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Effective collaborations between alumni relations and annual giving 03.14.2013
 

Effective collaborations between alumni relations and annual giving 03.14.2013

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This presentation was delivered at the March 2013 CASE District II Conference in Pittsburgh, PA by Stanyell Bruce and Dayna Carpenter.

This presentation was delivered at the March 2013 CASE District II Conference in Pittsburgh, PA by Stanyell Bruce and Dayna Carpenter.

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  • We will take questions as we go. Introduce self – overview of why we are doing this presentationWe think we are developing a pretty good model for how Alumni Relations and Annual Fund work together at UMBC
  • To provide you with some perspective on our institution, UMBC was founded in September of 1966 – we’re coming up on our 50th Anniversary as an institution in 2016.UMBC is one of thirteen institutions that make up the University System of MarylandWe’re located just outside of the city of Baltimore – it’s about a 5-10 minute drive to the heart of the city – and another forty minutes to Washington D.C.An honors university is an institution that attracts motivated students and rewards them with all of the resources and attention they need to succeed. We do this through a number of methods, including a number of specialized scholars programs, Living Learning Communities, first-year seminars, and a focus on research.We have a current undergraduate enrollment of 13,637 students enrolled, with 10,953 of those being undergraduates.
  • UMBC’s Division of Institutional Advancement is comprised of 51 staff positions that cover the areas of Marketing & Communications, Creative Services, Advancement Services, Corporate & Foundation Relations, Advancement Operations, and Alumni Relations & Development.
  • Alumni Relations & Development breaks down into three key departments or areas:Alumni RelationsAnnual GivingMajor GiftsAll three areas report to an Assistant Vice President of Alumni Relations & Development – who then reports to our Vice President of Institutional Advancement.While the A&D team has been around for many years, our programs have only really taken hold in the last few years. STANYELL: Alumni Relations Program (youth & history of program)In 2002, the Alumni Relations program was hit hard by state budget cuts and the entire staff was unfortunately laid off. It wasn’t until 2006 that we started re-building a program from scratch and have gained momentum over the last 5 years to creating what is now a solid Alumni Relations program. We now have 3 full time staff members (including administrative support) and are hiring now for another staff member to cover young alumni and student programming. We will round out our team in the summer with addition of another staff member to manage alumni and career services DAYNA: Annual Giving ProgramUp until February of 2010 – Annual Giving was overseen by a Director of Alumni Relations & Annual Giving – and was executed with the assistance of an entry level coordinator. Today, the program consists two full-time employees. Myself and a Phonathon Coordinator. In FY11, I developed a fully integrated solicitation calendar that took into account when athletics, alumni relations, and other university events and solicitations were happening. We’re fortunate to have an Alumni & Development Communications team that also coordinates our social media outreach.For about 8 years, UMBC had an outsourced calling program. The vendor that was providing calling services was doing a good job – but their callers were lacking in some of the campus connections that only a UMBC alum and student could share. In the fall of 2011, we were fortunate enough to be able to bring the program back in house. We are employing current UMBC undergraduates and graduates – and are seeing our donor acquisition respond positively to the change.STAN: QUESTIONS??
  • Ultimately, we’re looking to encourage alumni participation through BOTH alumni relations AND annual givingSTANYELL: Speak to target engagement/participation of alumni at eventsLast year was the first time we came up with an alumni engagement goal. We noticed that there were metrics attached to annual giving, but not necessarily alumni engagement even though we were making the correlation. We decided to set a goal of engaging 4-6% of our goal but quickly realized that it would be best not to focus on a range, but a set number. By the end of FY12, we had reached 1, 435 alums or 63% of our goal. Of that number, 25% were FY12 donors and 43% were lifetime donors.For FY13, we decided to stay with the goal of 4% and by the end of the second quarter (December 2012) had already engaged 1,210 alumni (50% of goal) with 16% of them being FY13 donors and 46% being lifetime donors. For us we can definitely make the correlation between alumni engagement and metrics with actual metrics.DAYNA: where are we today? (approximately 1,600 donors - $450,000+)In FY12 our goal was to engage 2,500 donors – we ended just slightly above that figure with 2,515 alumni donors (4.31%) participation. We had also set a goal of $300,000, and we ended with $316,780.For the last ten years or so, the number of alumni donors to UMBC has remained consistent. Unfortunately, when we start looking at the number of students who are graduating each year – increasing our total alumni of record – we’ve seen our alumni participation rate drop from a high of about 7% in FY03 – to our current rate of 4.31%. We’re increasingly encouraged because where the national average of alumni participation has been falling each year – we’ve come to a place were we are able to maintain our current percentage and even increase it over last fiscal year. This year’s alumni donor goal is a 12.2% increase over last year.
  • The Annual Giving program is comprised of two full-time staff members.We work together to execute direct mail, e-solicitation, and the calling program. We serve alumni, parent, and faculty/staff audiences.The Phonathon Coordinator leads a group of 45 students in making out-going calls to parents and alumni. Through all channels, we work a lot with segmentation. UMBC’s alumni giving program is different than some others that only accept unrestricted support. You can give to the University’s Greatest Need, to the English Department, or to the Library – it will count as an annual gift. We do our best to reach all 61,000 of our alumni through a variety of channels. Prior to 2010, we didn’t have a fully developed solicitation calendar. Now, we have a robust direct mail and e-solicitation calendar and our calling program reaches out to alumni over 22 weeks out of the academic year. We’ve fully integrated our solicitation calendar with university communications, alumni relations events, and athletics solicitations. We’ve tried to do some things to heighten awareness of alumni and giving. We’ve featured a variety of signatories on our letters, focusing primarily on students. Most recently, the Student Alumni Association and the Annual Giving Program partnered together to hold thank-you card writing events in an effort to send our alumni donors a very personalized acknowledgement from the students who are directly impacted by their support. Modeling these types of behaviors on campus is one of the first steps in fostering a culture of philanthropy on campus that will lead to stronger relationships with our donors.
  • Council for Advancement of EducationWe struggle with the same issue that many institutions have been fighting – with the constant influx of new graduates each year – and the lack of alumni to move our alumni participation number, up. You can see the blue line tracking the national average – and – the red line tracking UMBC’s. We’re encouraged that as the national average continues to decrease, our program has been leveling off or slightly increasing. QUESTIONS???
  • Alumni engagement (what does engagement mean at UMBC?)We often hear the term “alumni engagement” but some people don’t know what that means. For us, we’ve defined it as ways in which alumni connect to the institution which includes: alumni relations planned events, alumni volunteer meetings, board and chapter meetings, campus events not necessarily organized by our office, focus groups, surveys, and more.We count not only event engagement but specific ways in which alums communicate with us especially when it comes to them responding to a questionnaire, survey or proactively filling out a forms. Tracking document – how we track the above – mentioned (de-duped #’s)Coding alumni through advance – we use advance for our alumni database and work hard to code all of these activities (duped #’s)Chapters and volunteersWe also gauge engagement by involvement in our alumni boards and chaptersIn comparison to other schools, have a smaller number of chapters (3) but they organize about 50% of our annual eventsBecause of this, we see them as an extension of our office How boards are structured, staff involvementSignature programs/events (UMBC’s key events)Homecoming Career WeekStudent Alumni Association
  • UMBC is still a relatively young institution – we are only 47 years old. Since our founding in 1966, the campus has grown substantially. Alumni in the early 70’s were attending a primarily commuter campus that consisted of less than five buildings. Today, our students are attending a robust campus atmosphere that is home to 13,637 number of students. Our staffing size for the number of alumni we have it relatively lean. We have three alumni relations professionals and two annual giving staff members that are serving 61,000 alumni. Our location is incredible . . . And it’s a challenge. We’re located just minutes from downtown Baltimore and about forty minutes from Washington D.C. A large number of our alumni live in the Maryland, D.C., Virginia area. Unfortunately, traffic at key times throughout the week limits the number of attendees that are able to attend weeknight events. What looks like a short trip in terms of mileage isn’t practical when you figure in traffic and drive time to attend. We struggle in getting alumni to campus – and we almost have to treat D.C. and Virginia as regional events.Since our campus is relatively young and we do have that commuter history . . . We’re sometimes lacking in a sense of developed tradition. We’re working hard to correct this issue – but it is hard to reach out to our alumni from the 70’s and 80’s in the same way that we can with our more recent alumni.
  • STANYELL: HOW WE CELEBRATE AND BUILDING A TRADITION: Share basic information about the HC program over the last 3 years – direction (s)UMBC has been celebrating Homecoming for about 12 years and its only been in the last 3 years that we’ve begun to build traction.UMBC doesn’t have a football team and the majority of our alumni are local (85%) and don’t necessarily connect with “coming home”In the last 3 years, we’ve had to create events and strong reasons for them to come back to campus and have done things like targeted alumni reunions and events, big name speakers (Ira Glass), Crab Feast (Marylanders connect with these types of events), Comedy Shows, 5K, Soccer Game (nationally televised under the lights and more). We’ve seen a steady increase in alumni attendance in participation especially in the last 3 years. BUILDING A TRADITION OF GIVING: Talk about how annual giving was incorporated into HC (giving form, 5K, alumni reunion fundraising)For last 2 years, we’ve been intentionally building annual giving opportunities into Homecoming. We thought that because we were building traction, it would be good to leverage that with incorporating annual givingRegistration form includes an appeal to support the annual fund – when alums registered for homecoming events, it was easy for them to make a gift.5k Run on Campus – has been going on for years but what they were doing was collecting the fees and making one lump sum deposit into an account to support track and field from proceeds. Over the last 2 years a portion of proceeds were attributed directly to the runner/donor and we were able to give individual donor credit. Alumni Reunion events (AKA reunion – AKA is a sorority that had held a reunion event two years ago – but they proactively came to us saying that they’d like to add a fundraising element to their event last year by requiring every registrant to make a gift to a selected scholarship. We helped to facilitate that process.)ALUMNI ENGAGEMENT:*As you may know it is very challenging to effectively quantify the actual numbers of attendees for Homecoming because of the nature of events. For the last 3 years, we’ve made attempts to count our attendees by tracking online registration, walk-in registration sheets and broad estimates and have at least 3 years of data (not de-duped)We started counting 3 years ago and since that time, saw a marked increase in participation and giving and we will go over those numbers a little later in the presentation
  • DAYNA: Talk about this example of a upcoming event where we’ve incorporated a donation as part of an alumni relations/chapter event.
  • The Annual Giving Program is taking advantage of the increased alumni population during special events like Homecoming. This year, we placed “fact signs” through high traffic areas along academic rowWe also place gift envelopes at many of the Alumni Relations events.
  • The data we’ve found is backing up what we have known suspected all along. Alumni (and other constituents) that are engaged more closely with the university through event attendance, cohorts, and chapters have a higher propensity to give. Homecoming and other alumni relations activities can (and should) be drivers of your fundraising strategy. FY12 was the first year that we tied giving options to the general registration page and 5K registration.In FY13, we added in the
  • DAYNA: These attendance numbers reflect what we were actually able to track and not a reflection of actual attendance TAKE QUESTIONS ON ALL THE HOMECOMING SLIDES
  • For the first time, we’re able to actively engage future alumni in the fundraising process. We have 45 students employed who go through an extensive training process and speak to alumni about UMBC on a nightly basis. Our in-house program has an incredible 84% fulfillment rate. (Industry standard is closer to 70%). Perhaps the best aspect of the program for us is that we can really target messaging to particular segments of our alumni base. Students are encouraged to read copies of UMBC Magazine – and – we intertwine alumni events into the scripting. Phonathon students are actively cleaning our data – and – they are collecting new workplace and home information from alumni. Most importantly – students are recording comments. We can provide our alumni with a much higher level of customer service than we had ever done before. An alumnus that shares that he’d like to be more involved with the university in a conversation on Monday – could potentially receive an email or phone call from our Alumni Relations office as early as the next day. We are no longer on the schedule of a third-party.I’ll close out this slide by saying that if you have the resources to have your calling program in-house, do it. You can change up scripting and messages on a dime. There is also no substitute for the genuine connection between alumni and students of the same institution.
  • Up until FY11, we had been working through vendors which limited the number of records we could reach. The vendor worked to pull in the highest number of dollars and donors that they could – which – was good, except that it was also coming at the expense of our long-lapsed and never donors whose records weren’t being penetrated in the way that we needed them to for donor acquisition efforts. Changes in scripting were possible, but didn’t happen in the same instantaneous way that they can with an in-house program. We also had a difficult time getting all of the information back from the vendor that we needed to. Demographic updates, comments, and other key data points were sometimes being left out of the picture. In FY12, (our first year back in-house), we were able to submit our entire database into the calling system. We employed 40 student callers who were learning about what we do in advancement, first-hand. We started calling in October and ended in June – collecting almost 4,000 demographic updates and close to 400 new email addresses. This year, we started calling in September. We’re tracking a little behind in demographic updates, but we also reached out to the bulk of our long-lapsed and non-donors last year. We heavily promoted Homecoming and used the event as an invitation for local alums – and a talking point for everyone. TAKE QUESTIONS ON THE PHONATHON SLIDES
  • STANYELL:Basic overview of Meyerhoff Scholars ProgramThe Meyerhoff Scholars Program is a nationally recognized program, now in its 24th year at UMBC, that works to increase diversity among future leaders in science, technology, engineering and related fields.Graduates from the program go on to earn advanced and terminal degrees in the nations top institutions and the program is the leading producer of Black scientists in the country There are currently over 800 alumni of the program and almost 2/3rd hold Ph.D., M.D/Ph.D.’s and M.D.’sIn 2008, the program celebrated its 20th anniversary and we organized an alumni committee to help us develop the celebration and they conceptualized and kicked off the Cohort Giving Challenge as a way to mobilize alumni to give back to the program.What is a COHORT?We now have an active alumni chapter and advisory board who work to keep alumni connected throughout the country, organize events and actively fundraise to support the program.In fact they have a fundraising committee who came to us to help keep us to task, came up with initial plan and we helped to refine it. System of checks and balances.
  • DAYNATAKE QUESTIONS ON THE MEYERHOFF SLIDES

Effective collaborations between alumni relations and annual giving 03.14.2013 Effective collaborations between alumni relations and annual giving 03.14.2013 Presentation Transcript

  • Effective Collaborations Between Alumni Relations and Annual Giving Stanyell Bruce – Director of Alumni Relations Dayna Carpenter – Associate Director of Annual Giving
  • UMBC Overview  Founded in 1966  University System of Maryland  Baltimore  Honors University  13,637 Students enrolled  60,833 Alumni of record
  • Office of Institutional Advancement  Marketing & Communications  Creative Services  Advancement Services & Donor Stewardship  Corporate & Foundation Relations  Advancement Operations  Alumni Relations & Development
  • Alumni Relations & Development  (3) Alumni Relations Staff Members  (1) Program Management Specialist  (2) Annual Giving Staff Members  (3.75) Development Officers  (2) Alumni & Development Communications  (1) Assistant Vice President of Alumni Relations & Development  (1) Vice President of Institutional Advancement
  • Overarching Goals • Alumni Relations  FY12 – 2,280 (4% of our alumni base)  FY13 – 2,397 (4% of our alumni base)  Based on actual number of alumni at end of previous fiscal year.  Annual Giving  FY12 – 2,500 Alumni Donors, $300,000  FY13 – 2,800 Alumni Donors, $580,000
  • Annual Giving Program
  • Change in Alumni Participation 14 12.4 12 11.8 11.7 11 10 10 9.8 9.9 9.2 8 CAE Reports (National Survey)** 6 5.94 5.5 5.36 UMBC Participation Rate 4.94 4.73 4.36 4 3.72 4.31 3.86 2 0 FY04 FY05 FY06 FY07 FY08 FY09 FY10 FY11 FY12
  • Alumni Relations Program  Alumni Event Engagement  Events, meetings, board and chapter meetings, events, etc.  Chapter and Volunteer Leadership  Signature Programs Initiatives  Homecoming  Career Week  Student Alumni Association
  • Challenges we face . . . .  Young institution  Commuter history  Lean staff  Location  Lack of tradition “. . . involvement varies by the culture, tradition, and philosophy of each institution . . . .” - Buchanan
  • Working Together . . . .  CASE STUDY #1:  How we Celebrate  Building a Tradition  Building a Tradition of Giving  Alumni Engagement/Giving
  • Working Together . . . .
  • Working Together . . .
  • Correlations, Analysis and Findings HOMECOMING  FY11 – 284 First-time donors 0 Donors through Homecoming  $0 in Gifts   FY12 – 515 First-time donors (81% increase over FY11)  51 Donors through Homecoming  $1,455 in Gifts  FY13 – 227 First-time donors (to date)  133 Donors through Homecoming (160% increase over FY12)  $2,766 in Gifts
  • Correlations, Analysis and Findings HOMECOMING ATTENDANCE  FY11 –  329 alumni attendees  3,892 overall attendees  FY12 –  430 alumni attendees (30% increase over FY11)  4,000 overall attendees (3% increase over FY11)  FY13 –  819 alumni attendees (90% increase over FY12)  5,605 overall attendees (40% increase over FY12)
  • Working Together . . . .  CASE STUDY #2: PHONATHON  Bringing our program back “home”  45 UMBC Students Employed  42,000 Alumni Records  Donor Acquisition  Cleaning Alumni Demographics  Targeted messaging and promotion of events
  • Correlations, Analysis and Findings PHONATHON  FY11 – 30,000 records  Vendor focused on recently lapsed donors  Weak information exchange  FY12 – 41,000 records  Employed 40 UMBC students  3,926 prospect demographics updates, 399 new email addresses  FY13 – 43,000 records  Employed 45 UMBC students  1,296 prospect demographic updates, 553 new email addresses
  • Working Together . . . .  CASE STUDY #3: MEYERHOFF COHORT GIVING  Meyerhoff Scholars Program at UMBC  Alumni  Cohort Giving Challenge  Fundraising Committee
  • Correlations, Analysis and Findings MEYERHOFF GIVING  FY10 – 20% Participation (4.36% overall)  $19,081.09  FY11 – 13% Participation (3.86% overall)  $15,466.50  FY12 – 13% Participation (4.31% overall)  $18,258.00  FY13 (to date) – 10% Participation (2.62% overall, to date)  $18,921.67
  • Questions? Contact us: Stanyell Bruce Carpenter Dayna Director of Alumni Relations Associate Director, Annual Giving bruce@umbc.edu dayna@umbc.edu University of Maryland, Baltimore County 1000 Hilltop Circle Baltimore, MD 21250