Athens College is a non-profit, premium institution of primary and secondary education. Founded in 1925 by enlightened Greeks, with the support of American philhellenes, it provides learning to a population of 4,803 students, which is evenly divided between the two genders. In accordance with the long-standing tradition of our School, all proceeds are reinvested in its educational needs, thus serving the vision of the founding fathers and the School’s mission. Accordingly, the Trustees of Athens College in Greece is an American non-profit organization, as described in sections 170(c)(2) και 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.
During academic year 2019-2020, we managed to provide financial assistance to more than 1,000 students (including emergency financial relief due to the pandemic), representing almost 25% of our student population (1 in 4 students). Of the financial assistance given, 30% of it came from private donors.
Collective participation by alumni in support of their School is exponentially significant. They serve as ambassadors of the School around the globe, role models for current students and bearers of the preeminence of a College education. They are also the key supporters of their alma mater and set an example for others to follow. At the same time, collective participation by alumni is an important indicator of trust in the School and its international competitiveness, while fortifying the College community as a whole and each alumnus/a individually.
The participation rate of alumni over the last ten years has averaged at 6-7%, with the highest rate recorded at 10.56%. Compared to Greek statistics, the rate is satisfactory (other Schools range from 2-4%). However, it must increase as the needs of the School continue to grow. The recent crisis and turn of events proves how easy it is for School to suddenly find itself in an extremely difficult predicament. Diversifying revenue streams is essential to its sustainability. With this in mind, private support through gift giving, including the steady financing of its programs through a healthy endowment fund, is an absolute priority.
Based on annual statistics from 1,451 universities and colleges (US News), the median alumni participation rate in academic years 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 hovered around 8-9%. Some universities, however, showed higher rates, ranging from 12.4% (Columbia University) to 55% (Princeton University).
Total alumni gifts, including large donations, amounted to an average of €1,100,000 per year over the past decade.
It is important to increase the general participation of alumni (affiliation/time-treasure-talent) in School events, having them serve in various capacities (as speakers, volunteers, mentors). The College makes efforts to intensify targeted communication with its alumni by informing them in a timely manner about the progress of the School, its successes and distinctions, and by sending targeted invitations to events of interest to them that aim at community building and creating synergies with them. With respect to alumni gift giving, the School is a making a systematic effort to promote the tradition of benevolence and solidarity, raising awareness in the College family about the School’s needs and the impact of their gift. It is also providing information about the Institution’s non-profit status and all that that entails. It is elevating contact with Class Agents and promoting participation in the Alumni Fund Drive, creating different gift options in order to better meet the wishes of donors whilst keeping in mind the strategic priorities and need of the School. Furthermore, it is finding new ways to identify donors, as well as acknowledge and show them gratitude, in an effort to attract more gift giving. Alumni are an integral part of the School and their contribution is crucial in view of the 2025 centennial anniversary of the College’s founding.