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:  Using Diversity and Inclusion as Measures of Excellence

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 >>
Bethune-Cookman and Notre Dame’s Common Denominator Bethune-Cookman University (BCU) and the University of Notre Dame held their graduations within the last two weeks. Both had graduation speakers that were seen by many as unpopular choices. And both had large numbers of its graduates either walk o...
Why Betsy DeVos Will Never be the HBCUs’ ‘Boo’ While May serves as the capstone to the academic journeys for legions of the nation’s college graduates, for the 2017 graduating class of Bethune-Cookman University (BCU), a historically Black university founded in 1904 by Mary McLeod Bethune, locate...
Bethune-Cookman Graduates Chose Which Way They Wanted to Go The graduating class of Bethune-Cookman University (BCU) made headlines around the world when they stood up and turned their backs during a commencement address delivered by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. BCU President Edison Jackson interr...
Two HBCU Presidents, Two Different Decisions   The leadership of two historically Black colleges and universities in Florida was on full display this past week, providing us with a glimpse of how important it is that college leaders listen carefully to their primary stakeholders: the st...
Semantic Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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