Convio Unveils Internet Tools to Accelerate College and University Advancement Programs

AUSTIN, Texas, March 11, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Convio, Inc.(R), the leading online Constituent Relationship Management (eCRM) company for the nonprofit sector, today unveiled a suite of Internet tools for accelerating college and university advancement programs.

Convio provides software and services that help nonprofit organizations use the Internet to attract, motivate and retain constituents to donate and provide other types of support. The company's offering for higher education, Convio eCRM for Advancement(tm) helps colleges, universities and alumni associations transform their Web sites into interactive, customized communities for alumni; it also provides new, more powerful capabilities for targeted email communication. The result is more frequent, personalized and relevant interactions with alumni at much lower cost than direct mail, telemarketing and other methods. This, in turn, produces stronger relationships with alumni, increased participation and higher propensity for giving.

Alumni and development groups at some of the nation's most prestigious and largest institutions of higher education -- among them, Georgetown University and the University of Texas at Austin -- use Convio. Georgetown currently is conducting the largest fundraising campaign in its history to secure its financial base for a third century of service to the nation and world. The University of Texas at Austin is in the middle of a $1 billion-plus, seven-year fundraising campaign to enhance academic excellence and ensure its position as a national leader.

"Colleges and universities today face huge capacity and financial challenges generating participation and support -- they struggle with outreach to new alumni, reconnecting with lost alumni, retaining current active alumni and cultivating major donors," said Vinay Bhagat, founder and CEO, Convio, Inc. "The Internet vastly increases capacity and is a highly efficient method for reaching out, staying in touch, sustaining involvement and stimulating giving. It should be integrated into every school's advancement activities."

Convio eCRM for Advancement includes powerful personalization technology that enables development and alumni professionals to tailor Web site and email content so it appeals to the specific interests and motivations of alumni. The Convio system stores a profile for each alumnus that includes historical information (such as class year) as well as additional information provided by the alumnus when he registers on the organization's Web site and during subsequent online interactions, (such as updating a directory profile, submitting class notes, making a donation, renewing membership or signing up for a reunion).

Profiles are stored in Convio's centralized eCRM database, which staff members can segment by various criteria to determine the types of content each registered user sees on the Web site and receives in email communications. For example, content could be tailored to reflect class year, major or team affiliation; or there could be special Web site sections for key affinity groups such as young alumni, major donors or clubs. Convio eCRM for Advancement also includes tools to synchronize this data with offline alumni and donor databases.

Using Convio, organizations can:

-- Give staff tools (no HTML knowledge required) for creating personalized Web pages and emails for alumni, based on the interests in their profiles;

-- Regularly create and email richly formatted (HTML) personalized newsletters, fundraising and membership/renewal appeals, and general communications;

-- Enable secure online credit card processing so alumni can easily and quickly donate, become members of alumni associations and renew their memberships;

-- Allow alumni to post updates about themselves for online "class notes" and a searchable, online alumni directory that contains a rich listing for each alumnus, including basic information, photos, and class notes -- all of which he or she can access and change in real time, subject to authentication of identity;

-- Provide a school-branded, lifetime email address that forwards messages to an alumnus' home or work email address;

-- Leverage Web site visitors and email recipients to spread the word to "lost" alumni through "Tell-a-Friend" tools;

-- Wage multiple, simultaneous, high-volume email campaigns, e.g., annual fund drives, capital campaigns, alumni association membership and renewal pushes, etc.; and

-- Offer alumni the convenience of online RSVPs and ticketing for multi-day reunion events with numerous activities, using automatic credit card authorization and processing.

About Convio

Austin-based Convio is the leading online Constituent Relationship Management (eCRM) company serving the nonprofit sector. The Convio software solution consists of six product suites: Special Events, eFundraising, eMarketing, Advocacy, Content Management, and Constituent Center(tm). Convio's platform automatically shares data among all six product suites, giving nonprofits a unified view of each constituent so staff members can conduct more personalized and targeted marketing. The platform integrates tightly with offline systems such as donor management databases. Convio also provides services to help nonprofits adopt online marketing best practices.

In addition to Georgetown University and the University of Texas at Austin's Texas Exes, Convio's clients include Easter Seals, American Diabetes Association, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, National Trust For Historic Preservation and KCET-Los Angeles Public Television. For more information, please visit

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