The 2019 VAESE Alumni Relations Benchmarking Study is now collecting survey data about higher education alumni relations and engagement practices. Go Here


M11387_VAESE-LOGOYear after year, institutions are bombarded with survey requests hoping to gather information about the advancement efforts. However, not much of the data specifically pertains to you, an alumni relations professional in the trenches.

While many of these surveys gather data for senior administrators needing information about development and fundraising issues, it's hard to find solid data that can help you make informed businesses decisions about day-to-day alumni engagement and programming. 

The VAESE Study is different. Not only are the results and analysis provided free to all participants, but it also provides meaningful, relevant data about such things as:

  • How does my alumni budget compare to other schools my size?
  • How does my alumni staffing levels compare with other schools my size?
  • How do my email open, click-through and unsubscribe rates compare?
  • Are the most pressing issues I face similar to those my colleagues face at other schools?
  • Which programs are most or least engaging?

Many of the organizations sponsoring these types of surveys are in the business of selling access to their survey data. Which is why their results can often carry a hefty price. Access Development, however, has continued to provide the results and analysis of this study as a free service to alumni relations professionals and their institutions. It's our way of practicing what we preach...  to give value to the people you serve, and the good will you accumulate will result in greater engagement.

Be aware that some organizations who depend on revenue they generate from their survey data may discourage you from participating in this survey. 

7 Reasons to Take the Survey

If you’re wondering why you should take the survey, here are seven key reasons:

  1. Data Integrity: The last study gathered data from 581 unique institutions worldwide, representing alumni professionals in 17 countries on five continents, with 91% from North America. The results had a respectable margin of error of +/- 2.69%. 
  2. Fills a Gap: This survey fills a gap in a lack of research focused solely on alumni relations and engagement practices. (Most research relates to fundraising.)
  3. Free Data: The results are shared openly under a Creative Commons license, which permits remixing, re-purposing and building upon this work. No other higher education study allows its data to be shared freely in this manner. 
  4. Extensive Data: Your alumni relations program will benefit from having copious amounts of trustworthy, actionable data. If you haven't seen the last study, click here to see the volumes of data we collect and analyze. 
  5. By and For Alumni Professionals: This bi-annual study and survey instrument were created in collaboration with alumni professionals world-wide. It aims to identify and measure the most important issues you face, giving you free, comparative data from institutions like yours.
  6. Comparative Data: The results will provide critical information you can use at budget time, or for board meetings to help leaders better understand how your institution’s engagement practices compare with your peer institutions.
  7. Identify Trends: You will be able to identify trends that may impact your programming, and help you make better, more informed decisions.

As alumni professionals, we are a wonderfully collaborative bunch, and we're willing to share information to help our colleagues. Let's keep that tradition alive by making this bi-annual, free study a success.

You can have an impact on improving alumni relations programs everywhere, by participating in this important study.  Please take a few minutes to take the survey here.


Topics: Alumni Relations & Engagement, alumni