Aalto University


The team’s challenge was to help Aalto University Donor Relationships team to improve alumni experience and donor engagement.


The team found that most of the alumni value opportunities for professional development, but the alumni from different Aalto schools have otherwise different types of interests, needs and ways they want to engage with the university.


To answer the different needs of the graduates the student team identified different alumni segments. On top of the segmentation the solution consists of communication guidelines, customer journeys, user personas and workshop templates. Through the project outcome Aalto can serve different Alumni groups better and therefore enhance the giving culture and donations in the long run. 

Alumni understanding for better donor engagement

The funding for Finnish higher education has decreased. One approach to tackle part of the issue is to aim to increase the number of donors. To help Aalto University to address the challenge of the Finnish giving culture in higher education still being in its infancy, and to help the organisation to meet the graduates needs’ better, the ITP student team created design-based insights and tools to form a basis for further development. 

During the three-month-long program the team conducted about 20 interviews with various stakeholders, and created a survey which received almost 400 responses. Based on analysis of the survey results, the team created a segmentation of the different alumni groups. The concept includes also communication guidelines, customer journeys, user personas and workshop templates, which are created to support the work in Aalto University, especially in Donor Relationships team.

Through the project outcome Aalto University can provide the alumni with more tailored content and various participation possibilities, and create eventually a culture where giving time and donations to one’s alma mater is considered to be a common practice among the alumni.