The Secret Sauce to Successful University Donor Prospecting & Engagement

The landscape of fundraising has changed now that events and handshaking are no longer the norm.  A survey by education firm EAB found that more than 40% of colleges were anticipating a 10% or larger decline in fundraising revenue for fiscal year 2020.[1]

But the future doesn’t have to be so bleak. With sound market intelligence, you can unlock the secret ingredient that facilitates the acquisition of ideal donors and constructs the gateway to sustained donor relations and engagement.

These days, it can be easy to exclusively rely on social media targeting to find the right audience. But unconventional characteristics like property ownership, geographic location, demographics and life trends can add a great deal of breadth and color to help triangulate likely donors.

Data analytics can target the highest propensity of donors to give, and artificial intelligence can translate algorithms using machine learning into tangible insights that can greatly enhance university donor prospecting efforts.

Additionally, location data helps to identify where university alumni are located and can provide insights on other property owners who may want to support the university with a donation (e.g. neighbors and friends of the university).

Connecting with millennials is key; their numbers already surpass the baby boomer generation, and gaining their loyalty now can lead to long-term philanthropy. However, while millennials have good intentions to give back to their alma mater, the majority would rather donate their money elsewhere.[2]  

So how can you buck this trend? By meaningfully connecting to them and by securing your position in the digital landscape. According to Forbes, millennials are the dominant generation using social media and the most likely to make online purchases.[3]

By personalizing communications and understanding prospects’ demographics and life trends, two factors provided by quality data, you can stand out from the crowd, connecting intimately to what they care about. Millennials rank personalization as being most “critical” to earning and keeping their business.[4]  You can create this hyper-targeted and customized communications by marrying data to your existing alumni database. Effective fundraising campaigns involve solid research, list segmentation, personalized asks, effective timing, and measurable campaign performance.

CoreLogic® can generate precise lists that focus on specific property or transaction triggers, and predictive scoring solutions can be developed to evaluate prospects. Opportunities could include matching names or property addresses provided by CoreLogic with third party hyper-targeted marketing tools powered with digital intelligence. Integrating key prospect data points into your digital marketing and advertising efforts will be paramount to success.

CORELOGIC and the CoreLogic logo are trademarks of CoreLogic, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective holders.

[1] What 110 advancement leaders think lies ahead for university fundraising during COVID-19

[2] University Fundraising: 3 Ways to Increase Millennial Alumni Giving – Achieve Agency

[3] Social Media Plays A Big Role In How Millennials Shop, But So Do Stores (

[4] Why Consumers Prefer Personalization – Multichannel Merchant

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