In the 21st century, it’s pretty much a given that your visitors, and potential visitors are online, but this stat brings it home.A common misconception is that you are getting all the donations you can get through your offline efforts. That is false. You need to engage with your alumni regularly to stay top of mind and email is an easy way to do that.
A second misconception is that older alumni don’t care about online activity. This is also false. This chart shows the distribution of donors acquired through the internet. The high concentration from 45-64 is surprising to many people. According to this data, that argument is no longer valid. Of the people that were first time donors online, 64% were above the age of 45, with 36% coming from people 55-74. According the 2011 donorCentrics Internet and Multichannel Giving Benchmarking Report: https://www.blackbaud.com/files/resources/downloads/WhitePaper_MultiChannelGivingAnalysis.pdf
We’ve been speaking with Higher Education institutions for over two decades. During this time, we’ve come to know and help some of the common challenges they face, especially when it comes to online alumni engagement.
We’ve talked about some of the common challenges that institutions face when it comes to online, and now its time to provide solutions. In its simplest form, it all comes down to creating and maintaining alumni engagement. Being able to provide your alumni information regarding your mission in a personalized and preferred way.
Engagement begins with establishing a central location where your alumni can go for all their information needs – a community. In today’s online world, there are numerous avenues to leverage for outbound marketing initiatives towards your alumni. However, you need somewhere to drive your alumni so they can get more information (there’s only so much you can say in a Tweet!). An online community serves as a central location where you can continuously engage your alumni and provide them with relevant, targeted and updated information regarding your mission and ways they can help.
Once you’ve established an online community where you can provide your alumni with a personalized experience, your next challenge is to get them to visit and keep them coming back. The leadingemarketing tool used for alumni communication is email. And according to a recent study, offline-only donorswho get emails from an organization actually give doubleover a lifetime. So, while these supporters don’t necessarily prefer to make their donation online, they definitely prefer to receive their communication online. Being able to provide your alumni with personalized messaging, that’s branded with your organizations look and feel, allows your institution to stand out from other organizations and not be perceived as a “mass emailer” looking for money by alums. And personalization shouldn’t stop just at emails. In order to maintain alumni engagement, you need to ensure that all online tools provide they personal look and feel. In fact, branded and personalized donation pagesachieve, on average,SIX TIMES MOREdonations than non-branded donation pages. Additionally, personalization enhances your alum's user experience when they navigate through your site. For example, when registering for an event online, having the ability to pre-populate fields with your alum's profile information allows them to quickly and easily go through the process.
Because branded donation pages achieve six times more donations than non-branded donation pages! That’s easy math, and easy money. Make sure your institution is taking advantage.
I spoke earlier about the numerous ways to communicate to your alumni. From Facebook to Twitter to Mobile, instituions are faced with the challenge of providing relevant information through the right channel at the right time. These channels of communication should be intertwined into your website community, providing more ways to not only communicate, but to also receive donations. Smartphones are increasing in popularity and your organization has to be able to provide online content in a mobile optimized format.
By leveraging new channels to capture alumni information, for example by featuring your LinkedIn group on your website, it provides your institution with a simple point of entry method to establish your relationship with these supporters. Once established, you can then use other emarketing tools to develop and maintain that relationship for years to come.
As I mentioned, we’ve been working with Higher Education institutions for a long time. NetCommunity was actually created for Higher Education institutions and our customers have been successful using it. They’ve been able to increase not only the average online donation amount they receive, but also the total amount of online donations they receive. Just as important, they’ve been able to use NetCommunity to expand their communication efforts to their alumni, create a fun and engaging community for their alums, and establish long lasting relationships with these supporters.
Let Blackbaud help you form lasting connections with your alumni
Creating an online community for your college or university
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6/14/2013 Footer 2CREATING AN ONLINE COMMUNITYFOR YOUR COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY
6/14/2013 3AGENDA Industry Trends Challenges Solution Success Next Steps Questions
6/14/2013 4INDUSTRY TRENDS 2012 was a stable year for highereducation fundraising, which giventhe current economicconditions, isn’t a bad thing Donors are giving more and makingmore gifts, increasing overallrevenue per donor among nearlyevery type of donor(retained, reactivated, and new) Alumni giving rose 9.9%nationally, and accounted for about26% of the donations collegesreceived YOY online giving grew by 16.2%and the average online donationamount was ~$150SOURCES: 2012 Philanthropy JournalBlackbaud Index of Higher Education Fundraising Performance
6/14/2013 5ONLINE MARKETING ISN’T JUST FORONLINE DONORSOffline-only donorswho get emails from an organizationgive doubleover a lifetimeSOURCES: 2012 Convio Online Giving Benchmark Study
6/14/2013 6DISTRIBUTION OF NEW ONLINE DONORS BY AGE0%5%10%15%20%25%30%18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65-74 75+
6/14/2013 7WE FEEL YOUR PAIN The inability to meet objectives forincreasing alumni participation rates alongwith additional revenue pressures for theschool Lack of a proper online strategy tools foralumni management, communication andengagement The inability to distribute information withpersonalized messaging and webcontent, which negatively impactsalumni/donor participation levels Inaccurate contact records resulting frompoor online updating tools
6/14/2013 8SOLUTION THAT CAN HELP An online management system to quicklydeploy content to different groups of Alumnibased on their relationships with yourschool, levels of credentials, or other uniquedetails Leverage multiple channels, in addition toemail, such as mobile, social, events andfull website content management system Have a 360º online/offline understanding ofyour relationship with eachalumnus, resulting in a more targeted andeffective fundraising initiative, leading tohigher interaction rates and onlinedonations Create a fun and engaging website thatbuilds loyalty and acquires updated contactinformation from your alumni
6/14/2013 9BLACKBAUD NETCOMMUNITYCreate an Online Community for Your Alumni
6/14/2013 10BLACKBAUD NETCOMMUNITYBranded and Personalized Online Donation Forms Simple 3-Step Event Registration
6/14/2013 11BRANDED DONATION PAGESBranded donation pagesachieve, on average,SIX TIMES MOREdonations than non-branded donation pagesNetwork for Good Q3 2012 Digital Giving Index
6/14/2013 12MULTI CHANNEL ENGAGEMENTSocial IntegrationMobile Optimized Forms
6/14/2013 13LINKEDIN GROUP JOIN FEATURE- Over 75 million members on LinkedIn- Over 65,000 academic groups
6/14/2013 14CUSTOMER SUCCESSBlackbaud NetCommunity Customers Receive an average online donation amount of $177 Experience a 66% increase in total online donations YOYSOURCE: 2011 & 2012 NetCommunity Customer Data
6/14/2013 15NEXT STEPSLearn More at:https://www.blackbaud.com/online-marketing/netcommunityOr Contact Ussolutions@blackbaud.com