Document Type




Publication Date

Fall 9-14-2018


It is no secret that state and government funding for higher education has decreased significantly over the last 10 years. Colleges and universities are challenged with finding new financial sources. Funding through privates gifts and philanthropy has become a new way of sustainability for not-for-profit colleges and universities.

Alumni, faculty/staff, and friends are constituents that provide financial support to the university. However, there is a subgroup of these people who are worth a closer look and require more engagement: parents and families of currently enrolled students.

There are many benefits to having a strategic engagement plan with parents and families as it relates to the work of university advancement. By connecting with these families early on colleges and universities create a pipeline of marketers, recruiters, donors, and allies – at no cost to them!

“Parent Fundraising” was noted as one of seven goals and directives delivered from the President to the former Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations and our team. By intentionally cultivating parents and families philanthropically we will also help move the needle on other advancement priorities, such as increase the alumni giving percentage, build a foundation and new pipeline for major gifts as we move into a capital campaign, and help model a culture of philanthropy with the student body.

This poster will outline various ways WMU’s Office of Development and Alumni Relations (DevAR) can strategically engage with parents and families to increase giving. It happens in partnership and with support of the Office of Family Engagement (OFE) and the Office of Admissions.


Presented at the 2018 Fall Convocation, Western Michigan University.