Beyond Facebook: University connects alums online

While the Spirit of IU website is not as blatantly focused on fundraising, maintaining a strong community can be beneficial for both alumni and the school.

The site’s revamping comes on the heels of a recent uptick in alumni donations that coincides with increased use of social media by university fundraising campaigns.

In a survey released April 7 by Campus Management Corp., experts found that cultivating a strong online presence allows schools to frequently and casually share fundraising efforts with alumni.

During the 2010-11 school year, 94 percent of schools polled reported the first significant increase in donations since the economic downturn in 2008, and fundraising officials expect the increase to continue.

Ten percent of campuses reported “significant increases” over the past six months and 35 percent reported “moderate increases” in the survey. Twenty-two percent of colleges recorded a “little increase” in donations.

Contributions to colleges and universities fell by 11.9 percent in 2009, and alumni giving dropped sharply, according to the Council for Aid to Education (CAE), an organization that tracks educational donations nationwide.

"(Required)" indicates required fields