Dillard Notables of 2018: #2 Record Alumni Giving (Again!)

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Dillard has an extremely talented Institutional Advancement team. They are not afraid of new challenges, and they continue to come up with new and creative ways to engage alumni.

Let’s take Giving Tuesday. This was our third year participating in this campaign. Every year we kept exceeding expectations, so we set a very ambitious goal of $300K. The goal was immediately reachable when Trustee Emeritus David Dillard, grandson of James Hardy Dillard for whom the university is named, made a large gift to be matched.

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So through videos via social media, and creative ad campaigns (like life sized cut outs), we were able to reach the goal. In fact, we raised more money on Giving Tuesday than any HBCU in the nation!

This activity is one of several that we have used to engage our alums. We have had great success with our alums who are member of Greek lettered organizations.

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Since New Orleans is a draw for national conventions, several groups have raised funds as people have come to attend the meetings. This past summer both Zeta Phi Beta and Omega Psi Phi had conventions here. The Omegas partnered with their international organization to raise over $50,000 for Dillard.

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Chapter anniversaries also provide an opportunity. This fall both the AKAs and the Alphas celebrated 80 years at Dillard, and both raised funds to present during homecoming. These kinds of challenges are great in that they help increase our alumni participation rate as well. Right now the Alphas hold the record, but the Deltas come to New Orleans this summer…

And that is a major source of pride for us. Since 2013 we have increased the percentage of alumni who give every year. In 2018 we reached 23%, which is above the national average for all colleges and universities, and the highest alumni giving rate of any college or university in Louisiana. And with 2019 being our 150th anniversary, we are looking to break another record!

Written by

7th president of Dillard University

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