Free Convio Seminars Help Colleges and Universities Increase Alumni Involvement and Giving

AUSTIN, Texas, May 21, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- With gifts to higher education falling for the first time in a decade and a half, Convio, Inc. is hosting free seminars around the country in June to help development and alumni/donor relations professionals learn more about using the Internet to fundraise and build strong supporter bases.

The half-day seminars, scheduled for June 17-26 in Washington, D.C., Boston, Chicago and San Francisco, come at a time when U.S. colleges and universities are dealing with the first decline in giving to higher education in more than 15 years. The drop was reported recently in the annual survey by RAND's Council for Aid to Education (CAE), which also found that alumni giving -- traditionally the mainstay of support for higher education -- fell by about $1 billion, or nearly 14 percent, in 2002.

Advancement professionals from some of the world's leading universities will speak at the Convio sessions, outlining best practices for incorporating the Internet into development and alumni relations programs to build lasting relationships with constituents and encourage giving. Presenters will include:

 -- Lynda McAllister, Director of Alumni Communications, Office of
    Alumni and University Relations, Georgetown University

 -- Mark Petersen, Executive Director of Marketing and Business
    Development, Office of the Vice President for Resource
    Development, University of Texas at Austin

 -- Vinay Bhagat, founder and CEO, Convio, Inc. 

 -- Fred Waugh, Vice President of Marketing, Convio, Inc.

Convio -- the leading online Constituent Relationship Management (eCRM) company serving the nonprofit sector -- 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), enables colleges, universities and alumni associations to transform their Web sites into interactive, customized communities for alumni; it also features new, powerful capabilities for targeted email communication. Both Georgetown's alumni office and the University of Texas at Austin's alumni association are working with Convio to optimize use of the Internet so they can more effectively involve alumni and friends, increase participation in annual fund campaigns and cultivate major donors.

"These seminars are a great opportunity for advancement professionals to learn directly from their peers about how to incorporate the Internet into their programs which is critical because the Internet is the most effective way to keep alumni and friends engaged and involved," said Convio's Vinay Bhagat. "Online constituent relationship management, or eCRM, represents a significant advancement in the capabilities of alumni relations and development functions to drive better results and work more closely together."

Seminar attendees will learn how to:

 -- Develop an online community through online directories, class
    notes, career networking and more; 

 -- Collect constituent information to build a complete profile on
    each individual, using registration forms and surveys as well as
    information from offline databases;

 -- Segment alumni and supporters for targeted communications based on
    their interests and involvement;

 -- Create compelling, personalized Web and email content using
    browser-based tools; and

 -- Measure and analyze constituents' responses and involvement to
    optimize marketing and fundraising programs.

All seminars will be 8:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m. on the following dates:

 -- June 17, Washington, D.C., The Ritz Carlton, 1150 22nd Street,

 -- June 19, Boston, Mass., The Omni Parker House, 60 School Street

 -- June 24, Chicago, Ill., The Palmer House Hilton, 17 East Monroe

 -- June 26, San Francisco, Calif., The Omni San Francisco Hotel, 500
    California Street at Montgomery

To sign up to attend one of these seminars, please visit, call toll-free 1-866-552-8924 or send email to People interested in attending a seminar are encouraged to register immediately because seating is limited.

About Convio

Convio is the leading online Constituent Relationship Management (eCRM) company serving the nonprofit sector. Convio provides Internet software and services that help organizations attract, motivate and retain constituents for fundraising, advocacy and other forms support. Convio's product suite includes modules for Web content management, email marketing, general fundraising and membership, advocacy, special events, volunteer fundraising and also online directories and surveys. The Convio platform automatically shares data among all product modules and with offline databases, giving nonprofits a unified and more complete view of each constituent so staff can conduct personalized and targeted marketing. Convio also offers consulting services to help nonprofits adopt online marketing best practices.

In addition to Georgetown University and the alumni association of the University of Texas at Austin, Convio's clients include Southwest Texas State University, 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

The Convio logo is available at:


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