Engaging Alumni and Building an
            Advancement Portal
               Kelley Jarrett and Dominic Taverniti
       ...
Engaging Alumni & Building an Advancement Portal




               Engaging Alumni In Today’s Economy


          Acquisi...
Engaging Alumni & Building an Advancement Portal



Why Should We Engage Alumni More Now Than Ever Before?

           Jus...
Engaging Alumni & Building an Advancement Portal




          Younger alumni have never been a large share of the overall...
Engaging Alumni & Building an Advancement Portal



          How Can We Better Engage Our Alumni?

          Analysis    ...
Engaging Alumni & Building an Advancement Portal




   Analysis

          1.Audience Needs
            • Segmentation
  ...
Engaging Alumni & Building an Advancement Portal




   Action


          1. Communicate
            •   Educate audience...
Engaging Alumni & Building an Advancement Portal




   Action


          2. Community Building
            •   Solve pro...
Engaging Alumni & Building an Advancement Portal




   Action
          3. Ask
            • Many schools communicate wit...
Engaging Alumni & Building an Advancement Portal



 What Can You Do?
 1. Online/Offline worlds collide

 2. One voice, on...
Engaging Alumni & Building an Advancement Portal


       Segment your audience.
           – Encourage alumni to attend e...
Engaging Alumni & Building an Advancement Portal



       Utilize targeted content.
           – In an in-person meeting,...
Engaging Alumni & Building an Advancement Portal


       Encourage participation.
           – You want your alumni to pa...
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Engaging Alumni And Building An Advancement Portal

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Presentation from BBCON 2009 with practical steps to building an alumni engagement portal online.

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Engaging Alumni And Building An Advancement Portal

  1. 1. Engaging Alumni and Building an Advancement Portal Kelley Jarrett and Dominic Taverniti Internet Solutions Managers March 5, 2010
  2. 2. Engaging Alumni & Building an Advancement Portal Engaging Alumni In Today’s Economy Acquisition Cultivation Page #2 Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Kelley Jarrett and Dominic Taverniti | Page #2
  3. 3. Engaging Alumni & Building an Advancement Portal Why Should We Engage Alumni More Now Than Ever Before? Just under half of all alumni giving comes from individuals – Many schools and institutions get hung up on large gifts – Today’s $25 donor can become a major donor in the future In the past few years, alumni giving has dropped each year while overall giving has increased. – Losing alumni to competitive non profits – Young alumni trending to cause-based giving Young alumni have generally been less likely to give – Beginning their careers – Spending limited incomes on starting families, repaying student loans or graduate school. 2008 Voluntary Support of Education Report, CAE Indiana University Center on Philanthropy Tactical Philanthropy Blog Page #3 Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Kelley Jarrett and Dominic Taverniti | Page #3
  4. 4. Engaging Alumni & Building an Advancement Portal Younger alumni have never been a large share of the overall alumni giving population – Historically, in up economic times, this wasn’t as noticeable. – In today’s economy, young alumni need to be engaged early to increase overall share and get attention before distraction. Proximity encouraged alumni to stay involved – Alumni are now more likely than past generations to take jobs that are geographically far from alma mater Many schools lose relevance upon a student’s graduation. – New graduates have little interest in the alumni magazines that are a major way schools communicate with alumni – Younger alumni don’t respond well to direct mail solicitation The more alumni are engaged with their alma mater, the more they will donate their time, money and resources back to the school. 2008 Voluntary Support of Education Report, CAE Indiana University Center on Philanthropy Tactical Philanthropy Blog Page #4 Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Kelley Jarrett and Dominic Taverniti | Page #4
  5. 5. Engaging Alumni & Building an Advancement Portal How Can We Better Engage Our Alumni? Analysis Action Page #5 Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Kelley Jarrett and Dominic Taverniti | Page #5
  6. 6. Engaging Alumni & Building an Advancement Portal Analysis 1.Audience Needs • Segmentation • Needs • Habits 2.Strategic Goals • Raise Money • Increase Participation • Increase communication • Many young alumni don’t write checks, or own stamps – know your constituent groups Page #6 Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Kelley Jarrett and Dominic Taverniti | Page #6
  7. 7. Engaging Alumni & Building an Advancement Portal Action 1. Communicate • Educate audiences – Progress towards goals, online community initiatives • Many alumni don’t understand why it’s important to donate • Student loans do not = giving • Marketing – How, when, where and how often? • Branding – consistency of look/feel and messaging Page #7 Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Kelley Jarrett and Dominic Taverniti | Page #7
  8. 8. Engaging Alumni & Building an Advancement Portal Action 2. Community Building • Solve proximity issue – engage via online groups/networks • “Why wait four months for ‘class notes’ when you could simply check Facebook to see what a friend is up to?” • Microsite/alumni portal • Let your alumni do the work – Class Agents – Email and Page Sharing – Group Networking Page #8 Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Kelley Jarrett and Dominic Taverniti | Page #8
  9. 9. Engaging Alumni & Building an Advancement Portal Action 3. Ask • Many schools communicate with alumni as if writing a check is the normal way to give. • Many young alumni don’t write checks, or own stamps – know your constituent groups • Schools need to reevaluate what constitutes ‘giving.’ • A recent graduate may not be able to afford an annual gift of $200, but they can become a mentor. • Focus on the impact of individual support • Schools rewarding only major giving may backfire – why should an alumnus give $50 when the local library or soup kitchen can point to an immediate need (and no million-dollar donors)? • Clear call to action Page #9 Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Kelley Jarrett and Dominic Taverniti | Page #9
  10. 10. Engaging Alumni & Building an Advancement Portal What Can You Do? 1. Online/Offline worlds collide 2. One voice, one line of communication, one central source of information 3. Disparate Data = Not as Powerful 4. Efficiency is King! Page #10 Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Kelley Jarrett and Dominic Taverniti | Page #10
  11. 11. Engaging Alumni & Building an Advancement Portal Segment your audience. – Encourage alumni to attend events and volunteer. Segment and personalize your online message. – You know the obvious segments (class year, geography, etc.), but you should also consider segmenting based on interests, participation level, event involvement, etc. to further engage with your alumni. Launch marketing efforts. – Generate excitement about your online community via multiple marketing channels including traditional methods such as email and direct mail as well as new mediums such as Facebook® and Twitter®. – Know how your audience responds to each medium so that you can begin to segment based on what’s successful with each group. Educate your audience. – Don’t assume your alumni know what an online community is, how to use an interactive website or where to find it. – Follow up with targeted emails outlining the benefits of joining the community (alumni virtual community, directories, social and career networking). Page #11 Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Kelley Jarrett and Dominic Taverniti | Page #11
  12. 12. Engaging Alumni & Building an Advancement Portal Utilize targeted content. – In an in-person meeting, you discuss topics with personal relevance – Personalizing their online experience will help them feel more connected to your school, and it’s also proven to increase involvement. Analyze your web traffic. – Knowing where your alumni are spending time on your site allows you to message to them effectively. – make strategic decisions about how to communicate more efficiently and effectively with different alumni groups that you serve Solicit feedback. – Don’t assume you know what your constituents want. – Use polls, surveys, and preferences to really understand how to interact with all of your alumni community. – Combine these with what you already know and have learned about them in your offline efforts to develop personas, create like-minded groups and get more bang for your communication buck. Page #12 Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Kelley Jarrett and Dominic Taverniti | Page #12
  13. 13. Engaging Alumni & Building an Advancement Portal Encourage participation. – You want your alumni to participate in every way – events, volunteer, mentorships, participation, etc. – Give users the ability to fundraise and share their own stories, comments and needs; allow other alumni to respond. Promote stewardship. – Share successes, ideas and thoughts to help communicate what you’re doing to further your mission. Doing this in a targeted, efficient way both online and off will help them understand all the wonderful and helpful things you’re doing for them and their alma mater daily. Stimulate the senses. – When in-person is simply not an option, consider using multimedia to enhance your site and make it visually appealing – videos, photos, podcasts, etc are a great way to share your school’s culture and make an online connection feel as close to in-person contact as possible. Keep content fresh. – A stale site results in less return visitors. Keep it simple and up to date with new content daily to encourage repeat visits. Page #13 Blackbaud’s Conference for Nonprofits — Charleston | Kelley Jarrett and Dominic Taverniti | Page #13

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