Having a robust alumni body is critical to the long-term health of a university. Satisfied graduates promote and recommend their university, help create deep professional networks that benefit students and alumni, volunteer their time on boards, and give money. As every fund raiser knows, the young alumni of today are the major donors of tomorrow.
Yet nationwide, alumni participation, measured by the percentage of alumni who donate in a year, has declined. In 2006, the alumni participation rate was 11.6 percent. In 2016, it was 8.1 percent.