Public Universities

University of South Florida

University of South Florida

August 2, 2023

For this edition of Almabase spotlights, we feature the University of South Florida's Digital Engagement Center, a dynamic hub fostering meaningful engagement with alums, donors, parents, and friends.

Digital Engagement Center

USF's state-of-the-art Digital Engagement Center drives high-impact outreach programs to engage alums, donors, parents, and friends. The Center aims to lend a personal touch to outreach initiatives and go beyond solely soliciting donations. 

The Center's student engagement specialists are encouraged to be stewards of the university. These student ambassadors lead in building positive and meaningful connections with alums.

Today, the Center has 65 part-time students associated with the program. The cohort is divided into groups handling various segments, such as athletic ticket sales, appointment setting with regional development officers, and video outreach to international alums.

Drawing on USF's strong technology capabilities, the Center effectively leverages new technologies to expand the university's reach. For instance, conversations between USF's alums and student communities are built through texting, video interaction, and social media. They also engage donors through the channel of their preference, whether through phone calls, emails, or text messages.

Student engagement specialists ensure that alums are meaningfully engaged through invites to exclusive events and to participate in opportunities to give back to causes they feel passionate about. They also share exciting news with alums about USF's initiatives and express gratitude for their support. This is a great opportunity for students to build skills while delivering value to alum relations. 

Source of Inspiration

Andres Benavides, Assistant Director of Development at the University of South Florida (USF), is one of the dynamic founders of USF's innovative Digital Engagement Center. Andres has carved a niche as a leader who drives change through the effective use of technology.

 At USF's Digital Engagement Center, Andres oversees all operations, manages staff, and collaborates with the advancement services team to build more efficiency and impact into the Center's efforts. He combines his strategic fundraising, interpersonal skills, and diverse development, management, and leadership background to build inspiring campaigns and meaningful relationships with donors. 

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