The survey says? Last fall, all UB alumni were invited to take part in UB’s 2020 Alumni Survey, and here are some highlight findings.
The Division of University Advancement again partnered with Engagement Analysis Inc. (EAi), a research and consulting firm with expertise in nonprofit management, to conduct our survey. UB has used EAi for three previous surveys (2014, 2016, 2018), and results are benchmarked against more than 150 institutions of higher education.
“We survey our alumni every other year,” says Cynthia Khoo-Robinson, associate vice president for alumni engagement and annual giving. “We learn communications and programming preferences and ways our alumni wish to engage with the university. With 273,000+ alumni worldwide, UB alumni have a powerful voice in the life of UB.”
A key finding of the survey is an institution’s alumni engagement score, which measures how engaged a university’s alumni are with their alma mater. EAi’s analysis shows an engagement score of 61.4 percent for UB alumni overall, on par with peer universities. Other findings:
- When asked what factors contributed to a sense of connection to UB, the highest answers were “UB played an important role in my intellectual growth” and “UB played an important role in my development as a person.”
- When asked to rate their decision to attend UB, 88 percent said it was a “good” or “great decision” and most would “speak highly of UB.”
- Regions with the highest alumni engagement were Baltimore, Miami, San Francisco, Poughkeepsie and Chicago.
- 35 percent of respondents said they keep informed about what is going on at UB.
- There was a significant increase (up 16 percent from 2018) of alumni who said they would likely attend an alumni event.
- 80 percent of respondents agreed with the statement “My UB program prepared me to enter the workforce in my chosen field.”
- Preferred communications channels for receiving UB information included email (52 percent), At Buffalo print or electronic magazine (44 percent) and social media (31 percent). Facebook was the leading social media platform, followed by LinkedIn and Instagram.
- For in-person events, nearly half of respondents said they would prefer to attend smaller events where they live.
- For online events, top subjects were educational (50 percent) and career networking (33 percent); 27 percent said they were not interested in online events.
- Half of respondents report having donated to UB at least once.
- Top three reasons for making a donation to UB were “show my gratitude, support my value of higher education as a priority,” and “fulfill my obligation to give back.”
“We’re going to look very closely at what our alumni have told us, and use these results to guide our programs going forward,” says Khoo-Robinson. “We are enthusiastically committed to the work we do to keep graduates connected to their alma mater, and know that a stronger alumni network builds a stronger UB.”