Developing Online Relationships to Increase Average Gift

Recent research by the labs team at Capture Higher Ed is shedding new light on the value of alumni engagement online. We first learned that alumni and friends who visit their university’s website are 4x more likely to give to the institution. But, to get a real understanding of the value of online relationships, the following question must be answered: Are they likely to give more?

In short, yes.

Average Gift

Aggregating the last six months of behavioral data from across Capture’s advancement division — identifying and monitoring alumni checking sports scores online, registering for events, reading articles, visiting specific pages in the website or any of the other engagement points — provides the first glimpse into how alumni engagement translates into actual philanthropy.

We found that an average gift to the current campaign —whether made online, over the phone, in the mail or from a major gift donor — is almost 10% higher if an alum is engaged online ($1,080 average gift of all online visitors vs. $973 overall).

To get the full picture, the mean, median and mode are provided below for all alumni who were identified online and made a gift to the current campaign:

Average Gifts

If the most common gift is $100, then why is the average gift $1,080? Simply put, high capacity donors have a relationship with the institution online. More than 60 percent of all alumni identified online meet leadership or major gift criteria as defined by the institution. These gifts skew the average gift higher ($1,080) than the most common gift ($100).

Half of alumni identified online have not given to the current campaign. However, previous analysis shows they are 4x more likely to give. And now know they are more likely to give at higher amounts — not just online — but across all solicitation channels. Strategies to identify and engage alumni with online relationships create the opportunity to focus resources on non-donors, lapsed and major gift prospects with a higher likelihood of participation and increased average gift giving.

If you want more information about identifying alumni on your site or strategies to develop meaningful relationships with alumni online, please take a few minutes to learn more about  our marketing automation, Capture Behavioral Engagement.Average GiftsBy Kevin Bauman, Director of Philanthropic Initiatives, Capture Higher Ed