For professionals in higher education, May brings commencement
and excitement, with students stepping out into the real world to take on great opportunities and become new alumni. As fundraising professionals, we must continue to develop relationships with our young alumni and cultivate them for future engagement with their alma mater.
Unlike prior generations, young alumni are looking for more personalized and customized levels of engagement. Leaders in advancement need to recalibrate their engagement strategies to appeal to young alumni and secure their loyalties. Establishing an emotional connection between your institution and a young alum is key to developing young alumni into future major gifts prospects. One way to engage young alumni in your university is by offering volunteer or mentoring opportunities, rather than soliciting them for a monetary gift.
Data on young alumni should be added and updated in your donor and alumni databases. If you have instituted senior gifts campaigns, this would be the time to note the allocation of these gifts in order to identify the alum's interests for future campaigns. According to the Education Advisory Board, you can gather data on alumni during commencement by leaving update postcards on graduation chairs, hosting a cap and gown pickup, and sending a post-graduation next-steps email. A complete list of different strategies for alumni and student data collection
can be found here
This past month, the USM Research Office's Prospect Researcher, Nell Walker attended APRA - DC's one-day annual conference. Stacy Palmer,
Editor of The Chronicle of Philanthropy, delivered the keynote address at the conference, which discussed the current environment of philanthropy and the impact of the new governmental administration on non-profits. Ms. Palmer referenced the "What Will Matter in 2017" report from
The Chronicle of Philanthropy, which focuses on new trends in nonprofits this year.
We wish you the best on your fundraising activities. As always, please feel free to reach out to us with questions, comments or any assistance with prospect research!
Sapna and USM Advancement Research Team