In the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, little was left to the imagination — that is, if you were listening to a certain cohort of sources. Statisticians from academia, startups such as InTrade and The Signal, and, most famously, Nate Silver of The New York Times, bested the pundits and predicted election results with startling accuracy and precision. Nate Silver predicted 99 out of 100 states over the two elections; Professor Sam Wang of Princeton University announced the popular vote down to one tenth of a percent — the night before it was counted.
Just as this application of statistics has led political pundits and wonks alike to reexamine the foundation of their work, we at Eduventures are confident that a “new way” in the development sphere has emerged. Instead of relying on anecdotal experience and expert advising alone, colleges and universities are now sifting through the noise to identify key trends and understand donor behavior amidst a quickly evolving landscape.
To this end, Eduventures conducts a comprehensive annual study of development practices across higher education. The Eduventures Managing Returns on Advancement Investments survey provides benchmarking and analysis that advancement leaders need annually to effectively communicate with stakeholders and make informed, data-driven management decisions. The information we collect is comprehensive, and the depth of our data set is unique. This year’s study is forthcoming; the final Insight report will available in our Research Library.
For the first time this year, our clients and study participants will have access to a powerful data visualization tool that interprets and expresses the data of Managing Returns. The numbers we collect are meaningful and useful insofar as they provide you with a clear understanding of where you are and how you measure up to the field. Moreover, and perhaps, more critically, a clear and comprehensible representation of the data will empower you to make a compelling case to key stakeholders as to which areas of your program are successful and which need to grow.
Your board members, university administrators, and constituency all need to know: do you have the right mix of staff resources and budget dollars to reach your fundraising targets? Eduventures’ Managing Returns on Advancement Investments will give advancement leaders tools to justify current expenditures, allocate resources, and advocate for greater investment. If this is as interesting to you as it is to us, be in touch with your Client Services Advisor to let us know. We want you to be a part of this.