Advancement 101 says capacity tends to concentrate in older alumni — those who still value handwritten notes and enjoy telling stories about the campus before air-conditioning. If higher capacity skews to older generations that did not grow up in the Internet Age, do these high-capacity alumni choose to engage with an institution online?
We wanted to find out.
Capture Higher Ed is uniquely able to match giving history to alumni behaviors across an institution’s entire web presence. We can do this by identifying and monitoring alumni checking sports scores online, registering for alumni chapter events, reading articles in the online newsletter, visiting the planned giving website or any of the myriad of alumni engagement points online.
Aggregating six months of behavioral data from across university advancement, our data scientists were able to offer a glimpse into how alumni engagement translates into actual major gifts.
Of course, major gift and leadership giving levels are unique to institutions. The chart above can be used to customize outcomes. When you generalize $5,000 to $24,999 as leadership capacity, almost 20 percent of alumni identified online meet leadership capacity scores. Generalizing a major gift as $25,000 or greater, almost 15 percent of alumni identified online meet major gift capacity rankings.
Combining the two shows that roughly a third of alumni identified online meet generally accepted leadership and major gift capacity rankings.
Behind the Data
Demographic trends in the data provide additional insight into these results. Going back to Advancement 101 that capacity tends to concentrate in older alumni, more than 50 percent of alumni identified online graduated before 1985.
Are you surprised that older alumni are online? So are most institutions. More than half of leadership and major gift prospects who are identified online are relationships not currently being managed.
How active are these high-capacity alumni prospects? On average, the same leadership and major gift prospects defined by the institution visited 17 times over the last six months — nearly once a week. That’s active.
The chart above may look like a donor pyramid, but it is much more. Behind each bar of the graph are the names, giving histories, affinity scores and individual points of affinity for every identified alumni at each level.
Are you interested in learning more about how your team can receive and use this intelligence? Learn about Capture Behavioral Engagement, our marketing automation specifically designed for higher education by clicking the button below.
By Kevin Bauman, Director of Philanthropic Initiatives, Capture Higher Ed