Situation

  • A private University wanted to facilitate stronger relationships between the alumni and the University. The Advancement executives aspired to understand the trusted networks among their alumni in an effort to prioritize resource allocation based on the level of peer-to-peer influence. Their goal focused on nurturing the relationships of Alumni Leaders to improve alumni involvement and support, reach new donors, institutionalize best practices and recruit the right alumni leadership.

Solution

  • Using a sophisticated program of direct communication, technology with organizational network and mathematics, Community Analytics® reached out to a community of University alumni from select regions across the country. The group was interviewed to determine whom they continue to remain in contact with from the University. Names, locations, and class years were matched against the University database to obtain an accurate means of tracking each member’s network of trusted relationships. With this information, Community Analytics identified, evaluated, and profiled the Alumni Leaders within the population. In addition to determining the relationship dynamics, networks were overlaid with alumni satisfaction scores to give further community insight.

Community Dynamics

  • Thousands of University alumni participated in the network research and 114 were identified by their peers as Alumni Leaders; 81 members provided a significant number of connections between their fellow alumni, placing them in a critical network position.

Results

  • 39% of alumni were interested in becoming more involved with the University, many of whom were also identified as Alumni Leaders.
  • Alumni Leaders typically reached between 40 and 140 fellow alumni within three degrees of interaction.
  • 66% of high ranking donor’s connections are with low-ranking donors or non-givers.
  • Long lasting friendships are formed in a variety of settings, including classes, athletics, and dorm life.

Success

  • Alumni are able to support their alma mater in the ways that mean the most to them
  • Alumni are able to reconnect with friends who meant a lot to them; but with whom they had lost touch over the years.
  • Alumni feel a much stronger connection to their alma mater because the University has the knowledge necessary to provide the resources and events that mean the most to their alumni.
  • Alumni feel a stronger connection to their alma mater because the University now understands that it is the people who build the connection to the Institution and not the other way around.
  • Alumni are more likely to recommend the University to their friends and family because the University is now connecting with them in a more meaningful way.

Client Testimonial

  • “We’ve been aware of the significant role of networks among our alumni, but before now had no way of identifying them. Community Analytics’ approach makes sense – a tighter link between Development and Alumni Relations and a proven understanding of alumni influencers and their specific connections.  The results were illuminating – confirming some of our old assumptions, but enlightening us to information about how our alumni perceive our institution now and identifying new names of alumni that were heretofore not involved in the University.  The project has enabled us to begin to implement a targeted approach rather than relying on methods which may leave a large portion of the alumni community disengaged.” ~ VP of University Advancement