Alumni Relations & Annual Giving: Partnering for Young Alumni Engagement

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This presentation was originally delivered in May of 2014 through Academic Impressions by Tim Ponisciak and Stephanie Felicetti. The presentation focuses on how Notre Dame has been able to more effectively engage with young alumni through collaborative communications and events created by the Annual Fund and Alumni Association partnering together.

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Alumni Relations & Annual Giving: Partnering for Young Alumni Engagement

  1. 1. 1 #AItraining Timothy Ponisciak | University of Notre Dame ALUMNI RELATIONS AND ANNUAL GIVING: PARTNERING FOR YOUNG ALUMNI ENGAGEMENT Stephanie Felicetti | University of Notre Dame
  2. 2. LEARNING OUTCOME After participating… 2 …you will be able to build an active partnership between alumni relations and annual giving that increases young alumni loyalty and giving.
  3. 3. 3 • Institutional background • Partnering to overcome challenges specific to young alumni • Successful partnership events • In Summary AGENDA
  4. 4. 4 #AItraining INSTITUTIONAL BACKGROUND
  5. 5. 5 • Notre Dame’s structure • Responsibilities and goals • Solution-focused team approach THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME
  6. 6. 6 NOTRE DAME’S STRUCTURE University Relations Alumni Association Programs Team Young Alumni Programs (Stephanie) Development Annual Giving Team Young Alumni Fundraising (Tim) Public Affairs
  7. 7. 7 HISTORY Lack of collaboration • Duplicating efforts • Discouraged/disgruntled alumni • Too many mailings, same information twice, etc. We have overcome many of these challenges by partnering! WHY PARTNER?
  8. 8. 8 • Team Approach • University Relations Summit – Meeting of all three departments to share ideas and collaborate WHY PARTNER?
  9. 9. 9 • Initial meeting • Established bi-weekly meetings • Shared calendars • Open dialogue – Goals – Partnership Scope – Budget WHAT DID WE DO?
  10. 10. 10 • Determine appropriate parties • Open and honest conversation – It won’t benefit anyone if you hold back information concerning your goals and initiatives • Establish plan/opportunities to partner • Maintain periodic meetings HOW CAN YOU DO THIS?
  11. 11. 11 Both departments can benefit by partnerships between Development and Alumni Association. Consequently, Notre Dame benefits. WHY PARTNER?
  12. 12. 12 • Physical location • Alumni relations & annual giving – combined department – Reporting structure – Budget considerations • Alumni relations and/or annual giving split by college SCALING TO OTHER ALUMNI RELATIONS & ANNUAL GIVING STRUCTURES
  13. 13. 13 #AItraining PARTNERING TO OVERCOME CHALLENGES SPECIFIC TO YOUNG ALUMNI
  14. 14. 14 VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT #1 issue volunteer management – Recruiting volunteers is challenging for everyone SOLUTION: Sharing contacts in order to generate champion volunteers OVERCOMING CHALLENGES
  15. 15. 15 COMMUNICATION DIFFICULTIES WITH YOUNG ALUMNI • Work hours tend to be longer and evening work commitment interfere • Working with alumni from 4 different time zones • Social/service/other commitments make evening calls difficult SOLUTION: Creative scheduling/approach OVERCOMING CHALLENGES
  16. 16. 16 SOLVING COMMUNICATION DIFFICULTIES – Plan ahead! • Young Alumni Committee Calls (young alumni collaborative peer network) • 4x/year • Dates provided November of PREVIOUS year – Team Voting • Let the volunteers decide what times work best by popular vote OVERCOMING CHALLENGES
  17. 17. 17 STEWARD VOLUNTEERS WITH GIFTS – Small giveaways for everyone attending the call – On call, raffle off • Football tickets • Gift basket – Reunion welcome basket OVERCOMING CHALLENGES
  18. 18. 18 SUSTAINING MOTIVATION – Say thank you…a LOT! – Provide insider information • Ex. New construction OVERCOMING CHALLENGES
  19. 19. 19
  20. 20. 20 NEW YOUNG ALUMNI RECOGNITION SOCIETY – $500 annual gift – Young alumni volunteer launch committee • Committee presented new networking opportunity for young alumni – Story ideas for monthly newsletter – Membership CORBY SOCIETY
  21. 21. 21 • Initial Collaboration – Brainstorming committees • Volunteer on Corby Society Steering Committee • Supply Corby Society information at young alumni (alumni association) events YOUNG ALUMNI GIVING RECOGNITION SOCIETY COLLABORATION
  22. 22. 22 SOCIAL MEDIA
  23. 23. 23
  24. 24. 24 • Quarterly Newsletter – Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall Editions • Preparation – Production scheduled for the year – Work with Senior Editor – Hit variety of topics (service/spiritual, personal highlight, event, information, etc.) YOUNG ALUMNI E-NEWS SCHEDULE
  25. 25. 25 MOBILE MARKETING IZigg Are you making your 2014 football travel plans? Visit footballtickets.nd.edu for info on qualifying donations for the 2014 alumni football ticket lottery Check out the most recent Young Alumni Newsletter http://youngalumni.nd.edu/YANews GO IRISH!
  26. 26. 26 #AItraining SUCCESSFUL PARTNERSHIP EVENTS
  27. 27. 27 STUDENT VIDEO PROJECTS
  28. 28. 28 • SAME GOAL! Split the cost • Utilize videos for annual giving and alumni association communications • Students produce specific videos • Develop new ideas STUDENT VIDEO PROGRAM COLLABORATION
  29. 29. 29 STUDENT VIDEO PROGRAM
  30. 30. 30 FIRST YEAR ORIENTATION
  31. 31. 31 • Weekend of events: welcoming first year students • First touch point with students • SAME GOAL! – Opportunity to collaborate FIRST YEAR ORIENTATION
  32. 32. 32 • Invite students to pick up welcome gift • Split cost of welcome gift • Welcome letter (touch point) FIRST YEAR ORIENTATION - COLLABORATION
  33. 33. 33 WELCOME LETTER
  34. 34. 34
  35. 35. 35 THANKSGIVING IN FEBRUARY
  36. 36. 36 • Annual event to acknowledge annual fund donors • Underclass-fundraising student led initiative • Partnership – Recruiting student volunteers – Assistance with communications THANKSGIVING IN FEBRUARY
  37. 37. 37 • Development fundraiser • 220 seniors attended • Volunteers and engagement SENIOR TRIVIA NIGHT
  38. 38. 38 EVENT RESULTS • Gifts from all attendees – 220 students • Increase senior class giving percentage • Over 10% of graduating class participated and made a gift SENIOR TRIVIA NIGHT
  39. 39. 39 REGIONAL EVENTS
  40. 40. 40 COLLABORATION – Assists with staffing needs at Alumni Association or Development events – Provides more opportunities for each to interact with constituent base – Partnerships on events in New York, D.C. and Chicago REGIONAL EVENTS
  41. 41. 41 COLLABORATION – Staffing events: Important to be known/seen among young alumni – Partnerships on events • Splitting cost • More touch points • More attendees REGIONAL EVENTS IMPACT
  42. 42. 42 • Co-sponsored by Alumni Association & Development • Large regional young alumni event designed to engage alums with Notre Dame SUMMER IN THE CITY
  43. 43. 43 • Focus groups • Planning /brainstorming SITC PARTNERSHIP
  44. 44. 44 SITC FUNDRAISING
  45. 45. 45 #AItraining IN SUMMARY
  46. 46. 46 • Disagree on certain approaches • Not always appropriate to partner • Problems solved: • Yankee Stadium event • Corby Society – members only • Young Alumni Event – open to alumni, parents, friends CHALLENGES OF PARTNERING
  47. 47. 47 • Alumni association presence at development events and vice-versa • More opportunity to mingle/meet • Shared contacts • Additional event staff • Lower cost for events POSITIVE IMPACT
  48. 48. 48 • More events • More opportunity to mingle/meet alumni • Reaction • We have yet to receive a negative reaction regarding sharing resources/events CONSTITUENT’S PERSPECTIVE
  49. 49. 49 • Freshman Orientation – Year 1 Impact: 500 freshmen (prior to partnership) – Year 2 Impact: 1,200 freshmen – Year 3 Impact: 1,500 freshmen • Thanksgiving in February – Year 1 Results: 2,000 thank you cards – Year 2 Results: 3,000 thank you cards MEASURABLE SUCCESS: STUDENT PROGRAMS
  50. 50. 50 SENIOR CLASS FUNDRAISING – Year 0 Results: 22%* *Prior to Partnership – Year 1 Results: 41% – Year 2 Results: 48% – Year 3 Results: 49% MEASURABLE SUCCESS: STUDENT PROGRAMS
  51. 51. 51 • Reunion – Dorm Challenge Fundraising • 5 Year Reunion Class: Participation Increase 1.4% • 10 Year Reunion Class: Participation Increase 6.1% • Summer in the City – Engagement of over 800 alumni – Opportunity to increase young alumni gifts MEASURABLE SUCCESS: YOUNG ALUMNI REUNIONS
  52. 52. 52 • Increase in total young alumni giving – Participation rate – Total dollars raised • Corby Society – Impact young alumni giving and engagement – 500+ member over $250,000 raised MEASURABLE SUCCESS: YOUNG ALUMNI
  53. 53. 53 YOUNG ALUMNI ENGAGEMENT – Impact 3,000+ young alumni at regional events (Yankee Stadium, Chicago, Washington D.C.) – Impact 6,000 young alumni through texting program MEASURABLE SUCCESS: YOUNG ALUMNI
  54. 54. 54 TWO AVENUES OF ENGAGEMENT, DON’T HAVE TO ALWAYS BE COMPLETELY SEPARATE • Sharing contacts • Marketing mix • Brainstorming • Incentives • Budget PROBABILITY
  55. 55. 55 • Student Programs (AR) & Parents Programs (AF) • Reunion monthly meetings (AR + AF) • Monthly meeting w/NDAA Resources • Library database resources ADDITIONAL COLLABORATION
  56. 56. 56 • UR Summit • Promotions • Awards ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNIES TO HIGHLIGHT PARTNERSHIP
  57. 57. LEARNING OUTCOMEQUESTIONS 57 Stephanie Felicetti, smola1@nd.edu Tim Ponisciak, tponisci@nd.edu
  58. 58. LEARNING OUTCOMEEVALUATION Please remember to complete the event evaluation. Your comments will help us continually improve the quality of our programs. Thank you! Follow us:© Copyright 2014 Academic Impressions 58

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