Cvent and Duke University: Increasing Engagement and Efficiency

With Cvent’s help, Duke University raised 3.85 billion dollars for the Duke Forward Campaign, soliciting gifts from more than 315,000 donors and foundations.

Duke is a highly selective, private research university located in Durham, North Carolina. The eighth-ranked university in the United States, it has an 8.5 billion-dollar endowment and a large, growing, and active alumni community. Within the university, two departments have been at the forefront of event planning and fundraising: the Development Office and the Alumni Association.

The Problem

Event planning at Duke was manual and isolated within individual departments, making communication and staffing needs for onsite events tedious and unpredictable. At the Alumni Association, for example, everything from event creation to reminder emails and reporting was done manually, while in the Development Office, event registrations were emailed to participants and faxed back to be entered on a spreadsheet.

From Isolation to Coordination

In 2016, Duke’s IT organization tapped Cvent to help create a single, centralized initiative for event management. The result was a transformation in efficiency and time-management that reached across the campus.

For the Development Office, this meant greater efficiency and scale together with an increased reach of initiatives – all of this, crucially, backed by hard data. With Cvent’s help, the Development Office now organizes over 140 events a year, including 25 large fundraising events – all with a staff of just six.

For the Alumni Association, this meant being able to bring their Alumni Network in-house, creating a tool that is dynamic, personalized, secure, and cost-effective. The Alumni Association now hosts more than 700 regional events a year with its team of 12, including only three operational staffers – thanks to Cvent.  

Assistance Across Channels

Today, Cvent technology helps departments across Duke University engage their audiences in five major areas: 

  • Event Marketing & Registration
  • Onsite Solutions
  • Contact Management
  • Integration with Core Systems
  • E-Commerce   

According to Operations Coordinator Mark Wienants, Cvent has become “a core part of the technological infrastructure to provide alumni with multiple ways to engage while simultaneously tracking their interests, professional accomplishments, and volunteer activities.”

“Thanks to Cvent,” adds Kim Garcia, senior director of development special events, “we’ve been able to introduce greater efficiency across our organizations, scale our operations, and increase the reach of our alumni engagement and fundraising initiatives.”

Cvent has been helping organizations leverage technology to reach more people since 1999. To find out more about how Cvent can increase efficiency and engagement at your institution, providing data-driven insights and increased ROI, please contact us here