True or False:
1. The alumni participation rate measures the number of alumni who give $1,000 or more each year.
False. The alumni participation rate is the percentage of alumni who make a gift to the Messiah College in any given year. The participation rate focuses not on the amount of the gift, but on the number of alumni who give each year.
2. Gifts of $5 or $10 are too small to make a difference at Messiah.
False. Foundations look at alumni participation when considering grants to Messiah College. The dollar amount that alums give is not as important as how many alums give. High participation rates can help the College gain significant grants, which can make a tremendous difference in the lives of our students.
3. The alumni participation helps Messiah recruit students.
4. Messiah only cares about large gifts.
True. National publications like U.S. News & World Report use alumni participation as a factor in ranking Messiah College. Messiah’s ranking matters because it tells prospective students that Messiah College is worth their investment.
False. Messiah is grateful for each and every gift, regardless of the amount. In fact, Messiah recognizes that for some people, a small gift made from a limited income may be more generous than a large gift given out of wealth.
5. The alumni participation rate has declined over the last 10 years because fewer alumni support our mission.
False. Due in part to larger class sizes, it is true that the alumni participation rate has dropped from 30% in 1996-97 to 21% in 2007-08. However, the actual number of alumni donors has remained steady. The problem we face is one of perception. Our alumni deeply care about Messiah and our challenge is to encourage each and every one to make even a $5 donation each year.