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Survey Lab: Your Peers are Listening. Are you?

A new survey of 231 college administrators conducted by the GG+A Survey Lab finds that use of market research tools such as surveys and focus groups are in widespread use, and most respondents say that the results of this kind of market research would be useful to them.

Strategies for collecting and analyzing direct feedback from alumni, students, and other constituents serve numerous ends include:

  • Understanding and quantifying alumni loyalty and engagement, including donor motivations and the philanthropic (financial, volunteer and other forms of engagement) inclinations of alumni toward your college or university and to other organizations
  • Determining alumni interest levels in various potential forms of engagement, such as events, service projects, career center volunteering, recruitment, etc., as well as the incentives and deterrents to giving
  • Evaluating donor satisfaction, stewardship, and communications preferences, including online/social media, print communications, in-person options, and career-oriented engagement/volunteering
  • Identifying interest areas within the organization and how they may align with alumni relations, fundraising and other priorities
  • Assessing the alumni population’s understanding of the need for philanthropic support
  • Providing a direct form of engagement, reassuring stakeholders that planning has included a range of diverse opinions from the entire alumni universe

Highlights from the survey include:

Sixty-one percent (61%) say their department conducted an alumni or student survey within the last two years and 42% have conducted focus groups.

When was the last time your office or department conducted an alumni or student survey?

When was the last time your office or department used focus groups to inform your strategy?

Seventy-seven percent (77%) say that surveys or focus groups would be useful to them, including 61% who say such research would be moderately or very useful.

How useful do you think a survey and/or focus group would be in helping you understand your alumni or student population?

The GG+A Survey Lab provides market research, surveys, focus groups, and analysis to support your organization’s vision. Learn more about us at www.grenzebachglier.com/surveylab

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About the author

Dan Lowman

Senior Vice President, Survey Lab

Dan Lowman is a Senior Vice President in our Analytics Department. His clients span the nonprofit sector and include hundreds of colleges, universities, hospitals, and social service, advocacy, and cultural organizations. His work with client organizations includes campaign planning, prospect identification and prospect management, analytics implementation, metrics, annual giving programs,…