Greetings, and welcome to our new BCI blog! We are excited that you have stopped by to check us out!! While we are comfortable at OSU as we talk about about BCI, it is a bit presumptuous for us to believe that people outside of our team and current partners are familiar with our shorthand for the “Building Community Initiative.” BCI is all about supporting the development efforts of institutions of higher education, especially with respect to working with college alumni.
Conceptually, BCI is built around the fundamental notion that advancement and successful fundraising should be grounded in building strong and mutually valued relationships with and among alumni. Collectively, the successful cultivation of these relationships can provide for a vital and sustainable “community of giving.” BCI contributes to fostering these “communities of giving” by providing advancement professionals detailed and actionable measures of the relationships that underly alumni affinity with respect to the alma mater.
The BCI employs a survey methodology that applies a proprietary adaption of the affinity-related community model. Our model provides multiple measures of affinity that are associated with an alumni’s current assessments of the connections or feelings that they maintain about their education, alumni peers, the institutional identity of the alma mater (we marketers like to use the word brand here), and their interactions with the institution itself. We provide advancement professionals detailed data about individual alumni that can assist development officers as they prioritize potential contacts. Our data also can inform development officers about specific points of connection that matter to an individual alumni and also reveal issues that might help resolve potential points of resistance. Important, too, is the understanding that the aggregate conclusions of the BCI survey reveal issues and opportunities that might exist at the broader institutional level as advancement professionals ponder investments in building stronger relationships among the community itself.
The BCI survey instrument was developed from the scholarly research of Dr. McAlexander, Dr. Koenig and their colleagues which has spanned many years and can be found in such publications as the Journal of Marketing, The International Journal of Educational Advancement, and The Journal of Marketing for Higher Education. They have also presented the model and empirical findings at national and international conferences including those sponsored by CASE and the American Marketing Association.
The Building Community Initiative is a development tool unlike any other in the industry. Check out our website at www.oregonstate.edu/bci and we look forward to talking to you very soon!!!