Segmenting Alumni Data for Long-Term Campaigns

Ad hoc searches are a feature that many clients love about LiveAlumni. In a time crunch, whipping together a special list of prospects is a no-brainer. But what about segmenting data in a strategic way to drive large-scale campaigns throughout the year? Well – we can help with that too!

The Key is Data Segmentation

Segmenting your data is critical to maximizing the effectiveness of your alumni communications.

Barbara O’Reilly, CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive), claims, ‘Segmenting helps you meet your donors where they are so you can tailor your messaging, ask amounts and communication strategies to increase their interest in and support of your organization.’ And she should know, thanks to her segmentation skills, she was able to increase revenues in her former position at Harvard by 60%! [1]

The Goal is Tailored Communications

It’s no secret that the most successful fundraising campaigns are based on tailored communication. [2] Simply aiming communications towards certain degrees, majors and class years doesn’t cut it anymore – you need better data to generate leads that will give you results.

A good place to start is with the correct tools. The success of your campaigns depends on accurate data and a smart tool that can help you find the best prospects to generate leads. The more versatile the data points, the more possibilities you will have to create unique, targeted campaigns.

Next, consider segmenting donors according to past gifts – what was the frequency, quantity and method for their gifts? This will help guide the basic parameters of your donation request.

The last, crucial step, is to know what is important to them (this is where the better data comes in.) Regardless of whether they have previously donated to your institution or not, it is incredibly valuable to know which fundraising campaigns, causes and appeals your alumni self-report as part of their current interests.

  • Specific Causes – Whether you are looking for a gift for a capital project like updating your science department or a global campaign based on accessible healthcare, segmenting alumni by affiliation to your specific cause will help you find more potential donors in a minimum amount of time.
  • Themed Events – If your school hasn’t designated much effort to themed-events, it’s time to rethink your strategies. Hosting a specialized event – such as one focused on wine, engineering or golf – Could hold serious potential to engage wealthy alumni to raise funds. And armed with the correct data and tools, it takes mere seconds to generate a list of like-minded invitees.
  • Specific Alumni Groups – Think veterans, congress members or Silicon Valley based entrepreneurs. Segment individuals by specific groups for pre-generated lists you can utilize for a variety of initiatives. This could be for special recognition, potential donors, volunteers, commencement speakers and more.
  • Volunteers and Speakers – Create lists of alumni who might be willing to donate time to a certain function or event. You can look to retirees who might have more times on their hands or search by location to appoint regional ambassadors to take charge of alumni in their area.
  • Potential Major Donors – Of course, finding major donors is a huge part of the higher education system, so segmenting these prospective donors is very important. Create lists of CEO’s, Presidents or Founders depending on the size and type of company they are associated with to direct your communication strategies.

There are many strategies on how to segment data and your institution can create different approaches based on your own specific initiatives. The most important point is that no matter the campaign, segmenting alumni data to cater to long-term goals should be a priority for your institution.

Looking for Inspiration on the types of campaigns that you can use LiveAlumni to generate prospects for?

Download our one-page guide here: Generate Prospects with LiveAlumni


[1] Donor Segmentation 101,

[2] How to Increase Alumni Engagement With Segmentation,

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