Do more Greek alumni support their universities than their non-Greek counterparts?
A research study conducted by the Center for Advanced Social Research at the University of Missouri showed that men and women who have had a Greek experience are far more likely to actively volunteer and participate in community activities. They are significantly more active in their religious and neighborhood organizations and show stronger financial support for non-profit organizations that do non-Greek.
In a January 2001 study entitled, “Alumni Giving of Business Executives to the Alma Mater: Panel Data Evidence at a Large Metropolitan Research University”, conducted by Albert A. Okunade (University of Memphis) and Phanindra V. Wunnava (Middlebury College and IZA), revealed the giving significance of male Greek alumni. “The novel contribution of this research is the estimation of an econometric model of gift-giving alumni business executives of a large public urban university using 10,192 individual donor observations [that is, a panel of 392 donors for 26 years]. Our theoretically consistent empirical results reinforce the earlier research findings that male alumni in Greek social organizations gave significantly more.” It went on to note, “compared to the non-Greeks, fraternal organization alumni membership (Greek) significantly increased donations by roughly 9 percent.”
The Research Initiative examined the impact of fraternity and sorority membership on college and university graduates, and was jointly funded by members of the National Panhellenic Conference and the National Interfraternity Conference. More than 2,200 Greek and non-Greek alumni from 10 schools across the United States were surveyed through direct phone conversations. The pool of alumni queried was half non-Greek affiliated, one-quarter sorority members and one-quarter fraternity members.
A key finding in the research as that Greek alumni were more apt invest their time, energy and treasure to improve the quality of life in their communities. Other findings included:
- Membership in a fraternity or sorority helped boost overall university recruitment.
- Greek alumni were more satisfied with the social and cultural aspect of the college experience than non-Greeks.
- Greek alumni revealed greater match between what they studied in college and their first job, as compared with non-affiliated alumni.
- Greek affiliation had a significant impact on the current income of alumni.
- Greek alumnae and non-Greeks were more satisfied with their academic performance than were male Greek alumni. Greek women were very satisfied with the relationship they had with faculty, counselors and university administrators.
While we recognize that giving (in general) and giving by Greek alumni varies from campus to campus, the data derived from just these two studies revealed that giving by Greek alumni was significantly greater than their non-Greek counterparts. At Fraternity Management Group, we have found that the strong, unified relationships between university officials and members of their Greek communities translate into higher university donor giving rates. “Our quest, as a firm, is to serve the greater Greek community, by developing lifelong relationships with our clients, their respective universities, and all involved alumni”, says Matt Noble, president of Fraternity Management Group. “This translates into mutually-beneficial alumni and parent relations programs, ideal ties with university operations, and rewarding experiences.