Engaging Latino Alumni: Basic Steps - Higher Education

Higher Education News and Jobs

Engaging Latino Alumni: Basic Steps

Email




by

This post is co-authored with Nelson Bowman III, the Executive Director of Development at Prairie View A&M University and is based on research for our forthcoming book Engaging Diverse College Alumni: The Essential Guide to Fundraising (Routledge, 2013).

Latinos are the fastest-growing minority group in the nation. Currently, they make up 16.3 percent (50.5 million) of the population and have $350 billion in buying power. Within the realm of higher education, Latinos make up 24 percent of the total student demographic and they have been growing at a rate of 546 percent over the last 25 years.

Although often overlooked by those studying and working within the confines of mainstream philanthropy, in fact, 63 percent of Latino households give to charity. Latinos have a long history of philanthropy, which is often based on a deep belief in God, an obligation to family and friends and deep knowledge of the causes to which they give. Although there are differences among the various Latino subgroups, there are commonalities that cut across these groups as well.

Overall, Latinos prefer hands-on solicitation and cultivation from someone highly respected within their communities. They tend to give funds for emergency assistance, education and to those in their country of origin. Education, in particular, is a ripe area in terms of giving for Latinos, given their increased participation. They are specifically interested in scholarships, organizations that support the treatment of immigrants and artistic and cultural education for youth.

In terms of engaging Latino alumni, many Latino graduates do not give back financially because they do not receive regular communication from their alma mater, especially communications that speak to their interests and cultural references. In addition, Latinos volunteer at a lower rate for alumni events, but when asked why, they noted that they are not asked to help. This lack of a meaningful exchange between Latino alumni and their alma maters, especially over a period of time, leads them to feel disconnected.

Related:  Washington Briefs

As college fundraisers, it is important to be mindful that attempting to contact and engage all Latino alumni is neither possible nor realistic. However, identifying prominent alumni that are established in communities where there is a substantial alumni presence is a great starting point. From there, fundraisers can begin to involve these individuals in discussions with the purpose of sharing the university’s goal of engaging more alumni of color. Fundraisers might also want to request the assistance of prominent alumni in spurring the interest of others. These efforts alone can stimulate a tremendous amount of increased participation among Latino alumni.

RELATED ARTICLES >>
Hands Up, Hands Down! It Doesn’t Matter I was talking to one of my childhood friends today about the shooting of an unarmed African-American male in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His remark about the shootings of Black men by police officers made me realize one thing. These shootings will not stop. ...
Is the Sordid Birther Chapter Really Closed? A few days ago, at a televised press conference, Donald Trump finally admitted what the rational and sane among us always had known. He conceded that President Obama was born in the United States and was thus a legitimate American citizen. This laten...
Education the Ticket for Success It is safe to say that school has started in almost every city in America. As my Jamaican dad would say, “Jimmy me boy, your free paper has burned.” In other words, your summer vacation is over and school has begun. The stores have had out the lat...
Kaepernick, Race and the Hypocrisy of the American Public No one can deny that the Colin Kaepernick/American flag saga has many people talking. Indeed, it seems that millions of Americans from varied walks of life and across political and economic lines have not been hesitant to weigh in on the most recent ...
Semantic Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *