Why your University NEEDS up-to-date employment data on Alumni

A university’s alumni is one of its biggest assets. An alumni pool brings with it word-of-mouth references, potential donations, and potential connections to some of the most powerful people in the world. Occasionally your alumni may even be a part of that elite group of powerful and influential people.

However, what about the rest? The alumni who are incredibly successful but less public. Do you have a strategy for keeping them engaged? Do you know why you should?

Here’s why your relationships with your alumni matter.

When was the last time a former acquaintance you haven’t heard from in years reached out to you and asked how you were and then, after some token small talk, asked you for some money or a huge favor? Were you inclined to grant them their wish? I’m guessing not.

The same goes for your alumni. When a school neglects its alumni and reaches for donations, seemingly out of the blue, chances are that the school will either get a negative response or none at all! So maintaining links with alumni is crucial before asking anything of them.

Okay, you accept that alumni relationships matter—what does employment data have to do with it?

How do you keep track of the ever-changing groups of students who pass through your institution? How do you reach out to the ones who have slipped through over the years?

The most efficient answer is employment data. By gathering information on their current and past employment roles, Universities can not only receive insight into what their alumni are doing, they can get a sense of what really matters to their alumni now. By finding out their interests and the companies they’ve been working for, you can focus your strategies for reconnecting with alumni by concentrating on each person’s unique profile and interests.

The result? A new pool of prospective donors who are going to be far more inclined to donate to their alma mater.

Right, you’re on board—employment data is the answer! But how is that going to help you contact them?

To many, the most obvious solution seems to be an email address or phone number—and if you can gather that information along with employment data, you might think you’ve struck gold. Well, we think there’s an even better option.

Many alums—particularly the successful ones—are constantly being approached over email or phone by any number of people. They might not notice your attempts to get in touch or—at worst—they might see such direct solicitation as too invasive.

Connecting to them via profiles on public websites (e.g., LinkedIn), however, represents a far more welcome and comfortable form of communication. They won’t delete the email because they think it’s spam or ignore a call because they think it’s a cold call. Social media is “social” by its nature, and because of this, approaches through social media tend to be much more likely to gain a positive response.

Great, you got it. So now you have to gather employment data AND social media info? How?

In short, you ask for help. Many services out there can help you collect the employment data you need. Some—such as Prospect Visual’s service—even include URLs for free as part of any employment append package and offer special prices to educational institutions.

So if you’re ready to build those alumni profiles, what are you waiting for? Use the form below to get a sample file of your own alumni or get in touch with us to find out more!


If you’d like to make an inquiry about our Append / Alumni Profiling service or would like to download a free sample file of your own alumni please use the form below to make your request.

University of Redlands gets $35m from former Board Members

During Homecoming celebrations this Saturday,  it was announced that the University of Redlands has created a scholarship program with the help of a $35 million donation from Richard Hunsaker and his wife Virginia.

The scholarship will be named the Richard and Virginia Hunsaker Scholarship Fund and will benefit future students of College of Arts and Sciences.

The Hunsakers are very important donors for the University of Redlands. Both are former students at the school who graduated in 1952 and both have previously served on the school’s Board of Trustees. As a result both will have relationships with high-level constituents at the school.

This connections report from Prospect Visual shows the links between Richard Hunsaker and the university’s existing and past board members – and gives us a clue as to why the Hunsakers continue to enjoy a close relationship with their alma mater.

Redlands - Hunsaker

Bill Gatton continues unwavering support for University of Kentucky with $20m gift

Yesterday the University of Kentucky announced that they had received yet another sizeable gift from their biggest donor Carol Martin “Bill” Gatton. Gatton’s latest gift is for $2o million and is to be directed towards the renovation of the school’s Student Center.

University Presidentm Eli Capilouto praised Gatton’s efforts in supporting UK,  “Bill Gatton’s unwavering support for the University of Kentucky has had a profound impact on the students, faculty and staff on campus, and on higher education in the commonwealth.”

And it’s not hard to see why he’s so grateful. Gatton has donated over $45 million to the University of Kentucky over time and has become the University of Kentucky’s largest single donor in history. So why is he so generous towards this school?

Well to start with, Gatton is a UK graduate, which we have shown in our previous posts, makes him a great prospect for the school. He also has a history of giving to other educational institutions. But why are his donations to UK particularly great? Well, he attests much of his success in business to his alma mater and as such it’s clear that he has a great attachment to it. It’s also clear that he has a great current relationship with his school – evident in the fact that School of Business is named after him.

A quick look at a relationship map from Prospect Visual confirms this – showing that he has many board-level connections with the University of Kentucky. These relationships, together with Gatton’s propensity for educational philanthropy means that his patronage of the school is entirely unsurprising,


CMGatton - UK

$17 Million Ensures That Curtain Doesn’t Close On Chicago Symphony Orchestra

The Zell Family Foundation has recently made a donation of $17 Million to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra which marks one of the largest single gift amounts ever donated to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The Zell Foundation’s $17 million gift is helping the association establish in perpetuity its first named music director in CSO history.

What’s the Reason Behind This Large Donation?

For starters, Sam and Helen Zell have been financial supporters of the CSO for more than a decade, underwriting concerts and programs. Furthermore, as Sam Zell (who is now 72 and estimated to be worth $4.5 Billion by Forbes) and his wife Helen start to age, they have begun to hit the prime time for their donations to start hitting new levels.

Another reason that we can assume was a key factor in the Zell family’s decision to make the large contribution was the fact that, as we can see via the relationship map below provided by Prospect Visual, Helen Zell is extremely well connected to many members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Board of Directors and Trustees.

Zell foundation and CSO



News Visual: Billionaire Philanthropist Continues to Lead the Way In Giving

At age 56, David Tepper has earned an impressive title that not many others will ever be able to identify with. Tepper has earned the title of being the highest paid hedge fund manager in America in 2013. Oh, and did we forget to mention that Tepper has earned this title for each of the last three years?

A History of Giving

What proves to be even more impressive than Tepper’s dedication to being the best in his field is his dedication to philanthropy. Having founded his own charitable foundation in 1997, the David Tepper Charitable Foundation, just four years after starting his own hedge fund Appaloosa Management, it is evident that Tepper is a man of giving.

Where Does the Money Go?

His largest donations by far have gone to his alma mater the Carnegie Mellon’s business school (which is now named the Tepper School of Business) where he has donated a staggering total of $125 million. The relationship map below taken from Prospect Visual shows us how Tepper’s relationships to key connections at Carnegie Mellon help reinforce the desire to give back.



University of Dallas unveils plans for building – who made it possible?

Yesterday it was reported in DallasNews.com that plans for a new business building at the University of Dallas were unveiled.  The Chief architect, Ron Stelmarski spoke about the building at the unveiling and shared his plans to build it so as to provide panoramic views from many of its windows.

Who made it possible?

The building is to be named the Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business in honor of the couple whose $12 million donation made the whole project possible. The Guptas both attended the University of Dallas after having applied as a result of viewing a recruitment poster whilst they were still living in India.

Satish Gupta explains their generosity, saying that their alma mater “holds a special place in [their] hearts.” This is unsurprising considering the couple both have several strong connections to constituents from their former school. Below, an image from a Prospect Visual relationship report reveals some of Yasmin Gupta’s connections to the University of Dallas – connections which help her maintain her connection to the school long after graduating.

YG - Dallas

NewsVisual: University of Arizona former dean supports school with $10 million donation.

The Gift  

Over the weekend it was revealed that the University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences had received, on this their 50th Anniversary year – the largest scholarship gift in UA’s history: a donation of $10 million in endowments from Jim Wyant, a former dean of the college.

The Donor  

Apart from having previously been a dean at the college, Wyant has also served at UA as a professor and director – meaning his links to the school are numerous and strong. This image from Prospect Visual shows 10 of his strongest connections to high ranking UA contstituents.

The Power of Relationships  

uarizona wyant

Having identified the connections shown in the map above, the donation – though record-breaking in its generosity – will be unsurprising. It has emerged again and again that many of the largest donations to Universities and Colleges in the United States are made by donors with current links to people at their chosen schools.

When viewed in that context, it seems perfectly understandable that Wyant, with all of his close, strong relationships to UA, would become such a generous beneficiary to the school.

NewsVisual: Florida Institute of Technology gets $24.1m corporate donation from PTC. See the influencers behind the gift.

Last week the Florida Institute of Technology announced that it received a donation from Massachusetts-based software company PTC. What or who was behind this decision? Why did PTC choose FIT above other schools? Some of the influence may have come from several mutual connections and overlapping relationships between PTC board members and high-ranking constituents at FIT. The image from Prospect Visual displays some of these relationships.

Details of the Donation PackagePTC, who provide products aimed at the manufacturing and engineering sectors, made the donation in order to improve FIT’s courses in manufacturing technology. The package also includes access to its proprietary software and online training on the use of PTC products for a select group of Florida Tech students.