How to Help Your Alma Mater during the PandemicAnchin Private Client CenterJune 30, 2020
If you typically stay connected to your alma mater through philanthropic giving, attending homecoming, or participating in other ways, now is the time when your school may need you most.
With the looming and unknown impact of coronavirus, and schools still assessing whether the fall 2020 semester will resume online or in person, many students have been forced to build in contingencies to their college plans. Ultimately, this has the potential to hurt enrollment numbers at colleges and universities.
As a recent New York Times article explains, schools that were already experiencing losses from the shift to online learning this past spring are experiencing hundreds of millions of dollars in losses and say that a $14 billion federal aid package will not be nearly enough to keep those schools in operation. Some colleges have already closed.
If you would like to help, the most commonly utilized method is donating money, but in today’s COVID-19 world, that’s not the only option.
Colleges and universities need their alumni to call potential students and speak at open house events. Many of these events have been moved online because of health concerns, so now may be the perfect time to participate virtually.
Your participation in these events can be very helpful in recruiting prospective students who are trying to choose between schools. As an alum, you can offer them valuable insight into some of the positive takeaways you had enjoyed during your time on campus – even if your tenure there was some time ago. Additionally, your professional clout can speak volumes to prospective students, especially if you indicate that your alma mater’s programs equipped you with the tools and skills needed to succeed in the workforce.
Even if you don’t have time to speak at a virtual event, you can still share your experiences with students in other ways. For example, some colleges and universities put together testimonials from alumni on social media and in admissions materials.
Some institutions, such as Colby College and The University of Chicago, are also calling on their alumni networks to help find jobs, internships, or short-term remote work placements for the class of 2020. The University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business enacted a mentorship program which pairs their new graduates with alumni for assistance with a variety of skills, such as making professional connections, identifying job opportunities and preparing for an interview.
By giving in these nonmonetary ways, you can help your alma mater, the existing student body and the next generation of incoming college students who are looking for the next stop on their educational journey.
For more information or to discuss incorporating an alma mater into your philanthropic planning, contact your Anchin Relationship Partner or a member of Anchin Private Client at 212.840.3456 or firstname.lastname@example.org.