The initial episode of this series focused on quantitative and qualitative research tools. We discussed how to reveal actionable insights into the behavior of alumni audiences. In this episode, we’ll take a deep dive into a case study from the Annual Fund files. Learn from the annual fund at University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Hear how Chicago Booth used a survey to understand alumni satisfaction and connection to their alma mater. We’ll cover research design, findings, and how to make decisions based on data. We’ll discuss how satisfaction and connection influence financial giving. From there, we’ll take a look at what messaging frameworks and communications resonate with alumni.


This episode is sponsored by Constituent Research

Episode Host

Andrew Gossen

Andrew Gossen

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.


Mike Hanus

Mike founded Constituent Research LLC in 2014, after extensive experience managing and conducting research projects for colleges, universities, graduate school programs, and higher education firms and organizations.

Mike has designed and conducted projects across the constituent lifecycle from prospective students to current students, alumni, and donors. His clients include the University of Chicago, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Columbia University, and Tufts University, as well as several education-focused organizations and firms.

Mike previously worked as a research analyst and then an associate in Slover Linett Strategies’ higher education practice. He has also worked at Victoria University of Wellington New Zealand as a benchmarking and survey analyst and as a senior adviser in statistics to the New Zealand government. He has also worked in research management in the health care, financial services, and public relations sectors in both Chicago and New York City.

Mike can be contacted at


Adam Niermann

Adam is the director of leadership and annual giving at Chicago Booth. He has 15 years of experience in annual giving, beginning in medical center development and then higher ed. fundraising. Before coming to lead the Annual Fund efforts at Chicago Booth, he built and managed a team that focused on undergraduate young alumni giving at the College of the University of Chicago—raising alumni participation of the graduates of the last decade from 12 to 40 percent. He then went on to manage college reunion giving efforts and spent reunion weekend of every June traveling with the dean of the college to every reunion celebration party—beginning with the 50th reunion down to the 1st reunion at which point he would climb up on top of a bar to accept the over-sized reunion gift check from the gift chairs.

At Chicago Booth, Adam oversees direct mail, digital fundraising, reunion, and leadership giving teams. His charge at Booth is to double the size of yearly annual giving efforts from $5M to $10M by the end of the University comprehensive campaign, and a personal goal to close a $1M dollar Annual Fund gift.