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How the Digital Revolution Can Reverse Declining Alumni Participation


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Today, one of the biggest challenges in advancement is the decline in alumni participation and engagement. Powered by statistical evidence, this presentation explores the latest trends in alumni participation and how to better engage alumni as the digital revolution takes hold.

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How the Digital Revolution Can Reverse Declining Alumni Participation

  1. 1. How the Digital Revolution Can Reverse Declining Alumni Participation
  2. 2. What are the latest trends in alumni participation? How can we better engage alumni as the digital revolution takes hold? Let’s let the statistics speak.* *Statistics via Alumni Access’ 2015 Update unless otherwise noted.
  3. 3. One of the biggest challenges in advancement today is a decline in alumni participation and engagement.
  4. 4. The Facts ● Alumni participation rates have decreased by 4.6% for the top 50 public institutions over the last five years. ● 8.3% was the national rate of alumni participation last year. This is down from 8.7% in 2013 and 18.1% in 1990.
  5. 5. As for young alumni... 24% of organizations struggle with attracting and engaging young alumni, up from just 17% the previous year.
  6. 6. ● 55% of member-based organizations experienced a drop in new member acquisition last year. That number was 42% in 2013 and 37% in 2012. ● 75% of members don’t renew because of three key reasons: And alumni association membership... 1. Lack of engagement with the organization (31%) 2. Lack of ROI (25%) 3. Lack of value (19%)
  7. 7. The wealth gap is growing, and schools are focusing on major gifts rather than activating participation in young alumni. ● 28.6% of all higher-education gifts are given to the top 20 educational institutions. ● 12 monster gifts accounted for 33.4% of all gifts reported in 2014.
  8. 8. 67% of organizations say their top goal is to increase engagement BUT... 27% admit to having no dedicated strategy to boost engagement. Shouldn’t this call for a new strategy?
  9. 9. How can we turn these trends around?
  10. 10. Investing in digital is a great start.
  11. 11. Key Social Trends
  12. 12. There are 360+ million professionals on LinkedIn... and that number continues to grow.
  13. 13. Only 10% of constituents responded to a telephone solicitation in 2014. 78% of member associations report that email is their most effective marketing channel. 10% of millennials have given via direct mail in the past two years. ○ 40% of Baby Boomers gave in response to an email request and 42% gave online, according to the 2013 Blackbaud survey. The Digital Revolution
  14. 14. Only 35% of organizations update their Facebook page once per day. 33% report once per week. 61% of associations report they use LinkedIn to engage their members. 78% of associations report that their biggest boost in member engagement came from participation in a public social network. Did you know...
  15. 15. Your constituents (even the wealthy ones!) are engaged online and using social platforms... 50% of wealthy individuals now engage/give online, as compared to 15% just eight years ago. 87% of association members report they use Twitter, up from 84% last year. 91% of association members report they use Facebook, up from 88% last year.
  16. 16. Why it’s important for your organization to monitor LinkedIn...
  17. 17. On Facebook...
  18. 18. Millennials are the most prevalent generation on social media... ...but they have the lowest giving rate. via EverTrue data
  19. 19. Socially Engaged Constituents Are More Likely to Give via EverTrue data There is a positive correlation between Facebook engagement and donor participation.
  20. 20. Millennials (ages 18-34) account for 1/3 of the US workforce with 53.5 million people, making up the largest cohort group and surpassing Gen Xers. By 2020, Millennials will total more than $1.4 trillion in spending/giving power.
  21. 21. ● Millennials are 262% more likely to be influenced by mobile apps and advertising than the general population. ● Millennials are 247% more likely to be influenced by blogs and social networking sites than the general population. What You Need to Know About Engaging Young Alumni in the Digital World
  22. 22. 62% of millennials say that if an organization engages with them on social networks, they are more likely to be loyal. What You Need to Know About Engaging Young Alumni in the Digital World 63% of millennials respond positively when the content they receive is tailored to their cultural interests. 44% of millennials expect businesses/organizations to engage in open dialogue through social channels. 54% respond positively when the content they receive is tailored to their age. Engagement & Personalization are KEY!
  23. 23. 73% of millennials report wanting to receive an email from their alma mater at least monthly with featured events, stories, and needs on campus.* Millennials want to feel a personal, emotional connection with the organizations they give to.* Millennials Want Personalization *2013 Achieve Study
  24. 24. Key Takeaways ● Low alumni participation isn’t going to fix itself. We need to address the issue head-on before it’s too late. ● Make sure to incorporate digital channels into your engagement strategy. ● Experiment with social media and other online platforms to engage young alumni. ● To boost participation, educate young alumni early on about the importance of giving back to your institution. ● Take a more targeted, personalized approach to soliciting young alumni. ● Adjust your solicitation methods based on generational preferences and giving habits.
  25. 25. How can EverTrue help you drive alumni participation?
  26. 26. EverTrue’s web & mobile software helps you connect the dots between institutional data and social/professional data from leading modern sources.
  27. 27. ● Get easy access to donor data and increased insight into alumni capacity and affinity. ● Quickly segment your alumni base to identify up-and-coming donors and build your donor pipeline. ● Connect your investment in social media to dollars raised. With EverTrue You Can...
  28. 28. About EverTrue Since 2010, EverTrue has been empowering fundraising teams with intuitive web and mobile software. Today, 350+ nonprofit institutions, with a combined $20 billion of giving data (and counting!), rely on EverTrue to identify, prioritize, and manage their prospects. With EverTrue, fundraisers spend less time and effort getting the answers they need. We surface insights from your database as well as from our powerful integrations with Google Maps, LinkedIn, Facebook, Zillow, and more. And instead of waiting days for information and reports, fundraisers equipped with EverTrue can find prospects in milliseconds, whether for portfolio-building, moves management, trips, campaigns, or events - all in one intuitive platform. EverTrue is headquartered in Boston, MA and is a Bain Capital Ventures-backed company. To learn more, contact EverTrue at