23% of Living Alumni Have Ever Made a Financial Contribution to their Alma Mater

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Primary Research Group has published College Alumni Relations Benchmarks. The study is based on a survey of 60+ colleges that provided data on a broad range of alumni-relations related issues. The mean number of students enrolled (FTE equivalent) for the colleges in the sample was 6,473 with a range from only 200 to 40,000. The mean enrollment size of the private colleges in the sample was 2,842, while mean enrollment for the public colleges was 10,575 The 115-page report has more than 400 tables of data exploring managerial, financial and other issues in alumni relations.

Twenty three percent of alumni currently alive have ever made a financial contribution to the college from which they graduated, according to a new study from Primary Research Group, College Alumni Relations Benchmarks. The study is based on a survey of 60 colleges that provided data on a broad range of alumni-relations related issues. The mean number of students enrolled (FTE equivalent) for the colleges in the sample was 6,473 with a range from only 200 to 40,000. The mean enrollment size of the private colleges in the sample was 2,842, while mean enrollment for the public colleges was 10,575. The 115-page report has more than 400 tables of data exploring managerial, financial and other issues in alumni relations.

Some of the reports findings are that:

  • For the colleges that offer alumni credit cards to alumni, the mean percentage of alumni that take up the college on the offer is 4%, with a median of 2%.
  • FTE employment in the alumni offices has remained the same for about 60% of the offices in the sample over the past two years, but has increased for more than 28% of the offices and decreased for 12.5%.
  • The mean number of employees of the Office of Alumni Relations, Alumni Affairs or other office charged with the task of alumni relations was only 3.22 with a median of only 2.0.
  • A quarter of the colleges in the sample offered auto insurance to alumni. Private colleges were twice as likely as public colleges to offer auto insurance.
  • More than 76% of the colleges in the sample used direct telephone solicitation to ask for financial support from alumni.
  • The mean overall budget for alumni reunions in the past year for the alumni offices in the sample was $37,079. Private colleges, a quarter of the size of public colleges in the sample, spent more than twice as much on reunions than their public counterparts.
  • For 10-year reunions, the colleges in the sample attracted a mean of 16% of alumni and a median of 11%.
  • Most of the colleges in the sample have non-dues paying rather than dues paying alumni associations, while only a bit more than 21% exclusively have dues paying associations
  • About 43% of the colleges in the sample provide promotional materials to alumni clubs.
  • Only 17% of the alumni clubs have a blog, listserv or other intenet communication vehicle to promote interaction and communications among alumni
  • Two thirds of the colleges in the sample offer an alumni-mentoring program.
  • Forty percent of the colleges in the sample had an official policy restricting the number of times that the alumni office should contact alumni by email.
  • Nearly 28% of the colleges in the sample, including more than 34% of 4-year/MA level colleges, maintain a listserv for alumni.
  • Twenty percent of the alumni offices in the sample had a presence on MySpace.com
  • Two thirds of the colleges in the sample said that the increased use of the Internet in marketing to alumni had not had an impact on their investment in print publications
  • About 54% of alumni from the 1970's are described by college alumni officials as having either "little or not involvement" or are described as "modestly involved" in college alumni affairs. About 16% are described as "significantly involved" or "greatly involved."
  • Female alumni were slightly more involved than male alumni. More than 24% of female alumni were significantly or greatly involved while about 18.5% of male alumni were similarly characterized.
  • About 9.4% of colleges in the sample maintain a database of grandparents of alumni.

The report is available from Primary Research Group Inc. For more information visit http://www.primaryresearch.com.

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JAMES MOSES
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