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University Fundraising Targets Alumni Donations Through Direct Marketing

The recent economic downturn has impacted the fundraising community drastically. One of the hardest hit groups is the university market. While most schools rely on alumni for fundraising, it has become increasingly difficult for schools to acquire the money needed for programming. Attracting new donors and maintaining those from years past requires creative thinking and innovative channels. One means to raise money through alumni fundraising is to partner with a direct marketing agency. This allows the institution more time to focus on education than fundraising.

Donor Expectations

One advantage to university fundraising is that every student that attends the school is well aware of the importance of alumni donations. Beneficiaries are regularly announced in university newsletters and reported in campus newspapers. New buildings and facilities donated by alumni are well publicized, and students know that when they graduate, they too will be asked to make donations to the school. They expect to receive phone calls or direct mail solicitations asking for financial assistance. When it happens, they often feel obligated to help, even if it is only a small amount. Having their name listed in various publications or on plaques and even buildings is a status symbol that carries with it a special significance.

Building a Database

Reaching out to graduates and long-time students of schools is a momentous task, as the list of potential donors grows each year. Keeping track of the school’s database is difficult, especially with graduates that tend to move frequently within the first five years of finishing school. Maintaining names, addresses and telephone numbers is crucial to future donor lists as well. Once an alum has been lost from the contact list, it will be difficult to get them back. Fewer contacts means fewer donors. Fewer احسن جامعه فى مصر donors means less money. As a result, universities and schools partnering with a company that has the means to contact alumni quickly and track down current addresses through email, telephone or direct mail and keep and maintain an active database relieves the school of the time-consuming task. This allows resources to be spent elsewhere.

Strategy and Program Development

There are several methods that universities can use to increase fundraising, although not all of them have been successful over the past few years. Alumni communications that work include using a direct marketing agency to develop a strategy for positioning development, data acquisition and analysis, development and management of the school’s alumni database, and contact of these people. Program development from an agency might entail creative and segmentation strategies, development of the message, media planning and channel strategies.

Making it Work