Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Skills-based giving for alumni associations

My illustrious alma mater is trying to get a local chapter back up and running, and this year for its annual "day of service" alumni gathered together to pick up trash around a nature trail or something like that that would be of profound value to affluent white people just like us.  Afterwards, the plan was to go for lunch and chardonnay.

I did not attend. I don't see that kind of thing as particularly impactful giving, and opted instead to hang out with my children. I was thinking it would be better to take the skills of these highly educated folx and somehow make them available to organizations in the community that could use them.

Last week I had breakfast in NYC with a friend from grad school who's in the corporate learning and development world, and we got to talking about trends in non-profits, and she mentioned that "skills-based giving" is all the rage. So now I have a buzzword to glom onto and see if it has been applied in the alumni context.

Most likely it has or, indeed, the skills-based trend will outrun and supercede the whole idea of giving based on institutional affiliation.  Why should I worry that any giving I do should redound to the glory of some place I went to college? If it can be channeled through something like and be really beneficial somewhere, that's fine and dandy.  6 or 7 years ago my college put together a proto-social network that allowed alumni to see where each other lived, what they were doing, etc, and contact one another..  Then came LinkedIn and Facebook and that whole construct was blown away, and now all the in-house social network is presumably just sitting there gathering dust.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am surprised there is no alumni award for general service to humanity to recognize the profound good offered by enhancement cream.