Donor Demographics are the Enemy of Equity
Alumni Aren't Lost & They Don't Need Greeters.
Not too long ago, a client asked me to create an age, gender, and race profile of alumni most likely to donate to the university. I refused. Why?
Because it is a self-perpetuating myth of the advancement profession’s own design that chasing demographics leads to increased alumni engagement and giving.
Raising Alumni Identity Raises Dollars - Series Finale
Recently, Walmart announced it is getting rid of its venerable welcome greeters. There are multiple facets to this change, and clear implications for real people and their jobs, but what interests me is the “why,” because therein lies a lesson for education fundraising.
Data-driven Prospect Discovery Needs to Include Graduate Feelings of Connection
The well-worn ruts in the advancement road are comfortable and difficult to leave behind.
Do you agree?
Enjoy the finale of my 6-part series on #AlumniIdentity with a look ahead to 21st-century alumni fundraising + take a chance at testing your own identity. Can it be used to predict your giving?
Black Holes and Myths in Alumni Fundraising
“Wealth screening is amazing at filling our donor pipeline!” – said no fundraiser ever.
When it comes to prospect discovery and pipeline development, no two strategies are as tried and tired as wealth screening and RFM models. Here’s a case study on how alumni identity - as both tactic and tool - blows everything out of the water when it comes to predicting giving.
Where Organizational Identity and Role Identity Meet
Fundraising strategies are often tripped up by the persistent myths and black holes that permeate higher education fundraising.
They grab hold of new and innovative ideas and suck them into oblivion.
If you're frustrated and looking for an escape route, here's a quick look at the new science that's opening new doors in the alumni fundraising conversation.
Meaningful Volunteer Experiences Are Best, But Far Too Few
What’s the difference between alumni role identity and organizational affiliation?
Dig in to the research behind role identity theory with guest author Dr. J. Travis McDearmon, whose seminal work on the topic disrupted the alumni fundraising paradigm.
Digital Engagement ≥ Event Engagement? Yes.
Volunteers care more about your institution than anyone else. And you have more volunteers out there than you think.
Research into alumni giving has revealed the secret sauce - it matters not how institutions view volunteering, but how alumni volunteers think of themselves and their alumni identity.
The Story Behind Giving Has Little to Do With 1s and 0s
When it comes to new ideas, higher education is on the bleeding edge in the classroom and noticeably behind in advancement. Need proof?
Are You Missing Advancement’s Most Important Metric?
Some say that predicting donor likelihood is the most important application of data science in higher education advancement.
I think it’s only the beginning.
Live from CASE/DRIVE: What is Alumni Identity?
As any mathematician will tell you, counting something simply confirms its existence—nothing more, nothing less. Why is it, then, that when it comes to engagement, advancement is so obsessed with counting things?
Alumni Role Identity: A New Way Into the Alumni/Donor Psyche
In this video, EverTrue CEO Brent Grinna caught up with Dr. Jay Le Roux Dillon at CASE/DRIVE to discuss Alumni Engagement trends in 2018 and Jay’s groundbreaking research into #AlumniIdentity.
Higher Education Fundraising and the Culture of Sameness: Busting 3 Massive Myths
Every graduate leaves their alma mater with a distinct impression of their time in school. Some will remember it fondly, others in a more negative light. At face value, there is probably little colleges and universities can do to change that impression post-graduation. But that hasn’t stopped institutions from trying and failing.
Alumni Engagement: What We’ve Gotten Wrong And How To Fix It
Alumni giving is crashing and the culture of sameness in advancement is partially to blame. Why? Because colleges and universities simply don’t know their alumni very well, and in the networked age – where the battle for attention is primary to everything else – higher education is woefully behind in being able to demonstrate post-graduation value to alumni.
At some level, every fundraiser knows that alumni engagement is an important driver of alumni giving. At the same time, the advancement profession seems perpetually perplexed by how to measure engagement and apply those measures to increase philanthropy. Why is that?