Looking Back: A 2015 Review of Alumni Monitor’s Campaign Tracker

Amanda Kohn by on Feb 11, 2016

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As part of our Alumni Monitor service, Corporate Insight provides clients with a quarterly analysis of comprehensive university giving campaigns, gathered through our proprietary campaign data tracking system. The Campaign Tracker offers an in-depth view of how higher education institutions are progressing toward their stated goals and highlights the tools, outreach efforts and solicitations that have proven successful. Let’s take a look back at some of 2015’s most notable moments.

Our Campaign Tracker shows that, in 2015, 10 schools launched, ended or extended their giving campaigns. Four in particular – Cornell University, Georgia Tech, Pomona College and Washington and Lee – ended their campaigns this year. Out of our 28 other currently active campaigns (as of December 31, 2015):

  • Three schools – Boston College, Georgetown University and Ohio State University – have already hit their stated campaign goals
  • 32% of active campaigns have reached over $2 billion
  • 10 campaigns have at least 100,000 contributing donors
  • The average percentage of alumni donors (among campaigns that provide this info) is 44.3%

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Out of the 10 schools that either launched, ended or extended their campaigns this past year, two released final campaign results during the second half of 2015: Washington and Lee’s seven-year Honor Our Past, Build Our Future campaign concluded in June, while the Georgia Institute of Technology’s five-year Campaign for Georgia Tech recently finished in December.

Washington and Lee successfully reached its $500 million goal to support five areas: scholarships and financial aid; faculty support and competitive compensation; student programs for learning, engagement and character; renovations and new facilities; and growth of the Annual Fund. The campaign raised 8% more than its stated goal, with a grand total of $542.5 million. Annual Fund contributions constituted 46% of funds raised, and a staggering 77% of undergraduate alumni donated. Based on our Campaign Tracker, we found that the total funds raised increased by $46 million in the last three months of the campaign.

Georgia Tech reached its $1.5 billion goal to support initiatives that align with the school’s strategic plan, including new facilities and research centers, endowed faculty chairs and professorships, scholarships and financial aid, and institutional effectiveness. The school announced that the campaign surpassed its goal by $300 million, or 20%, and that a total of 91,147 donors contributed. Most notably, all colleges met their individual funding goals and all now have endowed deans chairs; a total of 103 endowed chairs and professorships were created as a result of the Campaign for Georgia Tech. According to our Campaign Tracker, an impressive $300 million was raised in the last five-month push of the campaign. As of November 2015, the campaign goal was surpassed by 14%.

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Both Washington and Lee and Georgia Tech reached their stated goals prior to their campaigns’ formal end dates. Not an uncommon occurrence, this allows some schools to extend their campaign end dates and goals to reach even more donors, as Boston University and Boston College have both done this year.

In September, Boston University extended its campaign end date by two years to 2019 and boosted its campaign goal by $500 million to a total of $1.5 billion. Our Campaign Tracker indicates that, as of August 2015, BU hit 84% of its initial $1 billion goal and then surpassed the billion-dollar mark within a month, two and a half years before the original 2017 end date.

In December, Boston College also announced an extension of its campaign’s initial December 31 deadline to May 31, 2016 (the college’s fiscal year end date). According to our Campaign Tracker, BC was well on its way to reaching $1.5 billion when it had already raised 98% of its goal by September.

Check back here for quarterly updates from the Alumni Monitor Campaign Tracker, which aggregates and analyzes higher ed fundraising data across a series of verticals including total funds raised, percentage of goal completed, alumni participation, total number of donors, duration and other noteworthy elements.

For more information on Alumni Monitor and our research on alumni outreach and engagement, please contact Dana Peterson at dpeterson@corporateinsight.com or visit us at alumnimonitor.corporateinsight.com.

About The Author

Amanda Kohn

Amanda is a Senior Research Associate for Alumni Monitor at Corporate Insight. Read more