Fund Run: Crossing the Alumni Relations Finish Line

by on Jan 19, 2016

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Building school pride, fundraising and engaging your alumni may be as easy as lacing up a pair of running shoes. On college campuses across the country, alums are joining current students in races benefiting their alma maters while cultivating a sense of community for students and alums alike.

On November 22, 2015, the NYU School of Professional Studies (SPS) organized the NYU SPS Finish Line 5K at New York City’s Hudson River Park Pier 46. Dennis Di Lorenzo, the school’s dean (and a runner himself), developed the school’s first scholarship fundraising run to “help students to complete their education and get off to a running start.” The run was free for students – $45 for others – and asked for a minimum donation of $18.31 to benefit NYU’s 1831 Fund, a fund that allows students to donate directly to student scholarships. Last year alone, the Class of 2015 raised $19,000 for the 1831 fund. In preparation for the run, NYU SPS hosted a networking Pre-Race Pasta Party for participants to pick up their packets, celebrate the upcoming run and carbo load with fellow runners, including SPS alumni, student leaders and Di Lorenzo.

“This race was really well done,” one 2013 alumnus said. “I enjoy going to events where I can meet current students and also recruit for my company. I had a great experience as a student at NYU SPS and having an annual run to network and fundraise for student scholarships is a cause that I feel good about.”

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NYU SPS RK Run Promotional Banner

Although this is the first time NYU SPS has hosted a run, other schools and universities across the country have been bridging the gap between students and alumni with these events for years. In just one of numerous examples, the Des Moines University Alumni Association has hosted a scholarship fundraising 5K run for eight years. Temple University also hosted its Second Annual Captain Eileen Bradley 5K Run and Fun Walk last April during the school’s alumni weekend, and in early September, Kent State hosted a Run the World 5K to support study abroad scholarships for its students. As the goodwill and favorable comments generated from the NYU event show, these events can be a great way to hit multiple university development goals – engaging alumni, generating funds and connecting current students – in one fell swoop.

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Run DMU Promotional Banner from Des Moines University

For a different look at how schools are engaging alumni with athletics, check out how NYU is playing the alumni relations field with soccer here.

For more information on Alumni Monitor and our research on alumni outreach and engagement, please contact Dana Peterson at dpeterson@corporateinsight.com or visit us at alumnimonitor.corporateinsight.com.