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16
Sep
2016

Did Stanford boot the phonathon for all of us?

  • Nick Zeckets
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  • Advancement . context . fundraising . personalization . phonathon .

I’ll save you some time: No. If you’re Stanford, who just cancelled their phonathon, (or Harvard or Princeton or one of maybe 15-25 other shops) where a couple dozen donors each year will drive hundreds of millions in giving, then, maybe you boot the phonathon. I’d suggest, though, that the baby’s getting tossed out with the bath water. The argument…

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18
May
2016

A Natural Language Analysis of #DRIVE2016 Day 1

  • Nick Zeckets
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  • alumni advancement . alumni engagement . content . curation . data . engagement . measuring engagement .

Yesterday we enjoyed the first day of DRIVE/ 2016 in Seattle. We were inspired by Talithia Williams, a Harvey Mudd Professor and change agent for women leadership in STEM. Stephen Lambert from Susquehanna University shared his journey to instituting predictive modeling in his organization's fundraising operations. Michael Greenberg of RNL's Scalefunder knocked our socks off with a great review of…

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22
Feb
2016

Might Mizzou’s Varsity Alumni Kept Athletics Giving Healthy?

  • Nick Zeckets
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  • alumni . alumni engagement . Alumni Relations . social media .

Over the weekend, I read a bit about the hit Mizzou athletics took in giving following a year in which football struggled and players pressured the administration they'd sit out games in solidarity with the Mizzou Concerned Student 1950 group in response to a string of racially charged transgressions. I'd argue that the traditional hindsight on this is, "there should have been a better…

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27
Jan
2016

AGB Was… Eye Opening

  • Nick Zeckets
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  • alumni advancement . alumni engagement . data . fundraising . measuring engagement .

This past few days at the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges annual Foundation Leadership Forum were eye opening. We loved spending time with our nation's institutional leadership, learning from them, sharing our story, and developing ways to advance American higher education. One moment, in particular, truly stood out to me. A senior state level advancement leader shared…

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28
Dec
2015

The Problem With Solutions

  • Nick Zeckets
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  • alumni advancement . context . Higher Ed . measuring engagement .

Yes. Solutions can, indeed, be problematic. Take a minute and consider what you've done this year that's been completely new for your organization. Which of those things worked? What was a success? At the core of success stories today is that the low hanging fruit of one person being empowered to do their job or even a team being wholly more…

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08
Dec
2015

Heads Down for Alumni End Users

  • Nick Zeckets
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  • Advancement . alumni website . measuring engagement . QuadWrangle .

Over the past couple of months, we've been quiet here. We're not ignoring you. Quite the contrary. We've been heads down building some big, big things that our community has been asking for. This isn't a pitch blog. Those are worthless. We'll tell you all about that new stuff soon, but there are some things about head down work, as…

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05
Oct
2015

Apple Picking (and Giving Propensity)

  • Nick Zeckets
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  • alumni engagement . Alumni Relations . context . personalization . propensity .

This weekend I took my family apple picking. Essential public data says: 1) New England over-indexes on apple picking (we live in Boston) 2) Census data shows our household is likely to have a car 3) And our zip+4 over-indexes on kids under 5   That probably gives us a very high likelihood of going, right? It does. But what public data doesn't know…

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30
Sep
2015

The Rich Keep Getting Richer^2

  • Nick Zeckets
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Earlier this week, the good folks at Eduventures sent out an email that included a comparison of higher education fundraising share of total dollars raised broken down by the 100 wealthiest schools vs. all others. As you can see, the wealthiest schools in America are earning an increasing and, relative to the other 2,000+ universities in America, outsized proportion of donor…

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16
Sep
2015

QuadWrangle: 13,260. New York Times: Zero

  • Nick Zeckets
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  • alumni advancement . alumni engagement . Alumni Relations . context . curation .

Earlier this week we were excited to share the great news that alumni users of our partners' QuadWrangle mobile apps have consumed over 1.5MM news items about their alma maters. And that we'd seen so much consumption of school news thanks to the power of personalization that it was as if the whole of a small city read all of…

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14
Sep
2015

1.5MM

  • Nick Zeckets
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We're excited to announce that the QuadWrangle platform, for it's thousands of alumni users across our partner schools, has seen 1.5 Million news items read. It's as if 120,000 people read every front page article of today's New York Times. And the news items read are higher every day than the day before. Why are so many alumni reading so much more…

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