Convio's Free, Downloadable Guide Helps Colleges and Universities Use Internet for Advancement

AUSTIN, Texas, June 25, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Colleges and universities interested in optimizing use of the Internet to support alumni/donor relations and advancement now can download a free guide published by Convio, Inc. packed with tips, best practices and examples from several of the nation's leading institutions of higher education.

"Online Advancement: Using the Internet to Build Lifelong Relationships with Alumni and Donors" is available at The illustrated booklet is the latest in Convio's continuing series of free, downloadable guides to help nonprofit organizations incorporate the Internet into initiatives for fundraising, marketing, advocacy and building sustainable relationships with supporters. Convio's other free guides -- on eMarketing and online advocacy -- are available at

Convio -- the leading online Constituent Relationship Management (eCRM) company for the nonprofit sector -- provides software and services that help organizations use the Internet for more effective fundraising, marketing, advocacy, event management, communications and management of constituent relationships. Convio's comprehensive product suite includes an offering specifically designed for colleges and universities, Convio for Advancement(tm). Convio's 120-plus nonprofit clients include top schools and alumni associations, among them: Georgetown University's Office of Alumni and University Relations; the University of Texas at Austin's alumni group, the Texas Exes; and Southwest Texas State University's alumni association.

The new higher education guide highlights Internet initiatives by Georgetown and the Texas Exes. Georgetown currently is conducting the largest fundraising campaign in the school's 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.

Convio's latest, free publication comes at a time when colleges and universities are hard hit by a decline in private gifts for the first time in 15 years and a 14 percent drop in alumni gifts (according to an annual survey released in March 2003 by RAND's Council for Aid to Education). Participation rates among young alumni also are falling.

"Today's colleges and universities have to do more to build strong relationships with supporters, and they must do it with fewer resources because there's less funding from traditional sources and endowment values are down in the current economy," said Vinay Bhagat, founder and CEO, Convio, Inc. "The new guide is full of ideas and information to help schools develop and execute effective online programs for advancement. The guide also explains how to integrate these programs with offline initiatives which is key for optimizing campaign results."

Advancement professionals who read the guide will learn how the Internet can help:

 -- Control the cost of reaching out and raising funds;
 -- Uncover what interests and motivates constituents so Web site
    content, appeals, marketing and email communications can be
    targeted to drive better response rates;

 -- Turn alumni and friends into active supporters and donors,
    including tips for getting young alumni involved to cultivate the
    next generation of donors;

 -- Build a base for major giving by strengthening relationships with
    active alumni;

 -- Coordinate efforts for more effective communication to ensure that
    alumni relations and development offices share information and
    avoid duplication of activities; and

 -- Measure engagement to identify and target an organization's best
    prospects and supporters to increase their participation. 

A portion of the guide addresses the importance of exchanging information between online programs and offline databases as well as across schools, departments and functions within a college or university. This section explains the advantages of combining online and offline lists and information about alumni, donors, and others to create a complete picture of the school's supporters.

Additionally, the guide addresses how a school can transform its Web site into a destination and community for alumni by providing meaningful, online services that include:

 -- A searchable online directory of alumni containing a rich listing
    for each alumnus, including contact and employment information,
    photos, and class notes; 

 -- "Tell-a-friend" tools, making it easy for active alumni to "spread
    the word" to and involve others, including lost alumni;
 -- Event registration such as online RSVPs and ticketing for class
    reunions and other events;
 -- Secure, convenient payment options including credit card payment;

 -- A career network; 

 -- Club and class Web pages; and

 -- Lifetime, school-branded email.

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 of 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 associations at the University of Texas at Austin and Southwest Texas State University, 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, Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, National Trust For Historic Preservation and KCET Community Television of Southern California. For more information, please visit

The Convio logo is available at:


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