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Eduventures Annual Managing Returns on Advancement Investments Study Uses a Predictive Model to Help Higher Education Development Teams

In its 10th year, Study Examines the Factors that Drive Higher Returns in the College Development Office


Boston, MA – March 11, 2016 Eduventures, Inc., the leading provider of primary research, analysis and advisory services that help higher education institutions support decision making throughout the student lifecycle, today announced that they have released the 2016 report based on their annual Managing Returns on Advancement Investments study. For ten years, this study has benchmarked development operations and enabled institutions to achieve a greater return on investment. Initial results from this survey are revealed in this report.

Creating a Predictive Model to Understand Factors that Drive Higher Returns

Over the past decade, hundreds of development organizations have used Eduventures’ proprietary benchmarks to inform important staff and budget decisions. This year, the quantitative research team at Eduventures used longitudinal data to build a predictive model to pinpoint which factors have statistical impact on growing the bottom line. Examining more than 20 variables including the number of fundraisers and endowment per student, this model generates a statically predicted estimate of how each institution should perform. The study then compared participating institutions’ results to this benchmark.

According to Cara Quackenbush, Vice President of Research for Eduventures, “Initial findings from our predictive model confirm many of the theories that we have drawn from ten years of benchmark data. Our report can provide institutions clarity about what factors impact their fundraising results.”

Variables Impacting Return on Investment

Initial analysis of the Eduventures predictive model shows a number of factors impacting development return on investment. According to the model, having an engineering program has the single largest impact on the total amount of money an institution is expected to raise, followed by the total number of frontline fundraising staff and the total number of operations staff, respectively. Those institutions with an engineering program are expected to raise as much as 50% more than those without.


For additional information about this report or to arrange a one-on-one briefing with the author, please contact Ellen Slaby at eslaby@eduventures.com.