Up until earlier this year, engagement has meant tailgates, alumni happy hours, professional development workshops, and other in-person events. Digital programs were a rarity, an afterthought, a side-of-desk activity for busy event planners. All of that got turned on its head in March of this year. COVID-19 forced an abrupt pivot and, as a result, pushed alumni engagement strategy years into the future.
EAB surveyed independent school advancement and development leaders to get insights into the impact that the economic slowdown is having on their philanthropic returns. Read on for takeaways from the survey findings.
While most gift officers transitioned fairly seamlessly into virtual visits—and many extended their reach to prospects they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to see—advancement leaders are nevertheless bracing for this virtual cultivation to fail to translate into proposals across the next year.
The novel coronavirus’s arrival has put an end to the party. Many advancement leaders are now facing a stark reality in which they will have to curtail their operations and cut back on their budgets.
Alumni relations and fundraising have been turned upside down by the pandemic. Alumni are looking for career networks and informal and virtual opportunities to connect with old friends, not nostalgic on-campus experiences. Hear innovative strategies to stay relevant to alumni from Longwood University AVP Alumni & Career Services—and host of the Advancement Legends podcast—Ryan Catherwood.
EAB researchers assembled three examples of how independent schools have shifted their approach to alumni engagement.
We believe several of the innovations related to digital engagement are here to stay, and will be a necessary component of events strategy, relationship building, and alumni outreach. See examples of how independent schools are already adapting to changes.
We assembled four key strategies that can increase fundraiser efficiency and productivity, both during COVID and beyond.
Higher education fundraising is poised for a dramatic drop that will rival or exceed decreases seen during the Great Recession.
Many advancement leaders know this is a vital time to steward donors in a way that builds and solidifies relationships. It is crucial that donors are hearing from us and feel supported and appreciated during these challenging times