Building a Constituency

The Situation

The alumni association needed to find its alumni.

The Fulbright Association is comprised of alumni of the Scholarship, which was created by an act of Congress after WWII.  Because Fulbright students have come from hundreds of universities over the decades, identifying alumni and enrolling them in the Association is not automatic. Therefore there is not a complete email list.  But identifying and reaching potential alumni members is critical because one of the Association’s main roles is advocating for continued Congressional support of the Fulbright Scholarship program.

The Insight

Fulbrighters are natural connectors. We could use that to get them to ‘find’ themselves.

As a group, Fulbright alumni are teachers, talkers, connectors. They are passionate about their experiences. If they knew the scholarship was under threat, they would be eager to help.

The Solution

Use the Congressional threat of de-funding to activate the case. Advertise on social media channels to reach alumni, friends of alumni, and others. 

We worked with the association to script a video featuring alumni, and developed multi-level campaigns on Facebook and LinkedIn linking to a landing page. To create urgency and action, we focused on the efforts in Congress to defund the program by as much as 70%. We asked Fulbrighters to join us and also asked people who knew Fulbrighters to spread the word.

The Results

With an almost quadrupled base, the association can now build local chapter strength to make select members of Congress aware of the influence of the Fulbright constituency. 

The alumni email enrollment grew from 1251 to 5848 – an increase of 367%.

Through careful management, we reduced the anticipated cost per lead of $19.95 to an average of $4.94 – a decrease of 75%.