From the very first day that a prospect opens your admissions materials, they have a relationship with you. This is a one-to-one, lifelong relationship between the university and an individual, not a many-to-one relationship between different departments of a university and a prospect, a student, an alum, and a donor.
When each stage of the relationship cycle is manned by a different team in a different silo with a different technology, our half of the relationship seems schizophrenic, forgetful, and thoughtless.
Today's admissions prospect is next decade's donor. This is why your admissions team needs to meet with your student affairs team and your alumni team and get on the same page. Fran Zablocki talks about the concept of lifecyle relationship management, the challenges to achieving it, and the potential rewards if you can.