At colleges around the country, alumni giving participation rates are declining—but Macalester is bucking that national trend, thanks in part to Class Agent volunteers. You may have heard from one of these alums already: Each Class Agent’s goal is to connect with 10 classmates per year about why staying involved with Macalester and supporting the Annual Fund is so important. Last year, the group made nearly 1,500 contacts with their peers, and that work helped the college’s giving participation rate increase for the second year in a row.

Earlier this month, Mac staff and 21 Class Agents—ranging from the Class of 1965 to the Class of 2016—met for the first Class Agent Summit. Following a reception for the incoming Class of 2020 that most participants attended, the summit included discussions about how to strengthen the program even more in the years ahead. Beginning next year, the program will move toward being volunteer-led rather than driven by Mac staff—and the numbers show enthusiasm for that type of model. Today there are 222 Class Agents volunteering for Macalester, up from 131 just a year ago. By 2021, the Annual Fund aims to build a network of 400 volunteers.

Class Agents help generate a widespread base of support for students on campus today, making an impact that ripples across the college’s fundraising efforts. “When our participation rate goes up, that sends a big message to major gift donors and foundations that our alumni believe in a Mac education,” says Taren Kingser ’11, assistant director of the Annual Fund. “Class Agents play an invaluable role in that process by making personal connections with their friends and classmates—and sharing the message that every gift is important to Macalester.”

For more information about becoming a Class Agent, contact annualfund@macalester.edu or 651-696-6909.

August 18 2016

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