The Newest Trend in Advancement Is Here. This Is Why You Should Be Part of It.

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Just like any other field, advancement is constantly changing with the times. As we saw at this year’s ARPA MARC, many advancement teams are starting to look to new technologies to enhance their prospect research. At the forefront of these new technologies are social networks, which are becoming increasingly important for donor data collection as institutions seek to ramp up fundraising.

Harnessing the power of social and other tech means taking an integrated approach—using many industry-leading platforms rather than relying on legacy databases—and will help nonprofits catch up to for-profit effectiveness. As we approach the advancement office of 2015, it will only become more imperative for advancement teams to “think outside their databases.”

Although nonprofits aren’t there just yet, another type of integration is happening in advancement offices across the country, and it’s just as noteworthy. In a job market that puts a premium on networking (70% of jobs are found through networking), forward-thinking institutions like Amherst College, Colgate University, and Williams College have taken steps to better connect students with job opportunities.

How? By leveraging the resources of the advancement office. With extensive alumni data and meaningful connections with those alumni, advancement teams can be an asset to university career centers hoping to grow their students’ networks. This has prompted many schools to combine their career centers with their development offices.

Let’s take a look at Amherst’s success:  After the school aligned its career center with advancement, the career center held an event for students to meet with alums working at J.P. Morgan. Thanks to the advancement office’s relationship with those alums, Amherst planned the event in a mere two months. That was four months faster than the career center could have planned the event without advancement!

Career services isn’t the only beneficiary in the relationship, however. By working closely with the career center, your advancement team gets closer in to the needs of career services and the students it serves—ultimately giving development officers a clearer idea of where they should be focusing their fundraising asks. For instance, if the career center is looking to jumpstart an internship grant program, officers can talk about that initiative when out on the road soliciting funds.

All in all, the union of advancement and career services has been a big win for both sides. When a student lands a job because of a networking opportunity provided by your institution, s/he will attribute that success to your school and be more likely to give back in the future.

Has your institution made the move? Haven’t connected your advancement team with career services yet (but now you’re intrigued)? Either way, you’ll want the most accurate alumni data you can get. Learn how our EverTrue app can help you gather that up-to-date information and surface valuable networking opportunities for your alumni.

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