Higher Education Market Research


Alumni are not your past - they are your future. No matter the size or type of school, continued success relies heavily on the overarching goal of maintaining alumni loyalty and increased alumni giving. Simply using a fixed, one-size fits all strategy to assume long-term support is not enough to warrant a valuable and fruitful relationship. GreatBlue assists schools with leveraging the power of insights and harnessing the validation of data to create an effective engagement strategy and drive financial giving. GreatBlue has been helping colleges and universities ask the questions and understand the real opportunities among alumni for over four decades. Our goal is to help you collect real alumni insights and implement crafted strategies for continued success.

Actionable Data Points

Alumni are perhaps your most valuable resource. Beyond the great need for financial contributions, alumni could be your greatest advocate — How well do you understand their needs and opinions?

  • How do preferred methods of communication vary by age or other key demographic information? An alumni study serves to show you which methods resonate with each of your alumni demographics, as well as desired contact frequency and news content — knowledge that is key to maximizing the potential of any outreach campaign. 
  • Do your alumni seek new, diversified options for donating financially? By discovering payment preferences, alumni studies ultimately help institutions uncover strategies to increase alumni donations over time.
  • Are your alumni aware of current programs and services offered? Alumni assessment studies reveal whether or not your communication efforts are effectively conveying information about current and new programs and services. Through an understanding of this level of awareness, necessary strategies can be developed to increase awareness and ultimately increase engagement. 
  • What would motivate your alumni to be more involved with your institution? Sometimes it is as easy as asking people what they would like. Would your alumni prefer more engagements with school programs and services? Would they like more interaction with current students or fellow alumni? Ask your alumni for ideas that appeal to them that would bring them back and keep them engaged.  

Case Study

  • GreatBlue has coordinated with a state university for both alumni relations and perception studies. The alumni relations survey, which reached out to more than 500 alumni, allowed for comprehensive feedback from alumni on awareness, perceptions, communication, participation, activities, and giving. The perception study gathered feedback from alumni, prospective students, opinion/community leaders, current students, and faculty/staff to gauge changes in opinion, beliefs, and attitudes leading up to and following the completion of the university’s rebranding efforts.  
  • GreatBlue conducted similar telephone and focus group-based brand awareness strategies for another state university. Feedback on areas such as college selection process, influencers and barriers to applying, preferred communication, and demographics all provided valuable input for actionable plans moving forward.