Category Archives for Higher Education

Alumni Engagement in The Age of Digital Fundraising

As colleges continue to graduate more students and have larger alumni pools, transitioning younger alumni into givers continues to be a challenge.

As reported by Blackbaud in their publication entitled 2016 donorCentrics Annual Report on Higher Education Alumni Giving, “as has been the case in nearly every year in recent history, alumni participation rates continue to decline in general, with the median for private universities slipping another percentage point to 18% and the public universities median also dropping one percent to 5%.”

To reverse the trends of 2016, public and private schools will really need to rethink strategies for reactivating lapsed donors and acquiring more new alumni donors.

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The Role of Brand Identity for Colleges and Universities

This article has been edited and updated to reflect current nonprofit marketing strategies.

In March 2015, Sweet Briar College in Virginia announced that it would officially close at the end of the school year due to financial problems. Reaching this difficult decision clearly came from a multitude of complicated factors. However, in an article posted on Inside Higher Ed titled “Marketing Lessons from Sweet Briar,” author Robert Moore looks critically at Sweet Briar College’s situation, comparing them to similar institutions that have continued to be successful despite dealing with the same struggles. Moore is president and CEO of Lipman Hearne, a marketing and communications firm. He says, “No matter the answer, it seems obvious to an outside observer that Sweet Briar could have taken greater advantage of fundamental marketing principles and more effective student recruitment strategies as administrators considered this decision.” Read the whole article here.

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Engaging Your Generation Y Alumni

This article has been edited and updated to reflect current nonprofit marketing strategies.

Generation Y, or the Millennial generation, is frequently a major topic in discussions of business, marketing, and selling. For good reason—Millennials are the biggest demographic in the United States, with a total market size of 75.7 million. Thus, they are a huge section of all consumers, which is why we have also already discussed strategies for marketing to millennials.

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How to Increase Public Awareness for Your School

In a previous blog post, we discussed why a blog is an essential marketing asset for any company or institution. In fact, nearly 40% of U.S. organizations use blogs for marketing purposes, and organizations that blog have 55% more website visitors.

In particular, blogging plays an important role in marketing for higher education, especially for attracting students to your school. Prospective students do a majority of their college research online, so an interesting, informative blog on your school’s website will help your school attract website traffic and increase public awareness for your school. The more content-rich pages you create through your blog, the better the chance is that your website will rank higher in search results.

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Brand Identity for Colleges, Send the Right Message to Students

A brand identity is the representation of a company’s (or organization’s or institution’s) reputation through the conveyance of attributes, values, purpose, strengths, and passions.

The importance of brand identity is becoming increasingly important to higher education institutions, especially in the area of admissions and enrollment.

As prospective students research your school, they only know what they find online or what they hear from others.

Thus, your school’s central message should be clear to everyone.

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Alumni Outreach in the Age of Inbound Marketing

According to The council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the guiding principles of alumni outreach programs must be to respect, inform, and involve alumni.

In the age of social media, could colleges benefit from better alumni outreach efforts that embrace new methodologies for maximum impact?The answer to that question is a resounding “yes”.

Maintaining viable communication with alumni is the cornerstone of any outreach program.

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What are Some Strategies to Convert Alumni to Donors?

The reality facing universities and colleges is the cost associated with providing a quality education without passing all of those costs on to students.

What are some nonprofit marketing strategies to convert alumni to donors?

How can colleges create opportunities for incoming students without pricing willing students out of the college opportunity and experience?

In most instances, public colleges and universities cannot expect to receive more money from state legislatures, and if they do, it usually isn’t enough to keep up with increasing costs.

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Attracting Millennial Students to Your School

As you engineer a strategy for attracting millennial students to your school and consider prospective students for your school, what do your applicants look like? It is important to fully understand your target audience as you do your marketing for admissions. Remember that most of your prospective students are still part of the Generation Y/Millennial Generation, as they mark the last birth years of this generation.gen-y-filling-shoes

We have previously discussed marketing to millennials. Millennials are technically the demographic following Generation X, which is the generation born after the World War II baby boomer generation. The generally-accepted birth years range from early 1980’s to the early 2000’s.

They can be difficult to market to because they constitute a varied group of individuals. However, some helpful tips include:

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Alumni Giving From 2014: What It Means For Year-End Strategies

As the fiscal year for colleges and universities approaches its close, fundraising shifts its focus to year-end appeals. These appeals are a top priority for every institution because the funds are able to be used immediately to address the areas of greatest need at the college or university. In order to better understand what to expect for alumni donations and participation this year, it is important to look at last year’s numbers on giving trends for college alumni for a guide.

It may seem surprising, but in 2014, alumni giving was the highest it has ever been.

The Chronicle of Higher Education published a report earlier this year from a survey released by the Council for Aid to Education, which said that charitable giving to American colleges and universities has reached a historic high for the second straight year. That is a “10.8-percent increase in giving since last year—the largest gain since 2000.”

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Why Colleges and Universities Should Start Using Inbound Marketing

Marketing for higher education has always been a tough battle. In recent years, however, it has become even more difficult as audiences use an ever-growing number of communication channels and traditional marketing techniques become ineffective. This is where inbound marketing comes into play. We’ve already covered the basics of inbound marketing here, and now it’s time to apply it to higher education.
Instead of selling a college or university education through traditional advertising methods that you push out to a target audience, you produce and publish a range of content that people want to find—because it provides real value to them and meets their immediate needs. Inbound means you are marketing with a magnet—attracting your audience by offering them what they are looking for in the form of great, relevant content. Then you distribute the content to make it available for them to find and learn from.

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