How to Track Alumni for Fundraisers

Jun 18

Alumni relations, like your typical sales job, is hard work with a long sales cycle. The customer is a wealthy alumnus and the product you're selling is the good feeling of supporting their alma mater. It's not easy.

One way to improve your results is to make sure that your alumni database is updated with the latest employment information. Don't let it fall through the cracks! This data would include:

  • Latest job
  • Current email
  • Current title
  • Current company

If an alumnus leaves a job in engineering to become a CEO of a funded startup, that prospect suddenly becomes a lot more valuable. They move from being on the automated outreach list to the personal phone call list.

In fact, these job change triggers can be used to begin to build out a relationship rather than going in straight for the ask.

Let's take that new CEO for example.

You work in alumni relations and get an alert from Live Data that someone in your database has become a new CEO. You do a bit of research on the company, find out who the funders are, how many employees they have, and how much money was raised. Then you reach out to their new email address with a simple message like this:

Congrats! I just saw the news. Acme, Inc. looks like a terrific company and growth opportunity. It's always exciting for us to see our alumni put their degrees to great use. Perhaps you can come back to campus to speak? We're hosting an event in a few months.

Etc, etc. Sales is ultimately about building relationships. Reach out long before you make the ask for the recurring donation. Job change triggers are a great way to strike up a new conversation with a potentially lucrative alumnus.

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