How Alumni Spend Their Days (And What That Means for Engagement)
When you're thinking about the benefits, events and content you want to offer your alumni, how well informed is that thinking? What's feeding the decision making process?
Often times, we hear about key influences like trustees and vocal alumni, vendor marketing, and a lot more and, yes, sometimes survey data. However, there are fantastic data sources in the world to inform your strategy including the American Time Use Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
We graphed how college grads, in particular, spend their 24 hour days:
In all of these buckets there are opportunities to increase alma mater's relevance to an alum's day.
While it may not be obvious in every scenario, a little consideration can go a long way.
Imagine, as it pertains to sleep, that researchers on campus have conducted sleep research studies. What increases the quality of sleep? What impacts sleep duration and what are the general impacts of sleep quality? These are common topics of academic research. Could you develop a sleep research series with those campus colleagues? Why not partner up with a mattress company like Casper, Tuft & Needle or Leesa?
Work. Work, work, work. Wouldn't it be nice if work was made easier in a very practical, knowable way by our alma mater? Of course. This is where all the energy comes from for mentoring platforms. The only problem is that mentoring platforms are lightly leveraged due to time requirements. It has to be quick and easy. Can your alumni directory be better? Can you offer better tools?
Eating, home and family care eat up more than a quarter of our waking hours. This is "real life." How do we help our alumni? Would it be so far fetched as to offer campus-inspired menus? Credit card offers just don't deliver anymore, but what about a partnership with Instacart, Peapod, or another home service? Give people back their time and they'll be more likely to give to you.
Your thinking will be more clever than what you see here, but it takes great data to drive that creativity. If you're searching for data, let us know. We always have a bead on great sources - many of them 100% free and easy to get.