Raising Alumni Identity Raises Dollars: Series Finale

When alumni ask to be taken off a contact list, what are they really saying? “I don’t care about [school name] the way I used to.” The problem is, colleges and universities don’t listen. As a profession, higher education advancement is built on two ideas: (1) that all or most alumni have at least a […]

Alumni Identity: Meaningful Volunteer Experiences Are Best, But Far Too Few

Volunteers care more about your institution than anyone else. And you have more volunteers out there than you think. Research into alumni identity has confirmed what is already well established in the literature (seminal work by Weerts & Ronca, 2007, 2008) and in the day-to-day work of advancement shops across the country: alumni volunteers are […]

Alumni Identity: Digital Engagement ≥ Event Engagement? Yes.

When it comes to new ideas, higher education is on the bleeding edge in the classroom and noticeably behind in advancement. Need proof? Alumni participation in giving is half of what it was in 1990 (see CASE Currents, October, 2014). The first and second articles in this series on alumni identity challenged two of the […]

Alumni Identity: The Story Behind Giving Has Little to Do With 1s and 0s

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. In the first article of this series on Alumni Identity, we explored the ways in which counting alumni demographics or behaviors falls short of revealing how connected graduates feel to their […]

Are You Missing Advancement’s Most Important Metric?

I recently became a dad and have rediscovered the simple joy of counting with my son. Counting is easy. Counting is fun. Counting is satisfying. Counting is also elementary. It is not a means to an end nor representative of any particular outcome. As any mathematician will tell you, counting something simply confirms its existence—nothing […]