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Alumni Who Raise Funds with their Celebrations

Have you ever considered how much money is spent on gifts at a single celebration? Between close family members and well-intentioned friends – maybe $1000, $2000, more for a big milestone? A new fundraising trend is making it possible for individuals to transform their celebrations into a meaningful way to celebrate their special day.

Celebration Donations!

In lieu of gifts, hosts request that their invitees make a donation to celebrate their milestone with a thoughtful contribution to a specific cause [1]. This can be anything from a recent retirement, milestone anniversary, birthday, etc. Big celebrities like John Elton and Leonardo DiCaprio have re-purposed their birthday celebrations to contribute to a cause of their choice. This past year Elton John held a big bash for his 70th birthday and used the star studded event to raise money for the for the Hammer Museum and the Elton John AIDS Foundation. [2].

An Alumni Party with a Purpose

A LiveAlumni client recently shared their alumna’s idea to throw a give-back birthday celebration. Rather than gifts, the birthday lady requested that her family and friends make donations to a scholarship fund in her name at her alma mater. She even invited a member of the fundraising staff to collect all the donations.

The results? The event was lucrative in more ways than one. First and foremost, they came up with a great deal of money to fund the birthday lady’s scholarship. The other major benefit? The school gained a handful of new prospects in the form of non-alumni donors. Family and close friends who donated were now added to their donor database and became potential donors for future causes.

This particular event was a birthday celebration, but there are many big celebrations that could be celebrated – imagine a successful alumni couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary or a company celebrating its milestone anniversary! [3] These types of events could hold a lot of donation potential.

Now – we’re not suggesting that you go around telling your alumni to give all their party spoils to fund their alma mater, but definitely give stories like these a worthy mention. This is a trend that is gaining popularity, especially amongst the more philanthropically inclined. Perhaps just sharing such a story in your alumni publications could spark some interest and give your alumni an easy outlet to help raise funds!



[1] DIY Fundraising,


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