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Creating a Culture of Student Philanthropy and Alumni Giving

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Stephanie Marquez

on 14 May 2015

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Transcript of Creating a Culture of Student Philanthropy and Alumni Giving

Creating a Culture of Student Philanthropy & Alumni Giving and Engagement
Philanthropic Culture
Action Research in Action
Future Outcomes & Personal Learning
Understand the current student and alumni knowledge surrounding philanthropy at Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

Assist in creating a culture of philanthropy that is understood and valued across the institution.

Identify key components of what supports alumni to remain involved and engaged with their law school.

Use the intervention of the implementation of a Student Legacy Foundation as an introduction to new philanthropic opportunities and knowledge.

Higher education experience: Development and Alumni Relations.
Discovered passion: Collaborating with students part of a Student Alumni Association.
Current Role: Director of Alumni Relations at Thomas Jefferson School of Law
Research Questions
How can I assist an institution in creating a culture of philanthropy and engagement?

How can I assist, in my current role, in increasing student knowledge about philanthropy?

How can I assist, in my current role, in increasing alumni giving and engagement?

5 Cycles

Data collection
Student Survey
Alumni Survey
Student Interview
Alumni Focus Group
Student Meetings

Current Thomas Jefferson School of Law students
Alumni ranging from class years 1985 - 2012

Conduct a longitudinal study to track student giving and engagement behavior as alumni.
Personal Learning
Recognized that this is a process with its own timing.
Importance of Students Focus
ProSocial Behavior
Lifelong engagement - create building blocks from students to alumni
New strategic programming that creates traditions and legacy
Further develop Student Legacy Foundation
Incorporate student presence at Annual Alumni Weekend

Importance of relationships building through collaboration and community
Deeper understanding of my role, the role of students, faculty, student affairs practitioners and others in the community.
Understood the significance of the need to create a space for students to voice their concerns, ideas and motivations.
Thomas Jefferson School of Law
Located in Downtown San Diego
Founded in 1969
Student body - 800
Alumni - 7,200
Philanthropy is one example of prosocial behavior
Studies show that as a person ages, developmental and moral reasoning can evolve in terms of helping others (Drezner, 2010). Young children offer help as a result of extrinsic motivation: being told to help, wishing to avoid punishment,
Philanthropy and Fundraising in American Higher Education 65

being promised a gift or prize. Less tangible benefits such as peer approval are associated with adolescent motivation to help others. Adults reach a different stage, in which intrinsic feelings motivate their prosocial behavior (Bar-Tal, 1982;
prosocial behavior can be taught and learned. Many believe that direct reinforcement as well as observing and discussing altruism influence prosocial behavior (Ahammer and Marray, 1979
If you are going to develop responsive alumni you don’t do it by talking to them when they are in their caps and gowns ready to go, and then expect them to respond by giving handsome gifts to the college. . . . The need is to develop a systematic plan for the alumni to contribute and stimulate their interest through what is done while they are at the col- lege for four years, and if you don’t get a good response out of them dur- ing those four years, the chances are 99 [percent] that you won’t get much of a response after they have gone [Brawley, 1981].
Case for Support:
Why should anyone care to give back?

Highlights of Thomas Jefferson:
Professors, quality of education, continuing legal education courses, alumni connections and pro-bono clinics
Cycle Three Findings
Negative perception many 3L students have:
Major transitions over the past 3 years
Gaining new leadership during the summer of 201e
Merit scholarship programs changing
Gym membership benefit removed
Student organization budgets significantly reduced
Cycle Four Findings
Importance of creating a tangible legacy as a way for alumni to remain connected and engaged with Thomas Jefferson.
Building a sense of permanency as a way to foster feelings of positivity, connection and gratitude for both the student and alumni experiences.

Cycle Five Findings
Cycle One Findings
Other student voices should be involved in this process. Opportunity for open dialogue and collaboration.

Create an open and welcoming environment for other students to share their ideas, concerns and comments about the future direction of the Student Legacy Foundation would be a holistic approach to further developing this group.

Ask students what kind of impact they would like to make and how the theme of leaving a legacy may resonate with them.
Importance of boosting student morale.
Ways to increase student morale:
PerkUp Free Starbucks Coffee Event during finals week
Study Bag Giveaways
Discount coupons from local businesses
Evaluate and follow students who participate in pro-bono clinics to compare alumni behavior to students who did not participate.
Concepts for Consideration
1. Brand Community Integration (BCI)
Collective connections from community.
(McAlexander et al., 2006)

2. Learning by Giving Approach
Long-term study found that 86% of students who participated in a student philanthopy course contributed to their alma mater. The student experience is vital to the behavior of future alumni
(Olberding, 2012)

3. ProSocial Behavior
Believed that it can be taught and learned.
(Drenzer, 2010)

What is my concern?
Lack of student culture of philanthropy at Thomas Jefferson
Why am I concerned?
Long-term benefits of creating a culture of philanthropy
Cycle Two Findings
SLF Meetings and Gatherings
Alumni Case for Support Survey
Alumni Focus Group
Student Survey
Individual Student Interview
By Stephanie Marquez
What is Philanthropy?
Figure 1: Cycling Through Philanthropic Culture at Thomas Jefferson

Love of humanity, in the sense of caring, nourishing, developing and enhancing

The practice of giving money and time to help make life better for other people

Goodwill to fellow members of the human race; especially: active effort to promote human welfare

An act or gift done or made for humanitarian purposes
1L student said the efforts did not go unnoticed stating,
“Thank you for the cookies and taking the time to treat the students. It makes me feel appreciated and important.”
3L student seconded said
“It was nice to take a coffee break while studying at the student lounge. It was convenient, time saving and very much appreciated.”
Student Legacy Foundation
PerkUp Free Coffee Event
Good Feelings Committee
transforms into the Student Legacy Foundation (SLF).
Good Feelings Committee:
Newly formed student group to help boost student morale

transforms into

Student Legacy Foundation (SLF)
Student Legacy Foundation
14 Community Clinics
Veterans Legal Assistance Clinic
Patent Clinic
Tax Clinic
Small Business Claims Clinic
Employee Rights Self Help Clinic
Through student leadership, service and advocacy can be incorporated into philanthropic work, which can then lead to loyal and lifelong supportive alumni.

It all begins with our students, their rites of passage into college and all the way through to their commencement ceremony and beyond.
60% of students said they would make a gift
to the law school if they were asked
What does philanthropy mean to you?
"Philanthropy means using your success to help others and the world become a better place..."
"Love of humanity, and caring."
If asked, would you make a gift to Thomas Jefferson?
Is there anything that would have made you more likely to contribute to Thomas Jefferson?
"I think something with a sense of purpose, something with a sense of - I can come back in 20 years and this will still be here...there's nothing to really hang your hat on."
"The reason I am in law school is because I love humanity. I want to help human trafficking victims and one of the best ways to"
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