From engagement to fundraising: Fundraising ideas for schools from Florida Tech

Few schools have implemented unique fundraising ideas for schools as effectively as the Florida Institute of Technology. This blog post will explore five key aspects of Florida Tech‘s success: increased fundraising through engagement, data points highlighting their progress, the role of Graduway and Advance—key pillars of the Gravyty platform—in supporting their achievements, the power of collaboration between departments and takeaways for other institutions.

About Florida Institute of Technology

The Florida Institute of Technology (Florida Tech) is a private research university in Melbourne, Florida, known for its engineering and science programs. With a goal of creating meaningful connections with its alumni, the university has seen a significant increase in engagement, fundraising and event attendance in recent years.

How Florida Tech increased fundraising through engagement

One of the main drivers behind Florida Tech’s fundraising success is their focus on engaging and reconnecting with alumni. They use Florida Tech Connect, a platform powered by Graduway, to create networking and mentoring opportunities for alumni and students. By providing these opportunities for connection, Florida Tech has seen a significant increase in event attendance, leadership engagement and donations.

Event attendance

Ten years ago, Florida Tech engaged around 500 alumni at in-person events and other channels. Today, that number has grown to 1,500—a 200% increase in event attendance. This growth can be attributed to the university’s efforts to create engaging events and promote them through various channels, including Florida Tech Connect.

Leadership engagement

Florida Tech has also seen a boost in leadership engagement, with 750 major gift prospects in their portfolios. About 600 of these alumni have offered to meet with students for an hour to provide coaching and mentorship. 80% of their major gifts prospects are being engaged by current students. This kind of engagement not only benefits the students but also strengthens the connection between alumni and the university, ultimately leading to increased donations.

Data points: The impact of alumni engagement

The impact of Florida Tech’s alumni engagement efforts can be seen in various data points, including increased event attendance, higher enrollment rates and a rise in qualified major gift prospects.

Enrollment rates

When top-scoring prospective students meet with major gift alumni, their chances of choosing Florida Tech increase from 10% to 44%—a 340% increase. This demonstrates the power of connecting prospective students with successful alumni, as it helps showcase the value of a Florida Tech education.

Major gift prospects

The number of qualified major gift prospects at Florida Tech has doubled due to further engagement. This increase is a result of the university’s efforts to build relationships with alumni, leading to more significant donations and support for the institution.

Graduway and Advance: Supporting success at Florida Tech

Two key tools that have supported Florida Tech’s success are Graduway and Advance, both offered by Gravyty. Graduway powers Florida Tech Connect, which helps engage, reconnect and mentor alumni. Some favorite features of Graduway include the alumni directory, mentoring feature and groups feature.

Advance, on the other hand, is a platform that supports Florida Tech’s Day of Giving, a fundraising initiative that encourages alumni and supporters to make donations. By providing easy-to-use platforms for alumni to connect and donate, Graduway and Advance have played a crucial role in Florida Tech’s increased engagement and fundraising success.

Collaboration between departments: A key to success

Another essential factor in Florida Tech’s success is the collaboration between various departments, such as Admissions, Enrollment Management and Development. By working together and sharing resources, these departments have been able to create a more seamless and integrated approach to engaging alumni and attracting prospective students.

For example, the contact center pairs students with alumni for phone calls and connections, fostering relationships that can lead to increased support for the university. This collaborative approach has proven to be highly effective in boosting engagement and fundraising efforts.

Key takeaways: Lessons learned from Florida Tech’s success

Florida Tech’s experience offers valuable insights for other institutions looking to increase engagement and fundraising. Some key takeaways include:

  • Focus on creating meaningful connections with alumni through networking and mentoring opportunities.
  • Utilize platforms like Graduway and Advance to streamline engagement and fundraising efforts.
  • Foster collaboration between departments to create a more integrated approach to alumni relations and development.
  • Continuously track data points to measure the impact of engagement efforts and make data-driven decisions.
  • Create engaging events and programs that resonate with alumni and encourage their involvement. Implementing unique fundraising ideas for schools is easier than ever with modern fundraising and engagment technology

By following Florida Tech’s example and implementing these strategies, other institutions can also see significant growth in alumni engagement and fundraising success.  

Ready to implement the successful engagement and fundraising strategies of Florida Tech at your own institution? Looking for more fundraising ideas for schools like yours? Schedule time with our Graduway & Advance product experts who can help you bring these ideas to life. Let us show you how we can support your efforts and take your fundraising to the next level. Contact us today to schedule a demo and learn more.

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