HBCUs generally have a lower number of graduates due to the lower student population, when compared to larger schools. The belief that less students equals less graduates, less graduates equal less alumni association members and less members equal less fundraising money has led the HBCU Community to want and accept less. Making them feel comfortable with giving less or none at all.
Fix; Explain to students that it is up to them to change the thought that less is more. Even if 200 people graduate in your class, you have the potential to raise, give back and support your university better than 2,000 gradates can. Same concept explained in Members Vs Men by Walter Herbert Mazyck.
3Bad College Experience
HBCUs are unfortunately known for terrible administration services to students. When it comes to dealing with student inquiriesuniversity staff tend lack organizational skills, management skills and most important, customer service skills. If this continuously occurrs semester after semester, students will develop a distaste for the university.
Fix; Students voice your opinion consistently. Just make sure your voicing it to the right person. Do not ask a secretary to do something that is only in the power of the President. Also on the part of the administration; pay close attention to who you hire. Conduct surveys monthly to check up on how things are going. Ensuring that cases where students have issues are closed and have reached a proper resolution in a timely and professional are imperative to making sure that everyone is satisfied with the effort put forth by the administration they are paying to help them with their educational needs. Who would want to give back hard-earned money to an institution that did not work hard for them?
2Non Qualified Staffing
At times we may find that Alumni Association leaders are not always qualified to hold that position. How do you expect to raise money when the one leading the efforts does not have a proven record for raising money? A few years ago, I watched a student at Howard University, Victoria Fortune, raise $8,000 for Somalia and $20,000 Haiti in a short span of time. She made that endeavor seem effortless. She was passionate and tenacious in her efforts to raise money for a cause that was important to her. Leaders like Ms. Fortune are the kind of people you want leading Alumni Associations efforts.
Fix; Pay close attention to who we let lead our Alumni Associations. Representatives need to have passion, accountability and a great track record.
Student loan interests rates are at a all time high, and it is hard to keep up with payments when one may not always be able to find work right after graduation. It is safe to say that some people do not have the income that will allow them to feel secure in giving back to their Alma maters. When we have bills stacking up, and other important life obstacles ahead of us we do not always have helping our old university on the top of the to-do list.
Fix; It is simple–something is better than nothing. If 1000 people give only $1, that is $1000 more that we now have in our bank that was not there before. You do not have to give hundreds of dollars. The pennies add up over time, a small contribution is better than no contribution at all. Also, it is important to understand that giving back does not always mean giving money. Volunteering your time when you can is just as valuable as money.