Beyond Facebook: University connects alums online

Ninety-four percent of campuses reported a fundraising uptick in 2010.

A new alumni social networking website launched July 18 by Indiana University (IU) frames connecting with old friends and classmates as an interactive game, as higher education looks for more ways to combine alumni fundraising with social media outreach.

Called “Spirit of IU,” the site goes beyond the Facebook news updates that have become standard among university sites and offers contests and an online alumni directory that doubles as a game.

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Facebook app digitizes ‘nostalgic content’ for college alumni

Colleges are tapping into alumni information posted on Facebook profiles.

A single class picture can connect hundreds of alums with each other and their alma maters. U For Life, a Facebook application launched in December and used at 10 colleges and universities, lets schools digitize sentimental material not often accessible online, including yearbooks, sports guides, and newsletters.

Alumni relations officials said the viral effect of tagging old class photos on Facebook alerts former classmates that they’ve been identified on the social media site and draws them to the university’s Facebook page.

From there, if they’re willing to let their alma mater access information listed on Facebook—such as eMail and home addresses, phone numbers, and places of employment—the alum can access the U For Life application and connect with friends from back in the dormitory and student union.…Read More

Tech tool could take the guessing out of college fundraising

Alumni giving fell .4 percent in 2010, according to a recent report.

College and university fundraising officials might not have to wonder how alums feel about their alma mater thanks to a computer program that can tell just how much a former student likes or dislikes the institution.

Oregon State University (OSU) on Feb. 17 launched the Building Community Initiative (BCI), a program designed to “assesses the affinity and connection” between alumni donors and their college or university.

OSU announced that it will make the tool available to other campuses.…Read More

Amid cuts, public colleges step up appeals to alumni

As state legislatures cut back support for higher education, public colleges and universities across the country are turning to their alumni, hat in hand, as never before–hiring consultants, hunting down graduates and mobilizing student phone banks to raise private money in amounts they once thought impossible, the New York Times reports. But many find themselves arriving late to the game, particularly in the Northeast, where state governments have traditionally been generous and a host of private colleges have dominated the quest for donations…

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