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Alumni engagement is a perennial concern among higher education advancement professionals—and for good reason: a strong program can not only sustain your institution's annual fund over the long term, it can also help build your major donor pipeline and provide your school with some of its most effective volunteers.

Although institutions of every stripe would stand to benefit from engaging their alumni more effectively, the challenges of building support among alumni are of particular relevance to small and mid-size liberal arts colleges. These institutions’ strengths and weaknesses present them with a unique set of opportunities and challenges.

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Higher Education News, Fundraising Tips, Campbell & Company Research Findings, Fundraising

With the country at nearly full employment, hiring managers are feeling the pinch of a tight workforce. Traditionally, higher employment signals accelerated turnover and more spirited bidding for top talent.

Even in less competitive talent environments, nonprofits have faced significant challenges in hiring experienced fundraisers for more than a decade. As philanthropic revenues become more important to the success of all organizations, higher education institutions have set ambitious goals for comprehensive campaigns that require large teams of effective fundraisers.

Higher Education News, Talent Management, Talent Management Strategies, Campbell & Company Research Findings, Executive Search, Fundraising

 Between 2000 and 2010, parent giving to colleges and universities rose nearly 50 percent.[1] As this trend continues to gain momentum, higher education institutions are searching for best practices to engage parents and capitalize on this growing revenue stream. As of 2013, more than 500 colleges and universities across the U.S. have parent programs, 82 percent of which carry out active fundraising—a dramatic increase from just 44 percent in 2003. A great deal of these programs are quite new with many being less than 10 years old[2]; however, as with all philanthropic initiatives, understanding your donor base and building relationships are at the core of successful parent engagement.

Nonprofit Trends, Higher Education News, Fundraising Tips

Earlier this year, I wrote a post about recent mega-gifts to higher education institutions, urging colleges and universities of all sizes to recognize the potential for transformative gifts and plan accordingly. To follow up, I’m digging into a topic related to building long-term relationships with major donors: alumni engagement metrics. How do we measure engagement levels and assign scores to alumni that will help us prioritize prospects and predict future major—or even mega—gifts?

Higher Education News, Fundraising

In the summer of 2016, we launched a study to explore emerging best practices in international fundraising among universities, colleges, and independent schools. Educational institutions have experienced a dramatic uptick in international student enrollment over the past few decades. This trend continues to grow, with the number of international students in the U.S. reaching a record high of 1,043,839 in the 2015-2016 academic year.[1]

Higher Education News, Independent Schools, Campbell & Company Research Findings, Fundraising, West Region

Academic institutions have experienced a dramatic increase in matriculation of students from
around the world as our economy and society have globalized in the last few decades. According to the Open Doors Report on International Exchange, the number of international students in the U.S. reached a record high of 1,043,839 in the 2015-2016 academic year.[1]

Nonprofit Trends, Higher Education News, Independent Schools, Fundraising Tips, Campbell & Company Research Findings, West Region

January was a banner month for mega-gifts to U.S. universities. In the span of a week, three large gifts made headlines:

Nonprofit News, Higher Education News, Fundraising Tips

According to Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy, 2015 set a record as America’s most generous year in philanthropy with a total of $373.25 billion, a direct reflection of both economic improvement and the dedication of philanthropists driving Americans to record levels of giving.

Nonprofit Trends, Nonprofit News, Higher Education News, Giving USA, Fundraising