Understanding the Next Generation of Alumni

Research shows that recent graduates under the age of 35 have differing expectations of their alumni associations than of generations before them. Understanding this new demographic in alumni relations is an institution-wide, strategic imperative.

Alumni Matter

The success of many higher education institutions is supported by alumni funding. After foundations, alumni contributions were the single largest source of gifts in 2017.

— Alumni Giving in 2017 —

Includes 26%
of Total Philanthropic Support
Increased 14.5% Over One Year
Totaled $11 billion

Young Alumni

Young alumni don't want college to end with graduation

Huron's client research shows that alumni under 35:

Want to increase their involvement with their alma mater

Don't feel like the current offerings are for "people like them"

Have the most robust set of needs and interests

Young alumni are interested in:

Intellectual Engagement/Lifelong Learning
Social Connections with other Alumni
Career and Professional Development

How do young alumni want to learn?

Online Faculty Lectures or Panels

Online Learning Courses / Programs

Online Library Resources

Institutional Outlook

Institutional leaders recognize that alumni engagement programs need to be improved based on the value and preferences of their young alumni.

What alumni relations leadership thinks:

0 20 40 60 80 100

think their organizations should be doing more to attract and engage young alumni

0 20 40 60 80 100

believe their institution should update the technologies offered to alumn

0 20 40 60 80 100

worked in organizations that increased resources for alumni relations in the last five years

How some institutions are responding to the changing needs of young alumni:

Connecting Alumni With Graduating Students

Curating Digital Learning Opportunities

High-Impact/Lower-commitment Local Programs and Special Interest Groups

Online Platforms for Networking, Job Searching and Mentoring


  • 2017 Voluntary Support of Education Survey/Council for Aid to Education
  • VAESE: The Alumni Relations Benchmarking Study/Voluntary Alumni Engagement in Support of Education
  • Huron proprietary market research