Salem State University

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Higher Education Institutions

Salem State University’s advancement team supplements small staff with collaborative tools and data-driven insights.

Salem State University aims to provide a world-class learning experience that prepares its alumni to contribute both as global citizens and champions of regional growth. To achieve success, the school’s small advancement team needs the right tools to work as efficiently and strategically as possible. 

Salem State University provides a premier liberal arts education that prepares its students to contribute to a global society. And the Massachusetts school aims to achieve that objective with a small, diverse, collaborative team.

To meet its goals, Salem State relies on technology to streamline operations and improve communication. “It’s the people who help you to make your milestones and reach your goals,” explained Jane O’Leary, event technology and website management specialist. “They bring a lot of talents to the table, but we leverage data-driven insights from the tools we have.”

Those tools include integrated Blackbaud solutions for everything from fund accounting to fundraising and award management—plus the data powering decisions. “We find that analytics assist us greatly in how we drive forward with our projects and how we map our planning for other projects,” O’Leary said.

With that data in place, Salem State can shape its outreach appropriately. Rather than sending a blanket message to every contact, the university instead began to send relevant information to targeted audiences, resulting in better engagement.

“Because of Blackbaud, we can now effectively target and segment groups of people and no longer have to manage groups using gigantic lists,” O’Leary said, “which is very helpful when you consider the potential obstacles you can encounter using static lists to manage
email communication.”

Having the appropriate technology also helps build a culture of collaboration by connecting the entire campus, O’Leary explained. “We can always do better and grow and learn from everybody, and it doesn’t have to be somebody that has an extra-long title or has been in their position for over 20 years,” she said. “[Great ideas] can come from somebody new, a student, a student worker, a facilities worker. Ideas are from all over the place.”

Salem State can rely on Blackbaud as a partner that understands its  mission. “If it’s chat support, if it’s the Knowledgebase articles, or if it’s just picking up the phone to connect with somebody like your success manager,” O’Leary said, “Blackbaud has a number of resources to help people achieve goals.”

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