Max Beilke ’16 started giving to Centenary College the week before he graduated. “I understood the importance of the percentage of alumni that give, so I decided to make a small contribution. I realized that a contribution that wouldn’t negatively impact my bank account would positively impact the colleges statistics,” said Beilke. Alumni giving is crucial to the overall success of the College. At a small institution like Centenary, every student matters, and the same can be said for each individual donor.
One of the ways Centenary attracts high-quality students, continues to recruit outstanding faculty, and improves key programs is through the alumni participation rate (APR) which is the percentage of alumni that make a gift of ANY size. A high participation rate for Centenary carries weight in U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges ranking. According to the report, there is a correlation between the most highly regarded liberal arts colleges in the country and their alumni participation rate. In addition to national rankings, some corporations and foundations make funding decisions based in part on participation rates — so higher participation rates translate directly into increased outside funding for the College.
2019 alumna Rebecca Dunn echoes Bielke’s sentiments. “As a new alumna, I was proud to make my first donation to show my appreciation and take a step toward giving back to the College that gave me so much.” Just as these young alumni suggest, donors don’t have to give a lot to make a difference. No matter the size of your gift, remember that your personal involvement can send a strong signal to your former classmates, your fellow alumni and prospective students and donors.