About CASE

Pam Russell
Director of Communications


For Immediate Release
April 30, 2015

More Educational Institutions Using Social Media to Fundraise, Measure Outcomes

CASE/Huron/mStoner Survey Reveals Growing Impact of Social Media in Advancement

MIAMI—More schools, colleges and universities worldwide are using social media to boost their fundraising results, and are experimenting with new strategies, according to survey results released today at the 2015 CASE Social Media and Community Conference.

Some 57 percent of respondents to the CASE/Huron/mStoner social media survey used social media to fundraise in 2015, compared to 47 percent in 2014. A majority of respondents (59 percent) report experimenting with new social media fundraising strategies.

"We're seeing a steady growth in the use of social media by practitioners who work in educational advancement, especially fundraising and alumni relations, who see these tools as increasingly important to their work," says William Walker, interim vice president of advancement resources for CASE.

Michael Stoner, president of mStoner, says survey results indicate that institutions are expanding beyond basic use of the tools and experimenting with new ways to engage donors, alumni and other constituencies.

"Many institutions are experimenting with crowdfunding, days of giving and other new social-media-based fundraising strategies," Stoner says. "I believe that we will see more and more institutions using social media in these ways going forward."

Other key findings:

  • Institutions are using less text and more images and video. Text decreased from 65 percent in 2012 to 43 percent in 2015 while images grew from 30 percent in 2012 to 45 percent in 2015 and video use increased from 6 percent in 2012 to 12 percent in 2015.
  • While nearly 60 percent used social media to raise money from donors, nearly 85 percent of those surveyed indicate that social-media-based fundraising represents 5 percent or less of their institution's total.
  • Fifteen percent of institutions have held crowdfunding campaigns, and of these, 50 percent earned more than $10,000 per year.
  • Forty-two percent of institutions have held a day of giving. Of these, 84 percent considered the event to be successful with 37 percent raising more than $50,000.
  • Twenty-two percent of institutions use social media ambassadors—often alumni—who are recruited to help promote social media initiatives.
  • Twenty-six percent of respondents rate their use of social media as very successful or a model for success. These same respondents are more likely to plan, have goals and measure outcomes.
  • Respondents are focusing their attention on Facebook, Twitter and institutional websites that aggregate social media.
  • Thirty-four percent of respondents calculate engagement scores for alumni and donors and indicate that they are focused on building sophisticated ways of measuring engagement.

Jennifer Mack, senior managing researcher at Huron Consulting Group, says that measurement is becoming increasingly important as advancement professionals are asked to show a return on investment.

"Survey results indicate a trend toward measuring what is effective," Mack says. "However, there is still more opportunity for growth in this area as the majority of institutions surveyed use number of followers, website click-throughs and anecdotal evidence as their top forms of measurement."

The sixth annual CASE/Huron Education/mStoner social media survey, conducted Feb. 19 - March 26, 2015, asked advancement professionals at education institutions about their use of social media. Nearly 1,000 respondents provided feedback to this year's survey. View the top-line findings and the presentation of those findings.

About CASE

CASE believes in advancing education to transform lives and society. As a global nonprofit membership association of educational institutions, CASE helps develop the communities of professional practice that build institutional resilience and success in challenging times. The communities include staff engaged in alumni relations, fundraising, marketing, student recruitment, stakeholder engagement, crisis communications and government relations. CASE is volunteer-led and uses the intellectual capital of senior practitioners to build capacity and capability across the world.

CASE has offices in Washington, D.C., London, Singapore and Mexico City. Member institutions include more than 3,700 colleges and universities, primary and secondary independent and international schools, and nonprofit organizations in 82 countries. CASE serves nearly 88,000 practitioners. For more information about CASE, please visit www.case.org.

About mStoner

mStoner, Inc., helps clients to tell their authentic stories by clarifying their unique brand value proposition, creating a content strategy to communicate the brand effectively, and implementing compelling and dynamic communications across the web, mobile, social media, print, and other channels. We focus on research, data, and results. Since 2001, we've worked with more than 300 colleges, universities, and professional schools in the U.S. and abroad. We produce HigherEdLive.com as a free resource for professionals in education. For much more, visit our website.

Contact: Michael Stoner, president; Michael.Stoner@mStoner.com; +1.802.457.2889

About Huron Education

Huron Education is the premier provider serving the unique needs of the higher education industry. Our team of professionals, each with extensive knowledge and experience in the business of higher education and academic medical centers, delivers comprehensive services to the industry and partners with institutions to improve business performance across the enterprise. Our professionals draw from their experience working in the strategic, financial, operational, and regulatory aspects of higher education to develop and implement the most effective consulting and software solutions. Huron Education has helped more than 95 of the nation's top 100 research institutions improve their performance so they can continue their traditions of extraordinary achievement. Learn more at www.huronconsultinggroup.com/highereducation or follow us on Twitter: @Huron.