Alumni Donations Letter: USC

Dear [Name]:

Jennifer Flores never dreamed she would go to college, let alone USC.

Her single mother worked hard—two jobs to cover rent and basic expenses. When her high-school counselor encouraged her to apply to USC, she was skeptical.

“I thought, sure, why not?” Jennifer said. “I figured there was nothing to lose, but even if I did get accepted, I had no idea how we would pay for it.” 

After much hard work and belief, Jennifer ended up with a full scholarship. 

Today she works for the Cancer Research Institute, where she is on the front line of immunotherapy research.

Think back to your days at USC. The enriching conversations with fellow students from all walks of life. A professor who changed the way you saw the world. Memories that could happen nowhere else but USC.

I remember many late night study sessions at Leavey Library. One night in particular, though, stands out. I had my books and papers spread across a table, and I asked the young lady sharing it with me if she could please keep an eye on my belongings while I got more coffee. Little did I know, that woman would become my wife and lifelong partner.

I also remember my first year in the dorms, when I would spend hours in the cafeteria just because I didn’t want to stop the conversation. Professors, as well, would often share in these conversations. I cannot think of any other institution where the faculty are so genuinely interested in what students have to say. 

Sadly, many individuals like Jennifer may not get to experience these moments. Students can no longer rely on federal aid alone to pay for college, especially if the proposed $3 billion in cuts to the Education Department go through. Meanwhile, student debt continues to skyrocket. 

With your support, more first-generation and low-income students will enjoy the gift of a USC education. 

What else do your donations support?

Alzheimer’s research conducted by psychology faculty at Dornsife (the solution more urgent than ever with an aging boomer population).

State-of-the-art facilities and cameras, lighting kits, and editing equipment for the School of Cinematic Arts.

An exhilarating lineup of events through Visions and Voices such as Spark!, featuring performances by three-time National Poetry Slam champion Javon Johnson and Versa-Style Dance Company, who fuse R&B and hip-hop dance while delving deep into themes of social justice.

When you give to USC, know that every dollar goes toward enriching our future leaders, the greater Los Angeles community, and by extension, the world. Consider that USC contributes $8 billion to the economy each year through events, projects, and job opportunities. 

Or that our faculty members include five MacArthur Fellows, five Nobel Laureates, and ten National Medal Winners. Attracting and retaining such an accomplished faculty, and providing faculty members with the means to conduct their research, is only made possible through your contributions. 

In fact, $978 million in parent and alumni donations has been used to further research such causes as providing occupational therapy for the homeless, exploring new treatments for people with cardiovascular disease, and better preparing for earthquakes by improving existing seismology tools.

Now, $978 million is a big number. You may be thinking, “How can my contribution possibly make a difference?” 

But look at this way. Currently there are more than 375,000 living alumni in the Trojan Family. Imagine the impact if every single one of these alumni donated $20, $50, $100, or more.

Consider how many more scholarships we would be able to provide for students like Jennifer…students who grew up thinking that a college education was out-of-reach. 

Consider how many life-changing experiences you can catalyse for students and those in the surrounding community.

Consider how your contribution will fund transformative research in the realms of medicine, the environment, and international relations…making our world a safer, healthier, and more peaceful place.

Isn’t it time you stepped up to the plate?

Simply place your check in the enclosed envelope or visit https://giveto.usc.edu.

You’ll be glad you did.

Sincerely,

Phillip Jenkins

Class of ’02

*I was not hired to write this piece of copy for this company. However, it does show you an example of the excellent copy I can provide for you once you hire me.