Alumni Oral History Project Increases Alumni and Donor Engagement
Alumni Relations > Alumni Relations Initiatives (10-25 Staff)
Best of CASE District VII Award
Institution: Golden Gate University
Title of entry: Alumni Oral History Project Increases Alumni and Donor Engagement
About this entry: During the pandemic, Golden Gate University's Advancement division experienced layoffs and employee turnover that left five individuals in the department. The decimation of the staff led to little fundraising (900 donors out of 90,000 alumni) and little to no alumni engagement. With a significant need to increase alumni engagement, the Office of Alumni Engagement partnered with Publishing Concepts, Inc. (PCI) to produce our first-ever alumni oral history project (OHP). The purposes of the OHP were to update alumni contact information, and to ask them to verbally share their experiences at GGU. Our engagement of alumni via alumni newsletters, event emails and other communication was yielding extremely low engagement. With email messages sent out to 35,000 alumni at least 10 times during the fall 2022 semester, we saw maybe 7-10 clicks per email distribution or 7-10 gifts per email solicitation. We wondered if our data was woefully out-of-date. PCI sent emails, post cards, and conducted phone calls to reach our alumni and reconnect them with the university. In just two months, more than 5,000 alumni had called PCI to be interviewed and to update their contact information. At the end of the call, only donors who had not given to GGU in the last 5 years or had never given were offered the opportunity to support GGU with a $25 gift. More than 400 new donors were gained through this project in just 2 months, almost half of all alumni donors in FY22.