Customer Stories:

Santa Clara University identifies six-figure donors, engages more alumni with EverTrue


Santa Clara University (SCU) is a private, Jesuit university in Santa Clara, California. SCU has 5,400 undergraduate students and 3,300 graduate students. The advancement team uses Blackbaud CRM to store constituent data on nearly 100,000 Bronco alumni.

The Challenge:

SCU’s advancement team is focused on increasing donations and growing its donor base by strengthening prospect and alumni engagement. They are especially focused on prospect discovery in order to bring new leadership donors into the fold.

Why evertrue:

With Santa Clara focused on finding new donors and building a portfolio of engaged alumni, EverTrue has been essential in unearthing new prospects and rediscovering socially engaged alumni around the country.

The results:

Increased efficiency on the road, leading to more alumni event attendance and at least two additional qualification visits every trip.

By looking for current donors with C-Level job titles on LinkedIn who were also engaged on Facebook, Santa Clara found a new donor to sign a $100k scholarship endowment.

Used updated career information to identify a prospect, leading to a $500K charitable trust to support MBA students.

EverTrue is a powerful trip-planning, prospect discovery tool

“[Gift Officers] have their anchor visits and prospects, then they find other people through EverTrue to fill in their calendar… It's really helping us with moves management. We’re getting people that are stale or cold out of portfolios and moving new prospects in.”

The full story:

SCU has improved their trip planning to include a minimum of two additional prospect visits each trip, usually with previously untapped and unengaged constituents. They’re harnessing the power of Facebook engagement data, LinkedIn career and location data, Zillow data, and other information available from EverTrue, combined with the data from their Blackbaud CRM.

As a result, the office has been able to secure two six-figure gifts in rapid succession from donors that had not been on their radar before appearing in an EverTrue search. “We just used EverTrue on an alumni trip to Hawaii and found instantaneous information that we could use to contact people directly…. It was so much quicker and more effective.”says Ellen Lynch, Director of Development at SCU School of Law.

Santa Clara finds these constituents in EverTrue by searching through existing, unassigned donors with executive-level or C-suite positions on LinkedIn along with high levels of Facebook engagement. These metrics suggest that the prospect may have a high level of affinity for SCU, as well as a high capacity to give.

A community of philanthropy

In addition to using EverTrue to improve trip planning and increase the number of major gifts, the team at SCU has used Facebook insights to build alumni affinity groups, identify new volunteers, cultivate potential donors, and develop a more connected alumni community. For example, Lydia’s team uses social media engagement data to gauge which initiatives constituents might be interested in supporting, then tailors outreach accordingly. 

Their goal is not just to raise more dollars, but to communicate better with alumni by sharing recent campus events and solidifying their connection to the institution. Santa Clara is using modern tools to get back to the roots of university advancement: building and sustaining relationships that improve students’ lives.

“When you look at the Facebook insights, you can really gauge interest. You can see patterns and see, ‘Oh, is this somebody that I can identify as a volunteer or as an influencer.’ They’re not just a donor— it's beyond that. It's like building a whole community of philanthropy.”