of alumni either have an updated email ID, phone number, or mailing address
alumni engaged over emails
event registrations in less than 2 years
Established in 1941, Northwestern Health Sciences University is one of the largest natural health care research institutions in the United States. Its programs focus on alternative and integrative health care, patient care and research. The university has surpassed the $7 million mark, raised through funds for their research programs and is only expanding since.
Located in Bloomington, Minnesota, the university is abode to eleven academic programs ranging from Undergraduate in Health Sciences to Doctoral degrees in Chiropractic and Chinese Medicine, with a community of over 9000 alumni.
Despite attempts to engage their alumni over social media and emails, the University found it testing to fetch expected participation from its alumni community. In a year where universities across the globe had to find new ways to substitute in-person alumni events, Northwestern Health Sciences University not only had to focus on finding a way to navigate the crisis, but also drive higher participation through it.
Northwestern Health Sciences University, like many other institutions, found it challenging to keep track of its vast community of over 9000 alumni. With only a limited staff handling alumni operations, their database required automation to maintain updated information of their alumni.
Another challenge that the alumni development team faced was the absence of a philanthropic culture in the community. The University was not able to boost fundraising capacity and found it difficult to cultivate the sense of giving back amongst its community members.
With a small team overlooking alumni operations, it was exceedingly difficult to reach out and connect with a colossal alumni community at Northwestern Health Sciences University. The University’s alumni engagement & fundraising efforts are largely overseen by Katy Hargis (Annual Giving Officer) and Joe Crosby (Marketing Program Manager), under the leadership of Brendan Bannigan (Vice President of Development and Leadership Gifts).
The alumni development team at Northwestern Health Sciences University had a diverse alumni population to cater to. However, the University lacked the right tools to segment alumni based on various criteria such as class years, interests, location, employment status, etc. to engage in more effective, personalized email outreach. The institution, therefore, needed to shift to a more streamlined platform for email communication, for a better engagement experience.
Leveraging its online alumni platform and a well-planned alumni engagement strategy, Northwestern Health Sciences University was able to effortlessly drive higher alumni engagement consistently since 2018. In addition to hosting in-person engagement initiatives before the pandemic, the University drove participation amidst the COVID-19 pandemic via a string of virtual events - panel discussions, online career seminars, and their virtual series Navigating Now that discussed and explored ideas on career, community and professional development.
The University has sent out over 200K emails, consistently engaging 51% of the alumni community in less than 2 years.
In addition to hosting various events round the year, Northwestern Health Sciences University also supports its community by regularly posting job updates and classifieds. The University’s Mentor Program partners individual students with alumni or professional mentors, offering abundant opportunities for professional growth and development.
Northwestern Health Sciences University leveraged Almabase and Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT together to keep their alumni database up-to-date. NWHSU alumni were able to automatically pull information from their Facebook and LinkedIn proﬁles or manually make changes themselves, ensuring that their information is always up-to-date. Automatic updates eliminated any risks of errors associated with manual entry of data.
With an all-in-one platform in place to collect all event registration & donation data, the University no longer had to worry about manually adding this data to their database.
44% of NWHSU constituents signed-up using Facebook & LinkedIn
24% increase in platform sign-ups over the last year
Northwestern Health Sciences University hosted its first ever Give Day in 2019 and a year later, the University hosted its second Give Day 2020 during the pandemic, in support of student scholarships, campus upgrades, and student services. NWHSU was able to hit the right chord with their Give Day messaging, theme and the overall strategy, unlocking the giving spirit of their community. For their Give Day 2020 campaign, the Development Staff incorporated virtual campus tour videos and made a compelling appeal to its community to come together in support of students.
60% increase in gifts raised ($4770 & $7644 raised during Give Day 2019 & Give Day 2020 respectively)
34% increase in the number of donors (75 donors & 101 donors contributed to Give Day 2019 & Give Day 2020 respectively)
NWHSU offers a virtual tour of its campus and Chiropractic program in Bloomington, Minnesota ahead of its Give Day 2020
Northwestern Health Sciences University continues to empower and support its community by hosting engaging virtual events and raising donations for student welfare round the year via Almabase. Check out Northwestern Health Sciences University’s alumni network.
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