“Many folks will go back for homecoming…but will not send a dollar."
While thousands of graduates from historically Black colleges/universities seem to be very proud of their institutions, the average rate at which alumni give back to their schools is extremely low.
Roland Martin, host and managing editor of TV One’s NewsOne Now, recently shared the importance of HBCU graduates giving back to their institutions during an interview with The Breakfast Club.
As various studies surrounding HBCUs report, the national average for HBCU alumni donating financially is between 10-20 percent. One of the schools with the highest percentage of alumni giving back is South Carolina-based HBCU, Claflin University.
According to The U.S. News & World Report, Claflin alumni donated an average of 48.9 percent during the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 academic school years. Florida A&M University alumni, a larger institution, only gave an average of five percent.
“If all of a sudden our institutions fail, who are we to blame?” Martin said.
The award-winning journalist recently started an initiative to raise funds for dozens of HBCUs, mobilizing with the hashtag #HBCUGivingDay. According to a press release shared with ESSENCE, the campaign is already working; Coca Cola has reportedly donated $260,000 to Grambling State University.
“Even though I didn't attend one, I've spoken at more than three dozen HBCUs, and their role for the future of Black America is vital. But in age of education cutbacks, we must encourage graduates and non-grads to support their mission. I believe that every dollar counts. And I want to use all of my platforms to help drive dollars to our HBCUs," Martin said in a statement.
While the Trump administration continues to show their lack of support for HBCUs — the president recently questioning the constitutionality of key funding — some have expressed concerns surrounding the future of the institutions.
However, Martin believe that “advocacy for HBCUs has to exist whether you have a Republican or Democratic President.”
“We can’t rely on government dollars to save our institutions," Martin continued.