Arizona State University’s Alumni Association Tries Free (but Tiered) Membership

In an effort to boost donations to the university and boost connections with the school's numerous graduates, the Arizona State University Alumni Association is shifting to a free membership model, in addition to a variety of paid tiers for those who want more services.

A lot of people have graduated from Arizona State University over the years—more than 400,000, in fact. And now, all of them can join the school’s alumni association without any annual fees.

The ASU Alumni Association this week announced its plan, which is designed to help strengthen the school’s wide-ranging alumni community.

“Whether you received your degree a year ago, or more than a half-century ago, two things connect all of us who call Arizona State University our alma mater—shared memories and a stake in our university’s future,” explained Christine Wilkinson, the university’s senior vice president , who also serves as president and CEO of the alumni association.

The association plans to change the structure of membership in order to encourage charitable donations, which can be deducted on tax forms.

“It is through our new philanthropic membership model that, beyond membership giving, alumni will have additional opportunities to contribute — to the Traditions Fund, alumni scholarship programs, and other gifts that support and advance the mission of ASU,” Wilkinson added.

According to The Arizona Republic, the model also offers a variety of membership tiers for additional services, such as access to career counseling, access to private and networking events, and (at higher donation levels) access to ASU-related programs designed for the children of alumni.

The lower-level “Sparky” membership is available at an annual rate between $30 to $75. Higher-level member offerings are available in two tiers for one-time payments—a donation of $400 to $700 for “Maroon” level members, and a donation of $750 to $1,050 for “Gold” level members. Dues at each of these levels are tax-deductible.

But even free membership comes with some decent benefits—including career resources, hotel and travel discounts, a subscription to the school’s magazine, and access to the group’s broad chapter network.

The change in model takes effect this month. Curious to learn more about ASU’s membership model? Check out the alumni association’s website over this way.

(via ASUAA's Flickr page)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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