Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business did it again.
The school announced that for the third consecutive year, more than 70% of its alumni have contributed money to the school. With a participation giving rate of 70.5%, Tuck alums give back to the school at nearly triple the average giving rate of nine peer business schools.
All told, the school said its Tuck Annual Giving campaign raised a record $6.3 million in the latest fiscal year, up from the $5.7 million raised in 2012 and the previous record of $5.9 million in 2008.
Alumni giving is a proxy for the strength of a school’s alumni network
The participation rate is often considered the best and most visible sign of the alumni network’s loyalty to the school and its willingness to help current students. The generosity of Tuck’s alumni reflects, in part, the strong bonds MBA students make with each other and the school during their two-year MBA experience. But it’s also a reflection of a world class alumni giving operation that heavily involves the alumni body and makes giving something of a competition. “Tuck alums feel as strongly about the school as people do to their first born children,” says Dawna Clarke, director of admissions.
Typically, the closest business school in alumni giving to Tuck is Yale’s School of Management, where roughly 46% of the alumni network gives annually, the University of Virginia’s Darden School, where some 43% of alumni contribute, and Stanford Graduate School of Business where 41% give annually. Those schools are exceptions. Harvard Business School, for example, recently disclosed that its participation rate in its last fiscal year was 27%.
Indeed, the average for a top 20 business school is approximately 20%. Many highly prominent schools fall below this threshold, including the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, which disclosed that its alumni giving rate in the last fiscal year was just 16.8%.
Some 6,332 alumni contributed to the campaign
Tuck said that 6,332 alumni participated in its latest campaign. Tuck Annual Giving provides about 8% of the school’s annual operating revenues and direct support for innovation. The school said that achieving the 70% participation rate also triggered a $50,000 gift from an anonymous donor this June.
“The generosity of our alumni is unrivaled and enables us to provide a truly transformational experience to each and every one of our students,” said Dean Paul Danos in a statement. “Attaining a 70 percent participation rate for the third year in a row is an incredible accomplishment and is testimony to the enduring commitment of Tuck’s alumni.”
John Torget T’00, Tuck’s director of annual giving, development and alumni services, credited the efforts of more than 500 volunteers for the record-setting campaign. “Our model of bringing internationally-renowned faculty together with some of the world’s best business students in a tight-knit, intimate environment is unique,” Torget said in a statement on the school’s website. “The 70% giving rate is a beacon that shows how we do things in the MBA program really matters to those who have had the privilege to experience it.”