Largest School in Texas State University System Steps Up Alumni Relations, Fundraising With Convio
AUSTIN — The alumni association of Southwest Texas State University — one of Texas’ largest public universities — has selected Convio, Inc. to step up its use of the Internet for developing stronger relationships with alumni and donors to increase fundraising and other forms of participation.
“ We’re switching to Convio to build a more powerful Internet infrastructure so we can optimize our use of the online medium which, in conjunction with our offline marketing and communications activities, will help us build and sustain strong relationships with our constituents,” said Dorothy Evans, Executive Director, Southwest Texas Alumni Association. “This is key for stimulating giving and participation in other activities that are important to the vibrancy of the Southwest Texas community. Convio also is the only solution that truly enables integration of alumni and donor data gathered online to our offline donor databases so we can conduct much more efficient and effective campaigns.”
Convio — the leading online Constituent Relationship Management (eCRM) company serving the nonprofit sector -- provides software and services that help organizations use the Internet to more effectively attract, motivate and retain constituents so they will donate and provide other types of support. Convio’s offering includes Convio for Advancement, a suite of Internet tools for accelerating college and university advancement programs.
The largest of the nine schools comprising the Texas State University System, Southwest Texas State University has approximately 25,000 students, more than 1,100 faculty members and 200-plus bachelor, masters and doctoral degree programs. The Southwest Texas State University Alumni Association joins a growing list of alumni and development groups at leading U.S. colleges and universities that are using Convio’s software and services to build strong relationships with alumni and donors. The company’s fast-growing client roster also includes Georgetown University’s Office of Alumni and University Relations as well as the Texas Exes, the alumni association for the University of Texas at Austin, which is the nation’s largest university as measured by enrollment.
The Southwest Texas State University Alumni Association anticipates full deployment of Convio by early September, but some features will be available to Internet users in the meantime. With Convio, the association will be able to transform its Web site into an interactive, customized community for alumni, and have new, more powerful capabilities for frequent, personalized and targeted email communications. The association will be able to use Convio to:
a. Encourage alumni involvement by providing an online community with useful features such as online class directories, class notes, opportunities for professional networking, school-branded lifetime email forwarding and “Tell-A-Friend” tools so Web site visitors and email recipients can easily help reach out to and involve lost alumni;
b. Build a rich profile of each alumnus through Web site registration, online surveys and other interactions that include his or her history, interests and demographic information so staff can conduct more targeted communication and development campaigns;
c. Create Web page and email content tailored to each alumnus’ interests such as class year, major, athletic affinity, etc., and also to develop special Web site areas for key affinity groups, e.g., young alumni, major donors, or clubs;
d. Prepare and send graphical (HTML), personalized, email communications such as newsletters, fundraising appeals, and general updates that engage alumni and stimulate participation;
e. Conduct multiple, simultaneous, online fundraising campaigns with secure, automated online donation processing that includes immediate gift acknowledgment and IRS-compliant receipts;
f. Manage special events online including multi-part events such as reunions, making it easy for alumni to RSVP and pay for tickets by secure credit card transaction while reducing the need for offline administrative support;
g. Synchronize alumni/donor information captured online through Convio applications with the association’s offline constituent database, JSI Millennium, for conducting fully integrated marketing campaigns; and
h. Measure and analyze constituents’ response to online communications and appeals, utilization of the Web site and involvement in activities promoted online to identify the strongest supporters and campaigns. “Colleges and universities must continuously generate alumni participation and support, but today face huge capacity and financial challenges when it comes to reaching new alumni, reconnecting with lost alumni, retaining active alumni and developing major donors,” said Vinay Bhagat, founder and CEO of Convio. “The Southwest Texas State University Alumni Association and organizations at a growing number of schools are taking an important step by investing in a complete online Constituent Relationship Management solution with strong online/offline database integration features. They are retooling so they can become much more efficient and effective at advancement.”
About Southwest Texas State University Alumni Association
The Southwest Texas State University Alumni Association promotes Southwest Texas State University’s traditions of pride and loyalty, and enhances the school through the contributions and talents of alumni and friends. The association is the communication link that forges a strong bond between the university and alumni. It serves present and future alumni by actively supporting the university’s goals, values and accomplishments, and by advancing the school’s quality and stature. The association’s goals are to: raise and award more than a quarter of a million dollars in scholarships and university support every year; reach out to and communicate with alumni and former students; reach out to and educate currently enrolled students; and design and fund a new alumni center.
Convio is the leading online Constituent Relationship Management (eCRM) company serving the nonprofit sector. Convio provides Internet software and services that help organizations attract, motivate and retain constituents for fundraising, advocacy and other forms of support. Convio’s product suite includes modules for Web content management, email marketing, general fundraising and membership, advocacy, special events, volunteer fundraising and also online directories and surveys. The Convio platform automatically shares data among all all product modules and with offline databases, giving nonprofits a unified and more complete view of each constituent so staff can conduct personalized and targeted marketing. Convio also offers consulting services to help nonprofits adopt online marketing best practices.
In addition to Southwest Texas State University, Georgetown University and the University of Texas at Austin’s alumni association, the Texas Exes, Convio’s clients include Easter Seals, American Diabetes Association, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, National Trust For Historic Preservation and KCET-Los Angeles Public Television. For more information, please visit www.convio.com.