Engaging Alumni Early Through Crowdfunding
Not all engagement is created equal
Engagement drives alumni giving- but it has to be the right kind of engagement. Tuck University is an industry leader in alumni giving with first year giving rates of 90%. Their secret is engaging alumni before they graduate by providing them opportunities to connect directly with alumni through events, cocktail parties, and board appointments. Tuck’s success stems from recognizing two drivers of alumni giving: engagement needs to begin early while alumni are still students, and engagement is not about connecting students to the institution but about connecting students to fellow alumni.
Post-secondary crowdfunding platforms provide institutions the opportunity to leverage these two drivers: they enable proactive engagement with students and they connect alumni, not with the institution itself, but with the students that constitute the institution.
When students create their campaign they will do so with the aid of the office in charge of advancement. The office will then help facilitate a connection between the campaign and the institution’s dedicated alumni network. With minimal effort, the office in charge of engagement will have provided the relevant students with direct value, the significance of which will foster deep affinity between the institution the soon to be alum.
Get them Connected
Traditional fundraising involves connecting alumni to the institution itself. This practice can drive prospective donors away as they feel ‘distant’ from the impact of their donation. Stanford conducted a focus group study on changing alumni attitudes from which one attendee poignantly stated “we give where our (sometimes limited) dollars will have the greatest effect”..
Post-secondary crowdfunding platforms connect donors directly to where their dollars will have an impact. They provide otherwise hesitant alumni with the means to be inspired to give as they can see the direct impact their donation will have on the campaigner.