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Higher education institutions are increasingly realizing the value of their alumni data. While alumni relations teams have always worked to engage graduates after they leave campus, the breadth and depth of alumni data now available provides new opportunities to understand alumni pathways and leverage alumni connections.

Use this guide to explore the significance of alumni data trends and their correlation with alumni giving, membership engagement, and other benefits. Realize how harnessing this data can drive success and mutual growth for your school and graduates.

The Power of Alumni Data

Alumni data, commonly derived from sources like surveys, can serve as a treasure trove of insights. It provides a window into the post-graduate lives of former students, helping schools identify their needs and expectations, track their career trajectories, and stay connected with them. When properly analyzed, this data can be a cornerstone for building stronger alumni relations.

Common Alumni Data Trends

Even more significantly, with thoughtful analysis, alumni data can reveal crucial trends and patterns related to:


Alumni employment data can reveal top industries and employers. Often, schools like to make connections between which departments and programs contain students with the highest post-grad success rates. Universities can use this to highlight alumni working at top companies in their communications to inspire current students. They can also customize their messaging and outreach channels based on preferences of alumni in certain industries and roles.

Alumni Giving

Alumni giving, often seen as a metric of loyalty and support, is a vital source of funding for educational institutions. Understanding the factors that drive alumni donations is crucial. Alumni data trends can uncover these factors, helping schools tailor their fundraising efforts effectively.

For instance, data may reveal that alumni participating in certain extracurricular activities at the institution are more likely to donate. With this knowledge, schools can focus their outreach on these alumni, highlighting the impact of their past involvement and fostering a sense of belonging.

Additionally, alumni data can illuminate trends related to the timing and size of donations. For example, many alumni might make their largest contributions during milestone reunion years. With this insight, schools can strategically target specific years to plan alumni events and fundraising campaigns with this insight.

Current Shifts in Donation Patterns

Donation totals from alumni remain crucial, but patterns are shifting. According to key findings from CASE 2022 Insights on Alumni Engagement, there has been an influx of in-person engagement across all institution types and global regions with a special commitment to philanthropy. Additionally:

“Among 120 institutions that responded to the prompt, alumni give more frequently once they are 11 years out from completing their studies at an institution. However, these alumni are engaged through experiences and communication in the earlier years. The data suggest that engaging recent alumni matters, even though their participation may not be monetary at first.”

Membership Engagement

Alumni associations often offer memberships and privileges to graduates who choose to stay connected. Understanding alumni data trends is crucial for increasing alumni engagement and benefits.

There are four significant types of alumni engagement, according to CASE. These include:

  1. Philanthropy – Standard acts of giving
  2. Volunteerism – The service an alum offers
  3. Experiential – Attending university events
  4. Communication – Email, mail, and magazine communications, along with social media

Tracking the activities and engagement preferences of alumni can lead to a more personalized approach. Data may reveal that a group of alumni with shared interests can be engaged through niche events and content. For example, alumni of color might appreciate events and clubs centered around the BIPOC post-college experience.

Benefits and Services

Alumni expect certain benefits and services from their alma mater. These could include career services, library access, or discounts on continuing education. By studying alumni data, institutions can identify which benefits are most valued by their graduates. This information can guide resource allocation, ensuring that the most sought-after benefits receive priority attention.

Additionally, data can help institutions determine the effectiveness of their services. For example, if alumni surveys consistently show dissatisfaction with career counseling, schools can use this feedback to improve these services. Happy and satisfied alumni are more likely to remain engaged and offer their support in various ways.

Need more ideas to connect with new grads? We’ve got you covered.

7 Ways to Engage New Alumni

How to Effectively Interpret Alumni Data Points

Alumni data provides rich insights into how to better engage and communicate with former students. However, it’s important not to rely too heavily on assumptions or stereotypes. Alumni are multifaceted individuals, and the most effective communication strategies interpret data holistically to best understand alumni interests and values. As such, all messages from the school should align with those values authentically.

By analyzing trends in alumni employment, giving history, and demographic information, universities can tailor their outreach and messaging to be more relevant to different segments of their alumni population. This is done through the likes of:

  1. Data Collection and Analysis
  2. Identifying Key Metrics
  3. Cross-Referencing Data
  4. Segmentation and Personalization
  5. Tailored Engagement Strategies
  6. A Continuous Feedback Loop

To learn more about effectively using and interpreting alumni survey data, read here.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding alumni data trends is a powerful tool for building and maintaining strong alumni relations.
  • This data reveals valuable insights into alumni giving, membership engagement, and benefits and services.
  • By making connections between these trends, institutions can create personalized engagement strategies, build long-term relationships, and effectively communicate with their alumni—benefitting the educational institution and providing multiple advantages for alumni.

Get the Critical Data You Need With StageClip

Do you want to increase engagement with your alumni? StageClip’s alumni surveys are the perfect tool to gather hard-to-reach destination and contact data from your newest graduates!

As an add-on feature to our popular graduation clips, we help grads tap into the excitement of their big moment and offer personalized video clips as a reward for completing the survey. This not only increases engagement, but also gives you the opportunity to welcome your new alums to the family.

We guarantee at least a 50% submission rate in your alumni surveys, which are seamlessly integrated into the StageClip process. With an average submission rate of 75.2%, we know graduates are more than happy to answer a few short questions when they’re at their proudest moment as an alum!

Give StageClip a try and request a sample alumni survey today!

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