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Recent grad refresh: Carleton University’s transformed approach to building relationships with new alumni
As alumni donor bases continue to mature, devoting resources and energy to welcoming new alumni and cultivating philanthropic relationships is essential. Following consultation with recent graduates, Carleton University developed a refreshed strategy to guide communications, engagement and solicitation with its newest alumni. In the two years since implementation, beginning in 2019, Carleton has seen an increase in the number of new donors and revenue, as well as positive indicators of engagement. This paper outlines the approach Carleton took to audit its existing practices and offers a comprehensive account of the process of developing and implementing this new strategy. The refreshed approach is one that emphasises inclusion and provides value to alumni. This revamped strategy has bolstered donor acquisition, resulting in an increase in the number of recent grad donors and revenue while improving engagement with new alumni. Specific tactics used to cultivate and solicit recent grads are detailed, demonstrating their effectiveness in developing better relationships with alumni at Carleton.
The full article is available to subscribers to the journal.
Sarah Mckinnon CFRE has over a decade of non-profit fundraising experience in healthcare and political organisations and, most recently, in higher education. In 2018, she joined Carleton University’s annual giving team with a portfolio focus on alumni, including recent grads. Passionate about improving the donor experience, she works to achieve this through integrated direct marketing, multi-channel campaigns, enhancing behind-thescenes processes and stewardship. Sarah is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Ottawa Chapter and a proud Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE).