Last week, we were delighted to be joined by dream team Laura Hout, Director of Prospect Research and Justin Zuiker, Director of Major Gifts from Regis University. Laura and Justin shared their experience using LiveAlumni with us via a webinar, providing concrete use-cases of how small shop prospect research teams really can play in the big leagues!
Regis University faces unique challenges for their fundraising efforts and engagement with alumni. The Jesuit Institution has four campuses located in Denver, CO and offers an online program that boasts a large online learning community. They have over 77,000 alumni in their database, many of whom have never set foot on a Regis campus.
Working with a relatively small team advancement team, Laura discussed her first major challenge – not enough time or staff to sort through all of the employment data and information. Laura’s team addresses this issue by focusing their efforts on specific regional areas. With limited resources, it’s important to focus on efficiency, so for Laura and Justin, it’s important to narrow down their data pool and focus on what Justin calls “quick wins”. But how do they do this? That’s where LiveAlumni comes in!
Laura and Justin’s strong collaboration was evident as they worked toward specific goals using LiveAlumni:
Goal 1. Confirm that the Advancement team were focusing on the correct regional areas
Goal 2. Generate new visits/connections for major gift officers
Goal 3. Identify new prospects
Goal 4. Update their constituent´s information in their database
Laura used LiveAlumni’s ‘Dashboard’ tool to look at Incredible Prospects, Top CEOs and Senior Level Titles by region. She was able to confirm that the majority of Regis’ most important potential donors are located in the US, specifically in the areas of Colorado, California, Texas, and Florida. This allowed the team to be confident that they were focusing their efforts on the correct regions and using their limited resources efficiently.
I think that LiveAlumni’s Dashboard tools are amazing tools. If you haven’t checked this out, I would highly recommend looking at it – it’s super simple and… It’s fabulous. – Laura
Once these regions were confirmed, Laura was able to generate and export list of excellent potential prospects in each area, to pass on to her development officers. This instantly generated dozens of great “quick wins” that the team could take to senior leadership, as well as expanding the pool of alumni to contact for each fundraising trip.
Laura also generated a report to hone in on specific senior-level titles. By simply changing the location for each report, she was able to generate lists of city-specific potential donors. The team then went over these lists together to identify the ‘top-10’ to focus on in each city, really making sure that their efforts were targeted towards those most likely to make a significant donation.
The information that Laura and her team gained about their alumni in these areas allowed them to update their employment and location information, to be able to better engage their prospects.
I think one of the beautiful things about the LiveAlumni product is that it’s so easy to change and manipulate – Laura
The results were amazing!
Laura and Justin had some great tips for anyone using LiveAlumni working in Advancement. They strongly recommend using LiveAlumni to filter and segment the employment data to identify the top-10 prospects, instead of trying to contact everyone. This is a more efficient use of time and energy when resources are scarce. They’ve also found that collaborating and sharing is a great way to get the maximum return on investment. While Justin might be looking at previous donors, recent gifts etc, Laura could be focusing on new prospects by looking for specific employment titles. Working together in this way leads to wider prospects pools and more donations.
To put all this information into context, Laura and Justin provided listeners with their insight and use-case.
Use-case 1: Seattle
When planning a trip to Seattle, Laura and Justin were able to identify the three companies where the highest number of Regis alumni were employed – Amazon, Microsoft, and Boeing. They were able to update business information and employment titles for 90% of the list generated by LiveAlumni. They found 45 alumni currently employed at these companies, including 17 new business emails and 9 new home addresses. 14 of these alumni hadn’t even been wealth-screened, making them brand new prospects!
Laura generated a report to identify 6 alumni with specific, high-level C-suite titles and found that 5 out of the 6 prospects records in their database was out-of-date and then were able to update with the information provided by LiveAlumni. The team also filtered by industry to create a list of alumni working in the computer/tech industries, so that Justin and his Dean would have a whole pool to try and engage on their next visit.
Thanks to the employment data provided by LiveAlumni, Regis University gained tremendous insight into this project. Laura and Jason were able to develop new strategies for how to work with Alumni Relations to target alumni working at their top-3 employers in Seattle. In return, this could lead to company matching gifts, specific fundraising events and many other fantastic opportunities for alumni engagement in the future.
Justin emphasized the importance of personalized outreach, particularly for alumni who have never set foot on campus. The team saw this data-enrichment as a real win and a great foundation for future donations.
Use-case 2: Dallas
When planning a trip to Dallas, Laura generated a list of 110 potential prospects. Of the prospect generated the team was able to review around half of these prospects. For these 55 constituents, the team was able to update 34 business records and 8 home addresses using data from LiveAlumni. After honing in on this list, they were able to suggest 22 people of interest to the 2 Development Officers that were due to travel to Dallas.
Justin contacted 10 people from the list provided by Laura and 100% responded to him in one way or another. Excitingly, 3 of the 10 agreed to a visit providing a 30% return, which Justin said can be unusual in these situations. The other development officer contacted the remaining 12 people, 2 of these responded and 1 agreed to a visit.
One simple report generated in LiveAlumni in a matter of minutes led to 4 new visits with potential donors. Laura and Justin’s teams have found it takes around 5-8 visit over a period of 6-24 months to cultivate a relationship to secure a major gift. For the team, scheduling 4 new visits with 4 completely new potential donors is a massive win!
The Future Is Bright
In the future, Laura, Justin and the team at Regis have many exciting plans for how to use LiveAlumni to boost giving.
Laura and Justin plan to:
- Look at prospects by industry within each region, to help generate sponsorship for events, etc. Justin even mentioned how you can use LiveAlumni to narrow down an industry such as ‘tech’ to find alumni working in a specific field such as ‘cyber defense’ to really target those specific alumni who would be interested in an event.
- Work closely with the Alumni Relations team to develop relationships with big employers of Regis alumni.
- Develop new strategies for Corporate and Foundation Relations, by identifying top executives or those with board member connections.
The future is bright for the Regis Team as they have seen great results through collaboration, sharing the data, establishing ways to track top prospects and setting future goals.
On behalf of LiveAlumni and our user’s, we thank Laura and Justin for sharing their success stories with us. We are thrilled to see our client receiving great benefit from their employment data and we strongly believe the best way for all of our clients to achieve success is by sharing our experiences.
If your interested in a training session to learn how to run reports and create lists like Laura and Justin contact our Customer Success Team at Support@intellectspace.com
Click Here to read more about how other Prospect Research Teams are using LiveAlumni.
Request A Recording: If you’d like to watch the full webinar, please share your name and email and a member of our team will send you the recording.