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Jun 10, 2019

Like many of you I'm lucky enough to have more than one alma mater. One of those is Illinois State University where I'm actually still currently a student finishing up my doctoral degree.

I came to Illinois State University kind of in the middle of my career and the institution really blew me away. ISU has an incredibly deep commitment to the success of students. When you look at the key statistics on Illinois State University they blow away the competition in terms of retention, student success, student satisfaction.

And one of the reasons for that, is that throughout their entire history they've just been totally focused on education. They were a Teachers College until in the 70s they transformed into the modern comprehensive university. Along with that came a shift in fundraising strategy, and the institution started raising more. Now, they're in the midst of a transformational campaign and like all campaigns there's more than one effort involved.

Modern campaigns now also will often include a big push in annual giving. I've had an opportunity to talk with Jillian Nelson at Illinois State University about the efforts of ISU to grow alumni giving, the number of alumni who give in any given year, and by nature of that, of course, alumni participation.

I got Jillian on the line to talk a little bit about ISU's efforts to transform donor engagement, the new things they're trying, what they've had success with, and what they think is next to engage this great group of alumni.