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An alumni engagement program is a powerful tool for universities, colleges, high schools, and other educational institutions.  Influential alumni can help higher education institutions on a variety of fronts, from fundraising and admissions to graduate and athletic programs. To help you take your school’s alumni engagement program to the next level, we’ve put together some of the most eye-opening alumni engagement statistics out there.

These numbers provide an excellent benchmark for your own program to determine where you’re hitting the mark and where you should be investing your time and energy to improving engagement levels.

15 Telling Alumni Engagement Statistics

1) 90% of alumni organizations choose not to offer alumni benefits, or who report they see little or no engagement from the benefits they do offer.

2) 87% of alumni professionals report they need to improve member engagement.

3) 74% of donors/members appreciate some form of personal “thank you” for their gift or membership.

4) Only 19% of alumni report an organization’s representatives made them feel recognized. 

5) 60% of organizations have seen alumni opt-out rates (alumni requesting not to be contacted) increase or not improve.

6) 10.3% is the average institutional opt-out or “churn” rate.

7) 80% of alumni organizations report that “blogs, social media, and e-newsletters” have the most impact on alumni engagement.

8) 78% of alumni state they would rather be able to access their alumni benefits online, versus 22% who prefer to receive their benefits by mail.

9) 75% of surveyed alumni or constituents state that they would be more likely to engage with their organization if the benefits information were mobile-friendly.

10) 100% of alum surveyed viewed an email, phone call, or direct mail piece from their alma mater as an ask for money BEFORE they engaged in the communication. 

11) 15 is the approximate number of times an organization must contact an existing member during a year, to see overall member renewal rates increase year-over-year. 

12) 80% of Millennials make charitable contributions each year.

13) 75% of Millennials are more likely to give to a cause than to their alma mater.

14) 34% of Millennials don’t join a program because the enrollment process is too long.

15) Content is 29% more effective as an engagement tool than any other category of benefit.

Key Takeaways

Statistics are great and all, but it’s the story they tell that makes them compelling change agents. 

So, what’s the story these statistics tell us? There’s a disconnect. 

A disconnect between alumni engagement program administrators and the alumni they’re trying to reach. 

You can’t expect to build a thriving alumni engagement program if your only method of communication is 15 direct mail pieces that are all solicitations for money. You also can’t keep asking for more money, if you’ve never expressed any gratitude for donations previously given. 

The keyword in alumni engagement is “engagement.” High-performing programs recognize this fact. They work to engage with their alumni regularly, online, through content and celebration. Then they ask for donations. 

How To Drive Alumni Engagement

If you’re stuck on how to improve your alumni engagement, start by asking yourself what value you’re bringing to your alumni. What content are you creating for them?

Examples of great content you can provide your alumni include: 

Nostalgic Content – Remembering what it’s like to be on campus.

Networking Opportunities –  Creating a forum for alumni to engage and interact with each other.

Athletic Announcements – Keeping your alumni up-to-date on your athletic programs.

Campus News – What’s happening on campus

Alumni Spotlights – Are there any notable alumni making waves in the world? 

We’re not saying to cut out all solicitation-request content; we’re merely saying that giving-centric content should be blended in alongside all of these other types of content. 

Don’t Forget Distribution

Once you have your content plan, take a look at your distribution. How are you going to get this content into the hands of your alumni? We know from the statistics that many alumni would prefer to receive content through email and social media. Still, most alumni programs can’t afford to publish and promote content on a regular basis. 

The solution? Consider managing an alumni engagement program through a platform like SocialToaster. SocialToaster has partnered with dozens of higher education institutions in support of their alumni engagement programs.

Plus, SocialToaster has integrated artificial intelligence to automatically make sure your content is delivered to alumni who are most likely to engage with and share it.

Curious if SocialToaster can help improve your alumni engagement efforts? Drop us an email and schedule your free demo today to speak with one of our alumni engagement strategists. We’ll work with you to build an alumni engagement program that will keep your alumni connected and engaged for years to come.