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Strategies and Tactics for Connecting
with Young Alumni
ENGAGING AND CULTIVATING
MILLENNIALS GEN ZAND
JULIE HOUPT
BILL FAUST
@williamfaust
houpt@denison.edu
OLOGIE
DENISON UNIVERSITY
MOST MEMBERS OF
THE CLASS OF 2015 WERE BORN IN
1994.
FERRIS BUELLER AND
SLOANE PETERSON
COULDBE
THEIR PARENTS.
THEY HAVE GROWN UP WITH
MOBILEDEVICES.
MOBILEPHONES.
AS OPPOSED TO
AMAZONHAS NEVER BEEN JUST A
RIVER IN SOUTH AMERICA.
THEY WON’T GO NEAR
A RETAILER THAT
DOESN’T HAVE
A WEBSITE.
WOMEN HAVE ALWAYS
ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES.
OUTNUMBERED
MEN
MOST HAVE NEVER
GONE TO A STORE TO
BUY MUSIC.
85%OWN SMARTPHONES.
MORE THAN 10O TEXTS
ON AVERAGE THEY SEND
PER DAY.
IN FACT, 2/3 WOULD
THAN SPEAK TO SOMEONE
ON THE PHONE.
RATHER TEXT
1 IN 5 PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS REMOVE
A UNIVERSITY FROM CONSIDERATION BECAUSE OF
A BAD EXPERIENCEON THE INSTITUTION’S WEBSITE.
SOCIAL MEDIA
MORE THAN 90% ARE ON
DAILY.
(MORE THAN 75% FROM A MOBILE DEVICE.)
MILLENNIALS (BORN 1980–1995)
Digital know how is important, and they expect brand
interactions to flex to their experience...
MILLENNIALS
20–34 YRS.
24.5%
GEN Z
< 20 YRS.
25.9%
BABY
BOOMERS
50–68 YRS.
23.6%
GEN X
34–49 YRS.
15.4%
SILENT
GEN
69+
10....
GEN Z DEFINED (BORN 1996–2010)
After watching college students before them graduate with
astronomical amounts of student d...
MILLENNIALS
Tech Savvy: 2 screens at once
Communicate with text
Curators and Sharers
Now focused
Optimists
Want to be disc...
MILLENNIALS
“IT’S ALL ABOUT ME”
(OR IS IT?)
MILLENNIALS ARE THE MOST ETHNICALLY
AND RACIALLY DIVERSE COHORT OF
YOUTH IN THE NATION’S HISTORY.
THEY ARE
FINANCIALLY
CONSTRAINED.
Today, at more than
$1 trillion, student
loans now comprise
the largest debt in
America,...
BUT THEY HAVE HIGH PURCHASING
POWER, WITH AN EMPHASIS ON
“EXPERIENCE” OVER “STUFF.”
Despite having financial constraints, ...
MILLENNIALS ARE PHILANTHROPIC.
75% have made a financial donation; 71% have raised
money; 56% have volunteered. Alumni who...
THEY ARE “OMNICHANNEL” CONSUMERS
AND CURATORS AND EXPECT CONTENT TO
BE TAILORED TO THEIR NEEDS.
72% want to connect to per...
MILLENNIALS
HOW TO ENGAGE
DIAL UP DIVERSITY
IN YOUR MESSAGING.
OF COMMUNITY
OF OPPORTUNITY
OF WAYS TO CONNECT
INVEST IN
ENGAGEMENT NOW.
ADMISSIONS
FACULTY
NON-GIVING ALUMNI INTERACTIONS
BE EMOTIONALLY
SATISFYING.
RATIONAL
EMOTIONAL
EMPHASIZE ALTERNATIVE FORMS
OF GIVING THAT APPEAL TO THEIR
PHILANTHROPIC NATURE.
VOLUNTEERING
MENTORING
INCREMENTAL GIFTS ...
CRAFT AND DELIVER A SEAMLESS,
PERSONALIZED, CHANNEL-AGNOSTIC
BRAND STORY.
MINDSET
DIGITAL
EXPERIENCE
MEET GEN Z:THE SOCIAL MEDIA-IMMERSED,
ENTREPRENEURIAL
ECONOMIC POWERHOUSE
FOR THIS GROUP, ONE SIZE
NEVER FITS ALL.
They appreciate and embrace individuality, and have
a strong aversion to being st...
THEY WANT TO MAKE A
DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD.
60% want their jobs to impact the world; 26% regularly
volunteer in some capa...
THEY HAVE AN APPETITE FOR LEARNING,
BUT DON’T FEEL THAT COLLEGE DEGREES
ARE VERY IMPORTANT.
64% of Gen Zers are considerin...
A DIY CULTURE AND ACCESS TO
CROWDSOURCING SHAPE GEN Z’S
ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT.
72% of high school students want to start ...
THEY HAVE BRIEF ATTENTION SPANS WITH
A PREFERENCE FOR “SNACK MEDIA.”
The average attention span is 8 seconds, and 5 is the...
THEIR COMMUNICATION STYLE IS
VISUAL, EPHEMERAL AND CONSTANT.
Gen Z are drawn to image-based content which self-
destructs....
THEY PREFER “ANTISOCIAL”
NETWORKING.
So far in 2014, 25% of 13- to 17-year-olds abandoned
Facebook.
CONNECTING
WITH GEN Z
DEMONSTRATE HOW THEY
CAN HELP MAKE AN IMPACT
ON THE WORLD.
CONNECT EARLY IN THE
COLLEGE SEARCH PROCESS IN
THE CHANNELS THEY PREFER.
LET THEM BE
CO-CREATORS OF THEIR
EXPERIENCE.
CREATE TINY
EXECUTIONS OF
YOUR CONTENT.
SPEAK IN IMAGES.
• Private Liberal Arts College
• Founded in 1831
• Located in Granville, Ohio (30 miles east of Columbus)
• 2,100 Undergra...
• Named one of the TOP 10 MOST WIRED COLLEGES
in the Country (Huffington Post)
• Most ECONOMICALLY DIVERSE Top Colleges (N...
A BEAUTIFUL CAMPUS
2013: A NEW CHAPTER BEGINS AT DENISON
NEW PRESIDENT, ADAM WEINBERG
– Former president and CEO of World Learning, one of th...
• NEW VISION
• BOLD NEW THINKING
• GLOBAL APPROACH TO CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
In the past few years we have developed several programs
and tactics to increase engagement with graduates:
– BIG RED SOCI...
But first, we listened...
19 young alumni engaged to determine how giving among
young alumni might achieve greater partici...
REASONS FOR NOT GIVING
• Tight personal budgets or the mentality that they
won’t give until they have significant capacity...
• Transparency about gifts
• Want to feel like they are making a difference
• Suggested a more in-depth process to thank
t...
Big Red Society, a branded society
for giving and recognition that
aims to be dynamic, interactive,
purposeful, profession...
2013: A NEW CHAPTER BEGINS AT DENISON
• 375 donors out of 702 young
alumni qualified for Big Red
Society
• Average gift si...
2013: A NEW CHAPTER BEGINS AT DENISON
TAKEAWAYS
BIG RED SOCIETY
• MORE PREVALENT in the communications
the Annual Fund sen...
Young alumni from the nine
most recently graduated classes
compete to see which class has
the most donors for a month’s
pe...
MARCH 2012:
155 donors contributed more than $9,000
FEBRUARY 2013:
118 donors contributed more than $6,000
Class Agents’ s...
COMMITTEES
REUNION
510YEAR Reunion Committee
Members play a crucial
role in the success of
Reunion Weekend and
the Denison...
RESULTS AND TAKEAWAYS
REUNION COMMITTEE
• Young alumni are especially willing
to step up participation and giving
levels f...
CLASS
AGENT
program
Class Agents are responsible for
encouraging members of their
class to stay connected with one
another...
OBJECTIVES
CLASS AGENT PROGRAM
	CONTACT:	 Reach out to approximately 10-20 classmates in a given fiscal year
	ASK:	Solicit...
OVERALL OUR 4 BIG IDEAS ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE
5-YEAR COMPARISON FOR YOUNG ALUMNI GIVING
1–10 YEARS OUT (AVERAGES)
PARTIC...
BOTTOM LINE: KEY TAKEAWAYS
Data indicates that much like the personal lives of young alumni,
their participation and dolla...
QUESTIONS?
THANK YOU
Engaging and Cultivating Millennials & Gen Z
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Engaging and Cultivating Millennials & Gen Z

Strategies and tactics for connecting with young alumni. Millennials expect brand interaction to flex to their experience and context.

Engaging and Cultivating Millennials & Gen Z

  1. 1. Strategies and Tactics for Connecting with Young Alumni ENGAGING AND CULTIVATING MILLENNIALS GEN ZAND
  2. 2. JULIE HOUPT BILL FAUST @williamfaust houpt@denison.edu OLOGIE DENISON UNIVERSITY
  3. 3. MOST MEMBERS OF THE CLASS OF 2015 WERE BORN IN 1994.
  4. 4. FERRIS BUELLER AND SLOANE PETERSON COULDBE THEIR PARENTS.
  5. 5. THEY HAVE GROWN UP WITH MOBILEDEVICES.
  6. 6. MOBILEPHONES. AS OPPOSED TO
  7. 7. AMAZONHAS NEVER BEEN JUST A RIVER IN SOUTH AMERICA.
  8. 8. THEY WON’T GO NEAR A RETAILER THAT DOESN’T HAVE A WEBSITE.
  9. 9. WOMEN HAVE ALWAYS ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES. OUTNUMBERED MEN
  10. 10. MOST HAVE NEVER GONE TO A STORE TO BUY MUSIC.
  11. 11. 85%OWN SMARTPHONES.
  12. 12. MORE THAN 10O TEXTS ON AVERAGE THEY SEND PER DAY.
  13. 13. IN FACT, 2/3 WOULD THAN SPEAK TO SOMEONE ON THE PHONE. RATHER TEXT
  14. 14. 1 IN 5 PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS REMOVE A UNIVERSITY FROM CONSIDERATION BECAUSE OF A BAD EXPERIENCEON THE INSTITUTION’S WEBSITE.
  15. 15. SOCIAL MEDIA MORE THAN 90% ARE ON DAILY. (MORE THAN 75% FROM A MOBILE DEVICE.)
  16. 16. MILLENNIALS (BORN 1980–1995) Digital know how is important, and they expect brand interactions to flex to their experience and context. As gluttons for entertainment and masters of self-expression, millennials conduct much of this activity in digital form. THE BOTTOM LINE:
  17. 17. MILLENNIALS 20–34 YRS. 24.5% GEN Z < 20 YRS. 25.9% BABY BOOMERS 50–68 YRS. 23.6% GEN X 34–49 YRS. 15.4% SILENT GEN 69+ 10.5% BUT GENERATION Z (<20 YEARS OLD) IS THE SEGMENT IN THE U.S. LARGEST POPULATION
  18. 18. GEN Z DEFINED (BORN 1996–2010) After watching college students before them graduate with astronomical amounts of student debt and slim job prospects, they have a tendency to decide a career based on its stability. At the same time, the idea that “anyone can be anything” motivates them to explore non-traditional career paths, particularly in entrepreneurship and start-up businesses. THE BOTTOM LINE:
  19. 19. MILLENNIALS Tech Savvy: 2 screens at once Communicate with text Curators and Sharers Now focused Optimists Want to be discovered GEN Z Tech Innate: 5 screens at once Communicate with images Creators and Collaborators Future focused Realists Want to work for success WHO THEY ARE TO YOU YOUR CURRENT STUDENTS & ALUMNI YOUR PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS
  20. 20. MILLENNIALS “IT’S ALL ABOUT ME” (OR IS IT?)
  21. 21. MILLENNIALS ARE THE MOST ETHNICALLY AND RACIALLY DIVERSE COHORT OF YOUTH IN THE NATION’S HISTORY.
  22. 22. THEY ARE FINANCIALLY CONSTRAINED. Today, at more than $1 trillion, student loans now comprise the largest debt in America, surpassing credit card debt.
  23. 23. BUT THEY HAVE HIGH PURCHASING POWER, WITH AN EMPHASIS ON “EXPERIENCE” OVER “STUFF.” Despite having financial constraints, Millennials will collectively spend $1.4 trillion annually by 2020, accounting for 30% of U.S. retail sales.
  24. 24. MILLENNIALS ARE PHILANTHROPIC. 75% have made a financial donation; 71% have raised money; 56% have volunteered. Alumni who reported positive experiences with university resources reported higher levels of volunteering and giving.
  25. 25. THEY ARE “OMNICHANNEL” CONSUMERS AND CURATORS AND EXPECT CONTENT TO BE TAILORED TO THEIR NEEDS. 72% want to connect to personalized content across all devices — all 7.1 that they have access to.
  26. 26. MILLENNIALS HOW TO ENGAGE
  27. 27. DIAL UP DIVERSITY IN YOUR MESSAGING. OF COMMUNITY OF OPPORTUNITY OF WAYS TO CONNECT
  28. 28. INVEST IN ENGAGEMENT NOW. ADMISSIONS FACULTY NON-GIVING ALUMNI INTERACTIONS
  29. 29. BE EMOTIONALLY SATISFYING. RATIONAL EMOTIONAL
  30. 30. EMPHASIZE ALTERNATIVE FORMS OF GIVING THAT APPEAL TO THEIR PHILANTHROPIC NATURE. VOLUNTEERING MENTORING INCREMENTAL GIFTS MADE VIA DIGITAL PLATFORMS
  31. 31. CRAFT AND DELIVER A SEAMLESS, PERSONALIZED, CHANNEL-AGNOSTIC BRAND STORY. MINDSET DIGITAL EXPERIENCE
  32. 32. MEET GEN Z:THE SOCIAL MEDIA-IMMERSED, ENTREPRENEURIAL ECONOMIC POWERHOUSE
  33. 33. FOR THIS GROUP, ONE SIZE NEVER FITS ALL. They appreciate and embrace individuality, and have a strong aversion to being stereotyped or generalized. There is always an exception to the rule.
  34. 34. THEY WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD. 60% want their jobs to impact the world; 26% regularly volunteer in some capacity.
  35. 35. THEY HAVE AN APPETITE FOR LEARNING, BUT DON’T FEEL THAT COLLEGE DEGREES ARE VERY IMPORTANT. 64% of Gen Zers are considering an advanced college degree (compared to 71% of millennials).
  36. 36. A DIY CULTURE AND ACCESS TO CROWDSOURCING SHAPE GEN Z’S ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT. 72% of high school students want to start a business someday and 76% wish their hobbies would turn into full-time jobs.
  37. 37. THEY HAVE BRIEF ATTENTION SPANS WITH A PREFERENCE FOR “SNACK MEDIA.” The average attention span is 8 seconds, and 5 is the preferred number of screens for multi-tasking.
  38. 38. THEIR COMMUNICATION STYLE IS VISUAL, EPHEMERAL AND CONSTANT. Gen Z are drawn to image-based content which self- destructs. They suffer from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), so being culturally connected is critical.
  39. 39. THEY PREFER “ANTISOCIAL” NETWORKING. So far in 2014, 25% of 13- to 17-year-olds abandoned Facebook.
  40. 40. CONNECTING WITH GEN Z
  41. 41. DEMONSTRATE HOW THEY CAN HELP MAKE AN IMPACT ON THE WORLD.
  42. 42. CONNECT EARLY IN THE COLLEGE SEARCH PROCESS IN THE CHANNELS THEY PREFER.
  43. 43. LET THEM BE CO-CREATORS OF THEIR EXPERIENCE.
  44. 44. CREATE TINY EXECUTIONS OF YOUR CONTENT.
  45. 45. SPEAK IN IMAGES.
  46. 46. • Private Liberal Arts College • Founded in 1831 • Located in Granville, Ohio (30 miles east of Columbus) • 2,100 Undergrads • 79% students out of state • 20% first generation students DENISON FACTS
  47. 47. • Named one of the TOP 10 MOST WIRED COLLEGES in the Country (Huffington Post) • Most ECONOMICALLY DIVERSE Top Colleges (NYT) • Recognized by Sustainable Endowment Institute as a “GREEN” COLLEGE • FAMOUS ALUMNI: Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Senator Richard Lugar DENISON FACTS
  48. 48. A BEAUTIFUL CAMPUS
  49. 49. 2013: A NEW CHAPTER BEGINS AT DENISON NEW PRESIDENT, ADAM WEINBERG – Former president and CEO of World Learning, one of the premier international education, exchange, and development organizations in the world – Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and of the Higher Education Working Group on Global Issues 2013: A NEW CHAPTER BEGINS AT DENISON
  50. 50. • NEW VISION • BOLD NEW THINKING • GLOBAL APPROACH TO CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
  51. 51. In the past few years we have developed several programs and tactics to increase engagement with graduates: – BIG RED SOCIETY – DENISON CLASS DASH – 5TH AND 10TH REUNION COMMITTEES – CLASS AGENT PROGRAM (CAP)
  52. 52. But first, we listened... 19 young alumni engaged to determine how giving among young alumni might achieve greater participation. YOUNG ALUMNI FOCUS GROUP
  53. 53. REASONS FOR NOT GIVING • Tight personal budgets or the mentality that they won’t give until they have significant capacity • Don’t know where the money is going • Nothing in it for them INSIGHTS
  54. 54. • Transparency about gifts • Want to feel like they are making a difference • Suggested a more in-depth process to thank them and educate them about the importance of general Annual Fund participation THIS LED US TO SOME BOLD IDEAS... TAKEAWAYS
  55. 55. Big Red Society, a branded society for giving and recognition that aims to be dynamic, interactive, purposeful, professional and fun, encourages young alumni from the nine most recently graduated classes, to participate with a gift of $50 to the Denison Annual Fund and to deepen their levels of engagement with the college.
  56. 56. 2013: A NEW CHAPTER BEGINS AT DENISON • 375 donors out of 702 young alumni qualified for Big Red Society • Average gift size increased steadily (especially for classes 1–5 years out) –FY 2011 . . . . . . $71 –FY 2013 . . . . . $113 • Annual Fund event in Chicago • Recognition system that provides e-coupon discount codes for the Denison bookstore for donors RESULTS BIG RED SOCIETY
  57. 57. 2013: A NEW CHAPTER BEGINS AT DENISON TAKEAWAYS BIG RED SOCIETY • MORE PREVALENT in the communications the Annual Fund sends • Stronger PRESENCE ONLINE especially with social media • Maintain REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS and keep an eye out for any positive change in the behavior of young alumni • MONITOR GIVING RATES and levels of engagement as classes move on toward their 10-year reunions to determine the long-term impact • Continued focus on CLASS-SPECIFIC STRATEGIES like the Denison Class Dash to keep alumni engaged during non-reunion years
  58. 58. Young alumni from the nine most recently graduated classes compete to see which class has the most donors for a month’s period. We also count those who make a second gift which hopefully boosts overall giving for the fiscal year.
  59. 59. MARCH 2012: 155 donors contributed more than $9,000 FEBRUARY 2013: 118 donors contributed more than $6,000 Class Agents’ social media activity and email significantly helped promote the challenge RESULTS AND TAKEAWAYS CLASS DASH
  60. 60. COMMITTEES REUNION 510YEAR Reunion Committee Members play a crucial role in the success of Reunion Weekend and the Denison Annual Fund each year.
  61. 61. RESULTS AND TAKEAWAYS REUNION COMMITTEE • Young alumni are especially willing to step up participation and giving levels for a reunion year. We typically have large reunion committees of 15–20 people for both 5th and 10th reunions each year who can reach out to several hundred members of their classes.   • The more awareness we build during non-reunion years, the more likely classes will not only step up their support for reunion but also sustain giving levels. Classes who have benefited from the implementation of the Class Agent Program have shown stronger giving results as they transition in and out of reunion.
  62. 62. CLASS AGENT program Class Agents are responsible for encouraging members of their class to stay connected with one another and to develop stronger philanthropic support for the college during non-reunion years. They are also the primary force behind the ongoing identity of their class. As a result, their efforts should build fundraising momentum and involvement for the coming years including reunions.
  63. 63. OBJECTIVES CLASS AGENT PROGRAM CONTACT: Reach out to approximately 10-20 classmates in a given fiscal year ASK: Solicit a specific pledge amount from each classmate PROMOTE: Encourage classmates to engage with one another and with Denison RESULTS: Young alumni enjoy serving as Class Agents Enables a jump into other volunteer opportunities with the institution Outreach has benefited the Annual Fund’s fundraising Expanded Class Agents into some older segments
  64. 64. OVERALL OUR 4 BIG IDEAS ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE 5-YEAR COMPARISON FOR YOUNG ALUMNI GIVING 1–10 YEARS OUT (AVERAGES) PARTICIPATION GIFT SIZE FY ‘10 13% $118 FY ‘11 15% $115 FY ‘12 16% $119 FY ‘13 15% $142 FY ‘14 16% $150 1–5 YEARS OUT (AVERAGES) PARTICIPATION GIFT SIZE 15% $80 18% $71 19% $80 17% $113 17% $96
  65. 65. BOTTOM LINE: KEY TAKEAWAYS Data indicates that much like the personal lives of young alumni, their participation and dollars can COME AND GO OVER TIME. To establish steadier giving, continue to EMPOWER CLASS AGENTS to secure increased pledges from classmates. The Annual Fund must also ENGAGE VOLUNTEERS beyond their fundraising duties so they can further develop relationships with their classmates.
  66. 66. QUESTIONS? THANK YOU

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