Mark R. Dollhopf

Mark R. Dollhopf is the former Executive Director of the Association of Yale Alumni (AYA), and the current President of Dollhopf & Associates, counseling universities and nonprofit institutions in strategic planning, leadership, alumni relations, capital campaign management, major gift formation, and direct marketing.

Mr Dollhopf served as Executive Director of the AYA from 2005 to this year, responsible for the alumni relations efforts of Yale University including the support and sponsorship of 75 Yale College Classes, 187 Yale Clubs and regional alumni associations, 13 graduate and professional schools, and more than 150 affinity groups representing ethnic, religious, gender, cultural, vocational, and service alumni networks.

Under his leadership alumni participation at Yale tripled, accomplished through innovative strategic planning, creative programming, and leadership training. The AYA annually identifies, cultivates, and engages more than 7,000 volunteer leaders who manage and direct reunions, educational programs, conferences, cultural affairs efforts, community service projects, and travel programs for Yale’s 180,000 alumni.

Mr Dollhopf successfully launched a number of pioneering initiatives in US alumni relations: the Yale Global Alumni Leadership Exchange (YaleGALE), a program designed to share best practices in alumni relations and institutional advancement among world leading universities; the Yale Alumni Service Corps, a ‘Peace Corps’ initiative affording alumni the opportunity to provide social and economic development assistance and cultural exchanges in impoverished areas; the Yale Day of Service, annual year-long efforts to encourage alumni service to local nonprofits and NGOs around the world; Students and Alumni at Yale (STAY), a combined student and alumni organization to foster student engagement and leadership in alumni relations; the AYA Leadership Forums, executive seminars designed to identify and train volunteer leaders, and the Yale Alumni Chorus Foundation, a performing arts organization dedicated to producing international concert tours and festivals for world class choruses and orchestras.

The Yale Global Alumni Leadership Exchange has engaged thousands of staff and alumni from universities around the world in conferences, workshops, seminars, and mentoring programs to study and promote effective alumni relations. More than 250 leading universities have participated, among them Amsterdam, Australia National, Bogaziçi, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Göttingen, Hebrew, IIT Bombay, Istanbul, Peking, the Sorbonne, Tokyo, Tsinghua, and Zurich ETH.

Mr Dollhopf was graduated from Yale with a major in religious studies and attended the Harvard Business School. He began his career in 1977 as a fundraising intern for the Campaign for Yale and in 1980 founded the firm of Anderson, Cole & Dollhopf, Fundraising Counsel, there implementing new fundraising techniques for universities and independent schools including the first professional direct response programs in higher education. Anderson, Cole & Dollhopf created programs for over 100 education, health, social service, political, and religious organizations, including Yale, Brown, Columbia, Duke, Exeter, Andover, and the National Wildlife Federation. Mr Dollhopf sold Anderson, Cole & Dollhopf to TelecomUSA in 1989 and in 1990 became a wholly owned subsidiary of MCI.

In addition to the nonprofit organizations he counsels, he lectures widely on strategic planning, alumni relations, and fundraising, and served as an instructor for the Association of Fundraising Professionals' (AFP) fundraising certification program. He has been a keynote speaker and guest lecturer for the AFP, the Counsel for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the Ivy League Alumni Relations Council (Ivy Plus), the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), the International Catholic Stewardship Council (ICSC), the Association of Lutheran Development Executives (ALDE), the Direct Marketing Association Education Foundation, and many universities.

Active as university volunteer, Yale awarded Mr Dollhopf The Yale Tercentennial and The Yale School of Music Tercentennial Medals in 2001, and The Yale Medal in 2004, the highest honor bestowed by Yale for volunteer service.