Institutional advancement in higher education is heading into a period of change. We’re facing increasing competition for the attention of our audience, both from other non-profits and an ever-expanding array of marketing and entertainment content. Our audience itself is changing. It’s increasingly global, diverse, and among, the youngest generation, shell-shocked by poor employment prospects and debt incurred from student loans. Moreover, it’s an audience that’s spending a growing portion of its time online.

Put all of this together, and it’s clear that we can’t take anything about institutional advancement for granted.Some of the engagement and fundraising strategies that have served our institutions well for decades still work well, but others are becoming less effective. At the same time, the emergence of large communities of alumni online, as well as tools that engage those communities (e.g. SocialToaster, USEED, Evertrue’s mobile networking platform), is opening up a new range of possibilities for mobilizing alumni on behalf of our institutions and each other.

We need to understand the trends that are shaping our environment. We need to know what’s still working well and what’s losing traction. We need to know about innovations inside and outside of higher ed that we may be able to adopt or adapt. With Advancement Live, we’re going to feature topics that will help Advancement professionals focus on the issues that matter and face both challenges and opportunities proactively. This is the beginning of a conversation that’s going to be both interesting and a lot of fun.

Please join us on Tuesdays at 1:00 p.m. Eastern!

 

Article Author

Andrew Gossen

Andrew Gossen

Host of Advancement Live
Executive Director of Digital, Cornell University

Andrew is a social media strategist/social anthropologist with a strong alumni relations background who is interested in the intersection between community, communication, and technology. His goal is to capitalize on the opportunities offered by emerging technologies, mobile and social, to advance organizational goals by enhancing connectedness and engagement between constituents and organizations, as well as among the constituents themselves. Andrew has a strong track record of recognizing emerging opportunities, mobilizing support for pilot projects and integrating successful experiments into organizational structure and strategy.