In February and March we asked for alumni feedback via a comprehensive survey. We had a great response with over 4,100 alumni participating across 48 states and 45 countries. For the researchers or armchair pollsters reading, this gives us a margin of error of less than 1.5%.
More importantly, the results of the study serve three primary functions. First, it provides those of us working at the college a chance to listen to those we serve. Second, it evokes discussion and gives alumni an additional opportunity to have an important voice. Third, it allows us to make decisions regarding the Alumni Association with objective information and alumni insight.
We are grateful for those that took the time to share their opinions and are fortunate to have a loyal alumni base. In fact, 76% rated their loyalty to Hope as a 7 or higher on a 10 point scale. Moving forward, we are planning to connect even more alumni to the mission of Hope through improved benefits and services based on what we heard.
Online and Career Connections
Alumni shared that relevant connections today should be made more around region and career and less around traditional class year. The benefits alumni are most interested in include an improved online alumni directory, discounted merchandise, regional connections, online lifelong learning and career networking. Plans for improvement and initial discussions are taking place in all of these areas and in April the Alumni Association Board of Directors prioritized a list of improvements to focus on.
Student Scholarships and Designated Giving
While there are many ways for alumni to make a difference, philanthropic support remains a crucial one. Currently, just under 20% of alumni support the college financially. Alumni shared that directly supporting students and the ability to designate gifts are the clearest ways to increase support. Based on this feedback, 100% of money raised through the Hope Fund will now directly support student scholarships. We are also working on priority designations and will be sharing new opportunities this year.