Higher Ed Institutions: Show Non-Alumni Some Love!

Oct 27, 2016

Pop Quiz:  What category of donors gives the most to Higher Education institutions?

If you guessed “alumni,” you’re close, but not close enough.

In a recent study by Council for Aid to Education (CAE), 28% of gifts to colleges and universities were given by foundations. Alumni gifts were close second at 27% which still makes them a critical group, but it’s the non-alumni population that is the interesting part of the story. Non-alumni is a fairly broad group, but current parents are a large percent I would imagine that most advancement professionals might review the latest numbers and think “those are folks that give to other institutions, but my college is different.” Gifts to the top 17 universities account for only 1% of the total number of colleges and universities and represents about 25% of total giving. However, that’s no reason for the other 99% of Higher Education institutions not to learn a few lessons.

Start by asking yourself, who’s in your database? If most of the constituents in your database are alumni, consider that 20% of gifts to Higher Education institutions came from non-alumni last year:

Voluntary Support of Higher Education 2015

Source: Council for Aid to Education

Next, think about your marketing efforts, which usually start with constituent records in The Raiser’s Edge. Are you appealing to non-alumni or other individuals with affinity to your institution?  If they are not in RE, it’s awfully difficult to segment, create an appeal, or even begin your efforts. Many colleges and universities tend to just import recent graduates. If you’re in that category, ask yourself – why?

Omatic Software has the tools available to enhance your fundraising efforts. With ImportOmatic, you can import incoming freshman and current parents, as well as the parental relationships such as their employment information. List Management, a module for ImportOmatic, allows you to contain lists of non-alumni (applicants, event attendees, graduate parents, season ticket holders, etc.) within RE as non-constituents. 

With ScoreOmatic, you can assign affinity scores to prospects so you can see where to best focus your fundraising efforts. Our consultant team can use these tools, along with tried-and-true best practices, to help you develop a strategic fundraising method so you can bring your institution into the top 1%.

Want to learn more about these products or our strategic higher education fundraising consulting? Contact Omatic Software today!

Raiser’s Edge™ is a trademark of Blackbaud, Inc.

Omatic Software
Omatic Software is dedicated to integrating disparate systems and democratizing data access for today’s nonprofits. Founded in 2002, Omatic has worked with thousands of nonprofits globally to remove their data barriers by integrating systems and enabling nonprofit teams to leverage their donor data rather than be burdened by it. The Omatic team has one goal – unleashing the power of data to show a complete view of your donor, enabling data-driven decision making and opportunity creation for your organization.