|The nation’s lagging economy is impacting institutions of higher education including rising operational costs, a decrease in state appropriations, sagging returns on endowments and a decrease in the amount of private support received from donors. The need for contributions from university alumni is vital to the survival and prosperity of schools than ever. Additionally, the alumni associations at respective universities are prompted to be more active in engaging potential donors through membership initiatives. Alumni association members have displayed a propensity to give at a higher rate. Therefore, increased alumni association membership provide advancement offices with a fertile target market for future fundraising initiatives that have implications for the prosperity of the institution.
The purpose of the Alumni Attitudes Study was to determine the influence of measured variables on alumni attitudes and perception toward Auburn University and the Auburn Alumni Association. The sample population consisted of 2,284 university alumni who responded to a branded survey sent to alumni selected from the Auburn University alumni database. Based on the outcomes of this study, a conceptual model can be developed to better predict the supportive behaviors of alumni. Data was analyzed to establish statistically significant relationships between measured variables that influence those supportive behaviors of alumni. The findings involving this data can aid Auburn University and other institutions of higher education in identifying supportive alumni during with ever decreasing resources. The key to analyzing the findings of this study is to identify factors that influence alumni, then creating effective marketing strategies that target segments of alumni who are most likely to give to their alma mater.