE) National Conference. In fact, more than just having the opportunity to attend, I’ve been accepted to present at the conference, and will be delivering a presentation on Monday, June 10 entitled “Alumni Mentorship Programs: Connecting, Engaging, and Tapping In”. I’m really looking forward to it!
CCAE conferences are made up of professionals in educational fundraising and alumni relations, and I love being around those individuals. In fact, that’s what inspired today’s post. So without further ado… and I’ll catch you on the flip side when I’m back from the east coast…
I would guess that this has much more to do with the fact that I’m in educational fundraising/alumni relations and not another kind of fundraising. I know non-profit organizations don’t usually compete against one another, but they are usually competing for funding, albeit maybe indirectly.
Schools, however, aren’t really competing against other schools. I mean, they are for admissions purposes, but once you get the students to attend your school, and they graduate… they’re not an alumnus of any other high school (if you’re a high school), undergraduate program (if you’re an undergraduate university), and so on.
So what does that mean??? Well, to me it means that there’s no competition among educational institutions in terms of our alumni communities. I’m not writing solicitation letters to your school’s alumni, just mine. So I will gladly share my successful young alumni appeal letter with you (remember when I did that?), because I don’t lose anything by doing so! If anything, I gain your respect, and we create an open channel for sharing. It’s a very congenial track of fundraising to work within!
So I look forward to my conference, because it will be full of experiences like that! People completely open to helping you out, sharing resources, and celebrating one another’s successes!
Written by Maeve Strathy
Maeve is the Founder of What Gives Philanthropy and has been working in educational fundraising for the past 6 years. Click here to learn more about Maeve.