The article encourages university development officials and leaders in the field of distance education to actively view online learners as future members of the alumni community. This paper synthesizes literature related to alumni giving, highlights the dearth of attention given to distance education alumni and provides suggestions for encouraging philanthropy among such alumni. Suggestions include modeling solicitation processes after historically Black Colleges and Universities, ensuring student satisfaction, promoting a familial concept within programs, and reexamining the roles currently assigned to students by development offices.
"It is important that universities look at distance education and giving, or 30 years down the road they are going to get caught." (Schejbal & Lescht, 2002, p. 8)