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Engaging alumni with online chapter/club communities


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Learn how to empower chapter/club alumni volunteers to use online tools and social networks, and how new technologies are shaping your alumni's online expectations.

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Engaging alumni with online chapter/club communities

  1. 1. Engaging Your Alumni to Build Their Own OnlineChapter/Club Communities2010 CASE District I ConferenceJanuary 28, 2010Zach Wheat, Director of Interactive MediaUniversity of Virginiazjw6b@eservices.virginia.eduKathryn Hall, Technical Product
  2. 2. Session Summary and Key Take-Aways Understand How Web 2.0 Technologies are Forming Your Alumni’s Online Expectations Learn How to Empower Chapter/Club Alumni Volunteers to Use Online Tools to Build Social Networks and Meet these Expectations Understand How Institutions like University of Virginia and University of Chicago are Benefiting from a More Engaged Alumni through Chapter/Club Online CommunitiesPage #2 © 2010 Blackbaud
  3. 3. Session Agenda History of Alumni Online Engagement Building Successful Online Chapter/Club Communities Case Study #1: University of Chicago Case Study #2: University of VirginiaPage #3 © 2010 Blackbaud
  4. 4. HISTORY OF ALUMNI ONLINE ENGAGEMENTPage #4 © 2010 Blackbaud
  5. 5. Alumni Online Engagement Evolution Online Alumni Online Directories Centers Social NetworksPage #5 © 2010 Blackbaud
  6. 6. Early Technologies: Online Directories • Basic – No Interactivity Level of • Web 1.0 Technology Engagement • One-Way Communications • Extension of Offline Fundraising Directory Goals and • No Fundraising ROI Objectives or Measured ROI Content • Institution-Only Content Sources and • Limited Data Collection DataPage #6 © 2010 Blackbaud
  7. 7. More Engagement: Alumni Centers • Some Interactivity, i.e., Level of Class Notes Engagement • Two-Way Communications Fundraising • Measured ROI, i.e., % Goals and of Email Address ROI • Online Donations • Alumni-Generated Content Content Sources and • Profile and Interest Data ManagementPage #7 © 2010 Blackbaud
  8. 8. Latest Advancement: Online Social Networks • High-level Engagement Level of • Alum-to-Alum Engagement Communications • Specific Online Fundraising Fundraising Programs Goals and • Peer-to-Peer ROI Fundraising • Personalized and Content Subscribed Content Sources and • Social Network Data Collected DataPage #8 © 2010 Blackbaud
  10. 10. Launching a Successful Chapter/Club Online Network Design Execute Measure Define The The Right and Results Right Online Provide and Re- Project Solution Support EvaluatePage #10 © 2010 Blackbaud
  11. 11. Define The Right Project Set Clear Project Define Measurable Survey Your Goals Objectives Alumni’s Needs • Provide • Match Objectives to • How They Interact Chapter/Club Project Goals with Other Alum Volunteers with • All Objectives Must • What Services They New Interactive be Measured and Want from the Online Tools Tracked UniversityPage #11 © 2010 Blackbaud
  12. 12. Sample Project Objectives Increase Alumni Email Addresses • Target Workable Email Addresses for Over 50% of All Alumni Increase Alumni Online Activity • Target to Increase Overall Alumni Web Traffic by 100% Minimize Budget Impact • Cover Ongoing Costs with Membership and Event Registration Revenue Deliver More Relevant Information • Deliver Monthly Chapter/Club-Specific Communications to 100% of All Alumni Center MembersPage #12 © 2010 Blackbaud
  13. 13. Design The Right Online Solution Understand Your Select the Right Design for the Marketplace Technology Right Features • Comparable • Select a Proven • Match Alumni Institution Websites Vendor or Expectations and • Other “Dot Com” Developer Survey Results Sites • Future-Proof Your • Align Features to Institution Meeting ObjectivesPage #13 © 2010 Blackbaud
  14. 14. Key Online Technology Features Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) • Allows University Staff to Control Access to Key Features and Data for Chapter/Club Users Chapter / Club Website Management (CMS) • Provides Easy Tools for Alum Volunteers to Maintain Up-to-Date Information about Chapter/Club online Email Design and Delivery • Gives Simple Tools and Email Design Templates to Chapter/Club Volunteers to Communicate to Registered Members Events Registrations and Calendaring • Allows Alumni to Submit New Event, Search Existing Events and Register and Pay for Attending Selected EventsPage #14 © 2010 Blackbaud
  15. 15. Execute and Provide Support Staff Project Invest in Staff and Provide Ongoing Appropriately Alumni Training Support to Alumni • Use Combination of • Invest in Expert • Train Alumni-facing Vendor and Staff Training with Core Staff on Technology Resources Team • Offer On-call • Hire as Necessary • Train New Support for to Support Project Chapter/Club Users Chapter/Club UsersPage #15 © 2010 Blackbaud
  16. 16. Measure Results and Re- Evaluate Periodically Report Results Re-evaluate Needs Measure • Share Results with and Technologies • Create Set of Entire Team and • Understand that Recurring Report across Institution Technology Always • Measure Key Stats • Use Results to Changes against Original Prove ROI Case to • Re-evaluate Every Project Objectives Executives 3-5 YearsPage #16 © 2010 Blackbaud
  17. 17. CASE STUDY: UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGOPage #17 © 2010 Blackbaud
  18. 18. University of Chicago Alumni Center Project Challenge • The University of Chicago wanted to design a more engaging and modern online Alumni Center. Solution • The University of Chicago launched the Alumni and Friends website including the alumni association pages and alumni directory. The sleek, roomy design is paired with Launched May 29, 2009 robust Blackbaud functionality to create a break-through Alumni application.Page #18 © 2010 Blackbaud
  19. 19. Alumni Engagement Options Events • Alumni Can Search for Upcoming Events and Submit New Events Career Resources • Alumni Can Post Jobs and Exchange Career Advice Online Giving • Alumni Can Support the University and See How Their Donations are Being Used Volunteer • Alumni Can Give Back Their Time and Skills to the Alumni CommunityPage #19 © 2010 Blackbaud
  20. 20. Different Club and Group Networks College Classes & Schools • University Pre-Populated the Network with Each Graduating Class and Division/School Regional and International • Staff Created Chapter Network Sites across Each Region in the US and Internationally Special Interest Groups • Staff also Created a Catch-all Network Type for Special Interests for Specialty ClubsPage #20 © 2010 Blackbaud
  21. 21. Connecting Alumni to Networks Search Networks • Search Feature Allows Alumni to Look Up Networks by a Variety of Descriptors Create New Networks • Enterprising Alumni can Create New Networks, such as New Region or Special Interest for Staff Approval Network Attributes • Individual Networks are Defined by a Variety of Characteristics which are Stored in the DatabasePage #21 © 2010 Blackbaud
  22. 22. Alumni Network Engagement Network Membership • Links Alum to Specific Networks within the Database Local Event Calendar • Tools Allow Chapter/Club Volunteers to Present Events and Capture, if Requested, Online Registrations Other Localized Content • Tools Allow for the Creation of Local News Articles and Feedback on Message BoardsPage #22 © 2010 Blackbaud
  23. 23. Data Maintenance and Integrity Single Sign On • Authenticate Online Users between Alumni Websites and The University of Chicago’s CNET ID system Data Migration • Migrated of Over 145,000 Profile Records from Alumni Database Data Integration • Future Project to Integrate Information Collected Online to University DatabasesPage #23 © 2010 Blackbaud
  24. 24. CASE STUDY: UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIAPage #24 © 2010 Blackbaud
  25. 25. University of Virginia Project Timeline 2005 2005 2006 2007+ Define The Design the Execute and Measure Right Project Right Online Provide Results and • Determine Solution Support Re-Evaluate Requirements • Procure New • Launch First • Track and Report through Extensive System - Phase of Sites Progress of Research Blackbaud Sphere • Train Staff and Solution • Hired Staff VolunteersPage #25 © 2010 Blackbaud
  26. 26. Defining the Right Project Challenge • The University suffered from a mish-mash of websites and technologies and needed to uniformly create a vibrant engagement operation with more event participation and alumni interactions. Solution • The University of Virginia uses the Blackbaud Sphere platform as a single solution to create a modern, attractive alumni website that enables a single online experience for all types of online interactions by alumni.Page #26 © 2010 Blackbaud
  27. 27. Designing the Right Online Solution Websites to Connect Alumni • Website with online forms, engaging content and community-building tools • Tools to manage event registrations and calendars Data Maintenance • Centralized login for all alumni to link to Career and Research Service, Affinity Circles, and Vmail • This is a primary way for an alumni to update their contact information; data integration was key Email Communications • A strong email system with accurate addresses gives them the ability to reach alumni very quickly • Provides the capabilities to ensure targeted and relevant messagingPage #27 © 2010 Blackbaud
  28. 28. Execute and Provide SupportPrimary Staff Users • Six Full-time Staff • Manager, Data Specialist, Email Marketer, Website Designer, Form Manager, Advanced Programmer, and TrainerChapter and Club Alumni Users • Must Make it Easy for Volunteers to be Successful • Unsuccessful with Formal Training Program; Transitioned to Consultative One-on-One ApproachOther Staff Users • Provided Training to Other Staff who Interact with Alumni • An Additional 190 Staff have Access to System • Two Additional Email Communication Specialists within Alumni Staff • Regional Engagement OfficersPage #28 © 2010 Blackbaud
  29. 29. Chapter/Club Online Tools Chapter/Club Website • Template Allows for the Creation of Forms, Photos, RSS News Feed and Event Calendars Access Controls • Sites can be Managed Either by Alumni Volunteers or Supported by Trained Staff with Controlled Access Email Communications • Staff Work with Alumni Volunteers to Send Periodic and Targeted eNewsletter Communications, while Updating Member Data Directly OnlinePage #29 © 2010 Blackbaud
  30. 30. Measuring and Reporting Results Summary of Results • 50% Workable Email Addresses: 200,000 Alumni, Started with 35K Email Addresses, Now Have 110K Email Addresses • Increase Online Interactions: Launched Over 150 Club/Chapter Websites • Increase Online Fundraising: 220 Active Donation Forms Raising $3.5M Annually • More Targeted Communications: Sending 10M Targeted Emails Annually Using 130+ Campaigns2007 Statistics 2008 Statistics 2009 Statistics• 5,600 event • 14,000 event • 18,500 event registrations registrations registrations• 6.3 million emails • 5.9 million emails • 10.4 million emails• 2,100 online donations • 4,500 online donations • 11,200 online • 144% increase in donations funds received • 136% increase in funds receivedPage #30 © 2010 Blackbaud
  31. 31. Technology Re-Evaluation and Investment Key Infrastructure is in Place and Now Very Usable Club Sites are Nearly 100% Volunteer Driven, Creating Deeply Engaging Interactions with Alumni University Resources Now Concentrate on Creating New and More Modern Online Services New Fundraising Campaign Site: HoosOnline, Campaign for the University, HoosNetwork, Facebook/Linked In, and iPhone ApplicationsPage #31 © 2010 Blackbaud
  32. 32. Lessons Learned Do Not Design or • Include All Stakeholders from the Start Work in a Vacuum Invest in Intelligent • Create an Easy-to-Use System to Produce Forms, Design Up Front Websites and Email Yields Greater AdoptionControl Access to Key • Ensure Volunteers and Staff have Access to Only Systems and Data What They Need • Build Strong Relationships between Trainers and Invest in Training Chapter/Club Alumni Volunteers Measure and Report • Breed an Environment of Success to Build on Success Momentum and Ongoing InvestmentPage #32 © 2010 Blackbaud
  33. 33. Next Steps… Answering the Question:“Is an Engaged Alum More Likely to Give Money?” • Integrating Alumni Activities and Donor Information Data Integration is • Online Activities with Profile Information Exchanged Important between University Databases Data Collection Difficult in • 28 Foundations and 100’s of Online Giving Forms Decentralized • CRM Tracking and Segmentation is the Key Environment • Over $3.5 Online in CY09 Early Results: • Beginning to Analyze Surveys in 2009 Correlating Available Data Event Registration to Online ActivitiesPage #33 © 2010 Blackbaud
  34. 34. Zach Wheat, Director of Interactive Media University of Virginia Kathryn Hall, Technical Product Specialist Blackbaud QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS?Page #34 © 2010 Blackbaud