While December is a time that many of us are thinking of holidays, friends, food and family – for parents of high school seniors, we are deep into university early decision time. First-choice college applications have been submitted, and decision letters are arriving.

For those who receive an early decision admission letter, December brings a sense of pride and the beginning of new family traditions. And if you work at a university, this is also the time when parents will be the most engaged with your campus.

A few months ago, I shared with you my experiences as a parent of a new college freshman, and the opportunities I saw for universities to better engage freshman parents in giving. However, as we enter college early decision season, I’m hearing from some campuses that is too soon, that parents need to be engaged more before we ask them to give.

Trust me: as a parent who just lived this experience, the time to invite these families to learn about giving, share the importance of philanthropy and ask them to make an impact is now!

Right now, families are excited and proud of this new relationship. And, they likely haven’t paid deposits or tuition yet. There are opportunities for generosity right now:

  • In-home salon events in key geographic regions with other early admission decision families.
  • Personalized letters, emails and phone calls inviting parents to support need-based scholarships for incoming freshman.
  • Incorporate giving language and links on the Office of Admissions website.

How can you share the value of giving at your university as an integral part this relationship right away?

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