So how is our constituent engagement program?

12 05 2011

Good question (Patting myself on the back since I asked it myself)! In all seriousness, we have a lot of attention paid on our donor counts, renewals, etc.   These are great numbers for us to be paying attention to and they serve as an excellent scorecard.  But how are we doing with our constituent relations programs?  These programs include alumni programs, membership programs, donor clubs, etc.

I recently had the privilege of being a guest on Paul Clifford’s “Impact Alumni Podcast” program. (You can listen to the interview here: ) On that program we talked about metrics and how do we effectively measure alumni programs. We no longer can use just membership as a guide. Many institutions have even abandoned dues structures, essentially making everyone a member. 

Alumni programs and other membership programs such as museums, environmental organizations etc. will be working hard for additional revenue and they will need to be able to show impact for relationship management programs.  Consider these metrics:

  • How many of our constituent pool are we engaging in some manner (event attendance, volunteering, etc.)?
  • Are special event attendees becoming donors? Increasing their membership?
  • How are we doing amongst select groups of our constituents, such as young alumni or geographic distribution?

We need to be careful not to fool ourselves because our bottom line constituent relationship numbers look “good”.  So take a careful snapshot of who your program is engaging, conduct a gap analysis (who do we want to be engaging?), and build a plan to get there!

Have a great day!

– Mark

Paul Clifford’s program is a great resource.  I encourage you to review the many programs at




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