The Spirit of Entrepreneur Donors

Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg – what do these men have in common? Well, apart from being some of the most successful entrepreneurs of the modern age, they are all well-known philanthropists with a history of charitable giving – and they’re not alone.

A report by the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund and Ernst & Young found that entrepreneurs, regardless of their income level, are highly likely to give to charity.  [1]

So, although Entrepreneurs are an alumni group that can be challenging to track and qualify, they are not to be underestimated as donors. Engaging them should be a priority since they could be the prospective donors of the future – or even your major gift donors today!

Identifying Your Entrepreneur Alumni

First, take a look at your alumni who are founders, owners, and CEO’s of small to medium size companies. Established alumni entrepreneurs, according to studies, are more likely to donate than bigger corporations. Other alumni entrepreneurs might just be getting started and unable to make major donations today, but don’t overlook them. The same integrity and determination that drives entrepreneurs to found their companies seems to be the same spirit that drives them to donate. Even if they aren’t quite ready to make donations, these same alumni are great to have on a watchlist for future major donors. In the meantime, keep their charitable intentions in mind when looking for speakers or mentors on campus.   

You can also look into entrepreneurial groups such as Entrepreneurs’ Organization or Young Entrepreneur Council. According to Nav Athwal, founder and CEO of RealtyShares, all great entrepreneurs owe some of their success to their trusted support networks. [2] The spirit of entrepreneur mentorship and entrepreneur communities is part of the business. This means looking at your top entrepreneurial groups is a great source to track these alumni.

Don’t Forget Your Non-Graduates!

Make sure you’ve included non-graduate alumni in your LiveAlumni subscription. Of the four well-known entrepreneur philanthropists we mentioned at the beginning of this post, 3 of them – Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Richard Branson – never actually graduated from college. This is a common trend amongst entrepreneurs. With that in mind, tracking your non-graduate alumni could turn out to be just as valuable as tracking your degreed graduates!

What next?

Ok, so entrepreneurs are a segment of your alumni that simply cannot be ignored. What do you do next? 

There’s no need to be intimidated by hours of prospect research to find your entrepreneur alumni. LiveAlumni can help you identify them in a matter of minutes.

To learn how, register for our next Hot Topic Webinar – details included below!


Hot Topic Webinar

Title: Discovering Entrepreneurs

Date: April 11th at 9am Pacific Time / 12pm Eastern Time.

Click Here to Register


[1] http://www.fidelitycharitable.org/docs/Entrepreneurs-and-Giving-Executive-Summary.pdf

[2] http://www.inc.com/young-entrepreneur-council/why-mentors-and-advisors-are-must-haves-for-every-founder.html?cid=search

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