Interesting piece on Alumni Giving by Peter B. Wylie and John Sammis. First posted on the CoolData blog.

For a while now, John Sammis and I have been asking our higher ed clients to provide us with two kinds of giving data: (1) Lifetime giving and (2) giving over each of the last five fiscal years. We had decided these data would help us build better donor acquisition models. That’s been working out nicely.

Happily, there’s been a bonus in having these data on hand. They’ve allowed us to go on the hunt for something new. Something we wouldn’t have uncovered if we hadn’t gone rummaging around in all that information.

Our recent focus has been on data from three universities in the eastern half of the U.S. We’ve found some patterns we suspect you’ll find in your own data if you work at or consult to a college or university (or even a secondary school). Are these patterns unsettling? Maybe they are; maybe they aren’t. That’s a judgement call we probably shouldn’t make. But, at the least, we think these patterns deserve more attention than they seem to be getting in the world of higher education advancement. That’s why we wrote this piece.