Institutions of higher education rely on donations from alumni to fund scholarships and initiatives. Alumni management best practices vary slightly from those for charities and nonprofit organizations. Find out how a cloud-based solution for Raiser’s Edge integrations makes it possible to use nonprofit data management best practices, including these seven educational fundraising tips.
Engage Alumni Through a Social Media Campaign
Alumni who have graduated from institutions of higher education at any point in the last two decades are more likely to use social media than the public at large. Institutions should try to identify which platforms have the largest and most active alumni presence and initiate campaigns on these channels.
Create Content Worth Sharing
Whether a chapter sends email digests to alumni or makes posts on social media, creating content that users feel compelled to share increases the reach of any campaign. Factoring in the shared experience of the target audience at an institution makes it possible to connect on an emotional level through a sense of nostalgia or hope for the future.
Customize Appeals for Audiences and Platforms
It is important to craft campaigns for the intended audiences. The same organization is likely to get better results by sending different types of appeals to alumni who graduated in 1999 and recent graduates. Factor in the demographic data of recipients and their contact preferences in cloud financials for nonprofit membership organizations to pursue segmented campaigns more effectively.
Learn From Engagement and Interaction Data
It may be easier to determine how best to present an institution for the sake of alumni giving by experimenting with different approaches. Metrics such as open rates, number of comments and shares and click maps can reveal how alumni of different ages and demographics interact with fundraising content.
Make Persona Maps for Segmentation
Use the data available through institutions and professional social media networks to identify distinct personas for particular groups of alumni. You may want to set spans of graduation years to determine which types of content should be sent to different groups of potential donors or the channels and networks on which to run certain campaigns.
Vary Appeals and Engagement Methods
As the focus of alumni communication is primarily giving, it can be helpful to alternate between donation requests and informational or emotionally-oriented content. In other words, taking a moment to inform graduates with certain majors about relevant ongoing research in their field at an institution or sharing photos taken during annual events can keep alumni outreach fresh and effective over time.
Foster and Trace Alumni Affiliation Networks
Professional social media channels are particularly useful for maintaining current constituent records. These networks enable users to enter the colleges or graduate schools that they have attended. By comparing these records with entries in an alumni chapter database, it may be possible to maintain more accurate and up-to-date contact profiles.
These seven tips can direct alumni chapter stakeholders toward more effective email, text messaging and social media campaigns. The right raiser’s Edge integrations can make it easier to implement these best practices and raise more funding.