CASE V 2022 - An End of Year Fundraising Masterclass
Want to know an amazing way to start your week? Head to Chicago in mid-December and join the Higher Education Advancement community at the CASE District V Annual Conference! Givzey did and we loved catching up with friends and partners – both new and old.
But most of all, we learned. So much was on the table at the CASE Distrive V Annual Conference this year, that it's hard to put into one blog post! Toya Webb, Ed.D opened the conference by giving us context for why meaningful connections will drive success in The Great Disengagement. And the elective sessions were thrilling. From Makenna Daniels' guide to troubleshooting your annual giving day, Caridad Clark and Michael Weaver's presentation on creating spaces for overlooked donor constituencies, Geni Holmes' eye-opening take on creating magical events, to Emily Deppermann and Julia Mana-ay Perez's advice on reaching Millennial and GenZ donors – we received a masterclass in building and executing healthy and sustainable Advancement programs.
As the conference was going on, Givzey saw that there were some clear themes emerging. So, we polled dozens of attendees about goals, concerns, and reaching young alumni in 2023. Here's what we discovered.
2023 Advancement Goals
Annual Giving is getting a lot of attention, especially as many institutions either go public with major campaigns or come off of successful campaigns. Within this work, one trend was loud and clear – increasing the diversity of the donor pool to overlooked donor segments is a key goal. Notably, attendees said that they intend to grow diversity in two key areas: racial diversity and age diversity.
To reach young alumni and more diverse donors, most institutions are working incredibly hard to build communities through events, volunteer opportunities, and social media. The goal is that when alumni with capacity engage in these communities, they will increase participation levels, as well as increase giving levels and enter into giving circles.
2023 Advancement Concerns
To a person, staffing was the top concern of 2023. Turnover and budget constraints mean that recruiting talented fundraisers is a top priority. Additionally, finding ways to recognize staff burnout before it's a problem, and investing in new technology to stay ahead of burnout were key solutions to these concerns.
2023 - A focus on Young Alumni
As you saw from the goals section, there is an intense focus on engaging young alumni and more diverse alumni. Of the couple of dozen of institutions that articulated this, most estimated young alumni participation to be between 7-10% and found it difficult to set goals.
As far as solutions for young alumni, institutional leaders report that they have to meet young alumni where they are. For this reason, events, family outings, and annual activities are important. Penn State even holds an annual dance marathon that's both popular and raises more than a million dollars each year.
But institutional leaders aren't stopping there. They also recognize that Annual Giving programs need to fit into the lifestyle of young alumni. This means that more and more leaders are developing TikTok and Snapchat content showing off community and interviewing successful alumni as well as rising underclassmen. The University of Minnesota even reports that they're conducting listening sessions this winter to better understand young alumni.
We are so thankful to the CASE community, the dozens of Advancement leaders who participated in Givzey's survey, and the amazing friends and partners we have in the CASE V district. If you are interested to learn more about Millennial and GenZ young alumni, check out our infographic below.