Article Author

Ryan Catherwood

Ryan Catherwood

Higher Ed Live blogger and Former Host of Advancement Live
Assistant VP for Alumni and Career Services, Longwood University

Ryan Catherwood is the Assistant VP for Alumni and Career Services at Longwood University. Prior to joining Longwood, he was the Director of Digital Strategy in the University Advancement office at the University of Virginia. His work is dedicated to strategies that utilize events, crowdsourcing, inbound and content marketing, email marketing and social media community management in order to drive alumni and student engagement, participation, connections, networking, volunteerism and giving at Longwood University.

  • Thanks Ryan for sharing your insight on this topic. Really helpful. In general, would you say the IT budgets for solving alumni fundraising / engagement issues is decreasing? Also, you mentioned the $10K ceiling, is this the cost amount with which you do not have to chase VP’s and Dept. Heads for approval? Or you still need their approval but it’s easier?

    • Ryan Catherwood

      I don’t think budgets are decreasing. I think they are increasing slowly. But overall budgets aren’t growing, so money is being reallocated. So much money is needed to support regional engagement – staff, travel and underwriting events that first and foremost, technology or web redesign must continue to support the overall effort of event marketing. I think my own budget could potentially absorb a $10K purchase of new technology and still provide me the flexibility I need, and I wouldn’t have to work to pull from other departments.

      • Thanks. I agree with you that technology plays a supporting role. In reference to your second point (adoption success pricing model), would you price this in terms of total pageviews for example? If so, how many page views does your current engagement effort generate?

  • Thanks Ryan! I liked your thoughts regarding engaged constituents on a new platform, its association with the same ID numbers you have in the central fundraising database. It really makes easier for us to track digital engagement at the individual level.

    Thomas Stroup ( ceo: http://academic-writing.org )