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Ruffalo Noel Levitz Releases Report on Digital Fundraising and Millennial Donor Engagement

Young alumni communications, surveying Millennials underutilized by higher education institutions

October 17, 2017— Ruffalo Noel Levitz, leading provider of higher education enrollment management, student success, and fundraising solutions, released today a report examining the use of emerging digital tactics for engaging Millennial donors. Key findings from the report indicate higher education fundraisers are rarely deploying coordinated and personalized outreach to young alumni, often excluding them from donor surveys and campaigns.

The study is part of a research series informed by a survey of 250 advancement professionals nationwide serving higher education and charitable organizations.

“Millennial engagement is crucial to a successful fundraising strategy,” said Caryn Stein, vice president of marketing at Ruffalo Noel Levitz. “Connecting with young donors in a meaningful way requires a new, more personalized approach, based on an insights-driven strategy. Institutions should leverage best practice digital communication and marketing techniques in a more tailored and integrated way for young alumni.”

Additional report highlights include:

  • 81 percent of the higher education fundraisers in this study solicited young alumni within one year of graduation, after an average of only three engagement communications.
  • Only 3 percent of respondents reported personalizing their messaging based on recent online activity from the donor.
  • Crowdfunding and giving days ranked highest for new donor acquisition.
  • Three quarters of fundraisers felt that digital communications were effective.

“Young alumni giving is flat or decreasing at a majority of institutions,” said Brian Gawor, CFRE and vice president for research at Ruffalo Noel Levitz. “What we’ve heard from advancement leaders is that they are experiencing challenges with engaging young alumni, competing metrics, and lack of coordinated campaigns. There’s a significant opportunity to increase the effectiveness of engagement strategies for young donors.”

Digital Tactics and Young Alumni Engagement Strategies Reported by Today’s Fundraisers is available at RuffaloNL.com/DigitalTactics.

A podcast discussing the research report is available at http://FundraisingVoices.com.

For more information about RNL Complete Fundraising, visit RuffaloNL.com/CompleteFundraising.

About Ruffalo Noel Levitz

Ruffalo Noel Levitz is the leading provider of higher education enrollment, student success, and fundraising solutions. Each year, more than 1,900 colleges, universities, and nonprofit organizations rely on RNL for advanced analytics, personalized engagement, and industry-leading insights to achieve their mission. The firm is distinguished by its powerful portfolio of solutions focused on the entire lifecycle of enrollment and fundraising, assuring students find the right college or university, graduate on time, secure their first job in their desired field, and give back to support the next generation. In addition, Ruffalo Noel Levitz conferences, research reports, papers, and articles help clients stay on top of current trends. Visit https://www.RuffaloNL.com.

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