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University of Texas at Dallas Alumni Relations

University of Texas at Dallas Alumni Relations Increases the Number of Online Donors 1,324 Percent Using Blackbaud® NetCommunity™

The mission of UT Dallas Alumni Relations is to involve alumni in support of the strategic mission of the University of Texas at Dallas, which is to become one of the best research universities in the country. Every alumnus of the University plays an important role in helping UT Dallas reach this goal.

Challenge

The Alumni Relations program wanted to create a stronger web presence and increase opportunities for alumni to interact with the University online. The program was also looking for a web solution that would allow the Alumni Relations staff to make modifications and additions to the website, rather than waiting for a third party to make changes. By doing so, staff members would be able to ensure that the content on the site was always fresh and current. They knew that in today’s climate, old information not only frustrates constituents, but can also lead to more problems if supporters follow out-of-date instructions or processes.

The program also wanted a solution that would allow staff members to spend less time manually updating data gathered from the website into their database, The Raisers Edge®. The program wanted staff members to spend more time engaging UT Dallas alumni with the University. Because the program is a small shop, simple increases in efficiency would make a big difference in focusing on projects to further its mission.

Solution

UT Dallas Alumni Relations decided that Blackbaud NetCommunity and its integration capabilities with The Raiser’s Edge was the ideal solution that would enable them to accomplish their goals.

Since implementing its new site on Blackbaud NetCommunity in 2007, the Office of Development and Alumni Relations has discovered more and more benefits to the solution. Blackbaud NetCommunity’s email solution has enabled the alumni office to send personalized and organization-branded emails to its donors and supporters. Additionally, the solution gathers data on which constituents open each email, where they clicked, and the transactions that were generated. This information is tracked in the individual’s record in The Raiser’s Edge or on the administrative report in Blackbaud NetCommunity.

The University team has leveraged every aspect of its integrated solution. Blackbaud NetCommunity has enabled the Office of Development and Alumni Relations to give constituents the ability to login and change their contact information and manage their email subscriptions. Information is automatically downloaded to the Blackbaud NetCommunity tab in The Raiser’s Edge where the database team simply reviews and approves it, significantly decreasing manual entry.

Results

Since implementing Blackbaud NetCommunity, Ms. Dougherty learned the power of personalized emails at a recent gathering. After changing the online registration automated email response so that it contained her personal email signature, attendees began to mention the email to her. By simply adding her name to the end of an auto-generated email, Ms. Dougherty discovered that she helped make alumni feel closer to the University.

In addition to increasing the number of online donations more than 1,000 percent, the Office of Development and Alumni Relations has been able to provide better support to the various campus schools. The Office can not only send out an email to a specific school’s alumni base, but it can provide some marketing guidance based on the reporting available in Blackbaud NetCommunity.

The integration between Blackbaud NetCommunity and The Raiser’s Edge has also been a great help on a case-by-case, individual basis. For example, when staff members in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations need to make phone calls to constituents, they can retrieve a variety of information from the Blackbaud NetCommunity tab in The Raiser’s Edge, helping them determine each constituent’s level of engagement with the University.

 
 

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