Category Archives for Fundraising

Putting Data to Work in Alumni Appeals

Data is invaluable to businesses and organizations. Without data such as physical addresses or email lists, CRMs and billing or donor software, communications and other activities won’t happen.

Harnessing alumni data and applying data analytics increases efficiency and adds value. For example, the combination of data analytics and personalization of variable fields such as: last gift amount; how it was used in the institution; year graduated; degree earned and athletic or extra-curricular activities, allows marketers to create personalized, relevant information so the correct call to action can be sent to the right alum, through the right channel of communication, at the right time. This strategy can thus create better alumni outreach, convert alumni to donors, and increase donor retention.

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How to Reach Alumni Using Human Interest Stories

People are a central part of the college experience. When thinking back on their college days, many graduates remember individuals the most vividly. Whether it’s the friends they lived with or the professors who influenced the way they think, alumni’s memories are usually focused more on people than on books. This is why human interest stories work so well for engaging with alumni.

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Four Quick Tips for Increasing Donor Retention Rates

According to the 2014 Giving USA report, 72% of charitable giving in the United States comes from small individual donors, yet a study published in March of 2013 by Target Analytics shows that the overall retention rate for small first year individual donors stands at a mere 27.3%.

Roger Craver of Donor Trends reports that the number of nonprofit organizations between 2000 and 2010 has increased by 47% to a total of 1,056,000 organizations. Now, there are more organizations competing for revenue, and in the middle of this chase all of the organizations are losing more and more donors. Not a bright picture.

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Fundraising Fundamentals for Colleges and Universities

Kim Gross, who is the Director of Sales and Marketing at Pacesetter Enterprises in Allentown Pennsylvania has recently released a new version of Fundraising Fundamentals. This webinar is designed to assist Colleges and Universities in their fundraising efforts.

Kim addresses the following 10 areas of fundraising:

1. Challenges surrounding generational attitudes of young donors

2. Where successful schools focus

3. What unsuccessful schools are not focusing on

4. Keys to success

5. Roadblocks

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Proving the Value of the College Degree

ue to mounting student debt and a bleak job market, an increasing focus on the value of the college degree has emerged. Two major publications posted articles online this year analyzing data on this subject.

The first article, titled “Is a Degree Still Worth It? Yes, Researchers Say, and the Payoff is Getting Better,” was published by The Chronicle of Higher Education in September. The article uses fiscal statistics from several decades to argue that despite the increasing tuition rates, the cost of going to college is actually dropping. The article reports that the opportunity cost (the “lost wages,” or the amount of money one would make if he or she worked instead of attending college) is actually lowering, which in return makes college the better choice in the long run.

In contrast, The Economist posted an article a few months prior and gives a much more cynical view of the issue. This article, titled “Is College Worth it?” uses long-term salaries of college graduates to emphasize that many degrees do not lead to well-paying jobs, and thus the degree becomes a financial burden for decades. The author maintains that the expense of college leaves students worse off than if they started working immediately out of high school—essentially arguing against the Chronicle.

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3 Things to Learn About Alumni Participation from Recent Graduates

The issue of alumni participation is at the forefront of the higher education market. According to this report published by Inside Higher Ed, alumni have been steadily decreasing their involvement with their colleges over several years. In order to better understand this situation, we spoke to several alumni about the factors affecting their participation. In this post, we’re focusing on one alumnus, Bethany (pictured left), a 2011 graduate from a small state school. What she said follows several general trends in alumni giving:

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Fundraising Fundamentals

My colleague Kim Gross has authored a webinar entitled “Fundraising Fundamentals.” It is designed to give nonprofits an overview of today’s challenges in the fundraising arena, and the steps that can be taken to turn things around. A 2012 study by Roger Craver who is the founder of Donor Trends reported some insightful findings into […]

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