Patching up the Leak of the Communication Gap with Hispanic Alumni

Hispanic alumni have the highest Satisfaction Score compared to any other Ethnicity group.  Additionally, Hispanic alumni report that “Not knowing how to get involved” is the largest barrier holding them back from participating in Alumni Events, as compared to other alumni ethnic Population. This difference of high satisfaction and higher scores on “Not knowing how to get involved” is potentially creating a “Leak” or loss of engagement by Hispanics.

Given the projections of the Hispanic population in the coming decades, patching up the leak of information to the Hispanic alumni should be a critical issue for all Alumni Departments. To better understand the current effect, I created an econometric model to measure the relationship between “Intention to Donate to their Alma-mater”, with “Satisfaction Score”.  The model uses an interaction variable[1] between being Hispanic[2] and the communication barrier “Not knowing how to get involved”.

 Intent to Donate The results of the analysis is the following.   Intent to Donate Hispanic If we plug in the mean Satisfaction Score value for Hispanics into the equation, then we will be able to measure the effect that the clog of information to Hispanics has on Intent to Donate. ITD 3     IND 4




Our model shows that the effect of the barrier of alumni information on the Hispanic group is lowering their intent to give by 7%, plus margin of error.

One remedy to the problem is to find what communication method has the largest variation by ethnicity. The overall highest form of communication with Alumni and Universities is through their respective “Alumni Magazine”. Our data shows that Caucasian frequent readership of Alumni Magazines is 17% greater compared to Hispanic alumni. This large gap presents a great opportunity for alumni departments to increase their overall engagement, by broadening their magazine content to appeal to a wider audience.

Many now argue that print media is close to extinction, at least from a cost versus benefit analysis viewpoint. With that in mind, a more long term solution would be to focus on social media. Based on our database, Hispanics and African Americans use Twitter and Facebook more than any other Ethnicity group.

 The communication items that have the highest relationship to Intent to Donate within the Hispanic sample population are “Read the alumni magazine”, “Attend University sporting events”, and “Read alumni e-mail”. Highlighting alumni events through these communication channels should be a good way of lowering the communication barrier with the Hispanic alumni, and therefore increasing their Intention to Donate in the future.

Written By Jonathan Gaines

[1] The interaction variable mentioned above consist of a Binary Variable (see below) multiplied by the barrier variable). If the binary variable equals zero, then the interaction variable is erased and the equation just measures the effect of the Satisfaction Index on intent to Donate. If the binary variable equals one, then the equation is measuring the effect of being Hispanic, having a barrier to alumni information and Satisfaction Score on Intent to Donate.
[2] Hispanic is a Binary Variable (1=Hispanic  |  0=Not Hispanic)
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