Students are typically the beneficiaries of philanthropy at Boise State University. Generous donors fund scholarships, give to building projects and support academic programs, all of which ultimately make the learning experience of our students stronger and more meaningful.
But there are ever-increasing numbers of students who are much more engaged in Boise State’s growing culture of philanthropy. They work hard – giving their time, effort and, yes, money – to help build a foundation of philanthropic support for the generations of Boise State students that will follow them. And we love how their passion spreads among their peers because we know that involved students are more likely to be engaged as alumni and donors to the university later in life.
Many of you may have talked with some of these students through our telephone outreach program. Twenty-five very impressive Broncos work the phones in our call center talking with alumni, friends and others to update our alumni and donor records and invite them to support the university. The students are doing a great job helping our alumni understand that making annual gifts to Boise State – no matter the amount – is an increasingly important and sustainable source of funding for the university.
Members of our Boise State Student Foundation work to educate their peers on the importance of philanthropy to intentionally cultivate a culture of student philanthropy across campus. They recently established a “Students Helping Students” endowed scholarship and are raising money among their classmates. This group works closely with us on donor stewardship, especially with Blue, Orange and You (https://giving.boisestate.edu/ways-to-give/boise-state-employee-giving/), our campus fundraising campaign for faculty and staff.
Our Future Alumni Network – or FAN club – is another student group building awareness among their peers about the importance of engagement after graduation. They work to advance campus traditions while fostering a sense of loyalty and school pride among students, preparing them to be Broncos For Life through events and programs that enrich the Boise State experience. During the first week of school this fall, they helped hand out 2,300 sports bags to first year students, inside of which there was a letter welcoming them to campus from the Boise State Alumni Association. Those bags, slung over the shoulders of the Class of 2018, are a common site on the Quad – and, since this was the program’s first year, they are coveted by upperclassmen.
Our students are on campus for only a few years, but they are alumni for the rest of their lives. Building lifelong relationships and educating current students about opportunities for post-graduation involvement is perhaps the most important thing we can do for the future of this university. And with help from these engaged, passionate Broncos today, the Boise State of tomorrow is in very good hands.
Laura C. Simic is vice president for advancement at Boise State University.