Sponsored Post

This post is written by Mallory Wood, at Sizzler, iModules User Conference.

Why do you need to measure alumni engagement?

DePauw created an Alumni Engagement Index (AEI) because:

  • Idea came out of benchmarking they did at the beginning of their campaign and a change in leadership.
  • “Did we have a good year?”
    • This question is sometimes tricky when you work in Alumni Engagement. DePauw had anecdotal evidence but no data.
  • ROI/Goal-setting in general

Alumni Engagement Index:

  • Track each action and unique individually engaged alumni
  • Data is stored in main alumni database
  • AEI is tabulated monthly: this was new for DePauw in the 2015-2016 fiscal year.
    • In previous years it was a heavy lift to calculate AEI and therefore it was only done a few times a year. Now DePauw can measure monthly. This allows them to be more nimble and respond to the data quickly.
  • Four categories
    • Go: attendance at events
    • Give: any fight to any fund during fiscal year
    • Help: alumni who volunteer to assist with admissions, career services class programs
    • Connect: online actions, feedback, class notes

“Go” Category

  • Broken down into several event subcategories
  • Old Gold (homecoming)
  • Monon Bell Telecast Parties
  • Monon Bell ticket sales
  • Regional Events
  • Virtual Alumni College
    • Free live streamed events featuring faculty members who are experts in current events
    • Use iModules to manage registration
  • Alumni Reunion Weekend
    • 5-day program
  • Other Events (athletic team reunions, legacy)
  • Most events are powered by Encompass
  • All event attendees get exported and loaded into main database monthly

“Give” Category

  • All alumni who make a fist tony fund during the fiscal year
  • For the purposes of the AEI, pledges don’t count
  • Only category where number of actions is not tracked

“Help” Category

  • Admissions
    • Prospective student recommendations
    • College Fair rep
    • Host an event or attend an event
  • Hubbard Center for Student Engagement
    • Intern or job shadow host
    • Career Fair rep
    • Speakers and programs
  • Alumni Engagement volunteers
    • Regional Chapter Leaders
    • Class and reunion volunteers
    • Board members
  • Admissions and Hubbard Center provide us with data
  • Support staff does “coding and loading” in real time

“Connect” Category

  • iModules profile activation
  • EverTrue download/account activation
  • EverTrue profile update
  • Class Notes submissions
  • Feedback
  • Social Media Interaction
    • Just the “DePauw Alumni” channels; Facebook likes, comments, shares and Twitter favorites and retweets
    • Alumni Engagement intern looks at each post and compiles list of alumni engaging there
  • Data exported monthly from iModules and EverTrue and stores in main database; Class Notes and Feedback loaded in real time

Results

To measure results DePauw created a spreadsheet based on their four categories, the activities that fall into each section, results, goal, and % to goal.

  • Exceeded goal of total alumni activities
  • Exceeded goal for overall AEI

Alumni Affinity Scores

  • Homegrown predictive modeling using data already stores in alumni records for AEI
  • 5 year look-back
  • Calculated at the end of each fiscal year using data from that year and previous four years
  • Alumni records are loaded with a score for each of the four categories and an overall affinity score
  • iModules has a tool that will do this for you!

Challenges

  • Building the infrastructure
  • Campus partners who own the data you need
  • Tracking apples to apples
  • Temptation to throw the baby out with the bathwater

Presented by Lindsay Carter, Director of Alumni Engagement for Campus and Regional Programs, DePauw University

 

Article Author

Mallory Wood

Mallory Wood

Producer
Director of Marketing, mStoner Inc.

Mallory Wood brings over nine years of marketing, digital, and undergraduate enrollment experience to mStoner. Mallory is responsible for mStoner’s marketing strategy, works with clients to develop social media strategies, and manages EDUniverse Media.