Originally established as the School of Mines in 1870, the University of Ballarat (UB) is Australia's only regional, multisector university. It offers secondary schooling, TAFE, higher education, and research opportunities and has six campuses in Victoria, Australia and a range of partner institutes across Australia, Hong Kong, and Malaysia, with approximately 25,000 domestic and international students. UB deployed PeopleSoft Contributor Relations to improve donor and alumni management, enable staff to identify alumni, track donations, and generate reports from a centralized online system.
UB has more than 100,000 alumni and graduates close to 3,000 students per year. Graduates were required to manually complete an application form to apply for membership. Many graduates believed they would automatically join the alumni program and didn’t realize that they had to apply for membership.
“To put this into perspective, before we implemented PeopleSoft Contributor Relations, around 5,000 graduates were registered as alumni members—but we estimate there should have been more than 100,000!” said Michelle Nunn, project manager, University of Ballarat. “We needed a system that automatically transferred graduates into the alumni program.”
UB also sought to improve its donor management system. As part of the university’s financial donation reporting requirements, it provides its governing body with quarterly prospect management reports on recent donations and donations-to-date. In the past, these reports were manually compiled from multiple spreadsheets, and were difficult to complete accurately.
“Because we lacked a single source of data for the foundation, it was difficult to report on donations and accurately analyze our donations over time. We also wanted to identify fundraising projects with high and low donation rates, and track the results of fundraising campaigns,” said Nunn.
In September 2011, UB engaged Oracle Partner ASG Group Limited to deploy PeopleSoft Contributor Relations 9.0 to complement its existing PeopleSoft Campus Solutions 9.0 applications, including PeopleSoft Campus Self Service, PeopleSoft Financials, and PeopleSoft Student Administration.
“The university recently launched its new online alumni and donor management system based on PeopleSoft Contributor Relations, and we are already seeing the benefits,” said Professor David Battersby, vice chancellor, University of Ballarat. “Alumni members now have online access to update their contact details, giving alumni the opportunity to stay in touch with their fellow graduates, no matter where they are located throughout the world. The University of Ballarat Foundation has also gained the ability to process donations, issue receipts, and produce donation reports from a centralized online system.”
UB consolidated alumni and donor data into the centralized PeopleSoft Contributor Relations system, reducing the time and cost of managing alumni and donors. Prior to implementing PeopleSoft Contributor Relations, the university generated three receipts for each donation: a manual carbon copy receipt for audit purposes, one for the PeopleSoft system, and one for the University of Ballarat Foundation office.
By integrating PeopleSoft Contributor Relations with PeopleSoft Financials, the university has streamlined the process, automatically reconciling donations with the university’s finances and producing a single receipt from the centralized online system.
All donation information is now managed by the centralized PeopleSoft Contributor Relations system. For the first time, UB can generate online reports based on historical data to identify top and long-term donors, donation rates to particular projects, and total donations. The university can also track peak donation times and responses to fundraising campaigns.
“By tracking donations over time, UB can identify people who donate significant amounts, and those who donate regularly,” said Nunn. “The university can thank these donors appropriately while ensuring they aren’t repeatedly asked for donations.”
In the past, alumni contact information was collected only from graduates who manually applied for membership; since many graduates assumed they would be automatically transferred into the alumni program, most did not apply. The information was entered into spreadsheets, a labor-intensive task for staff.
The PeopleSoft Contributor Relations module creates a single, easy-to-update source of contact information for alumni. Historical and academic alumni records are also linked directly from PeopleSoft Campus Solutions, enabling a complete and comprehensive profile of each alumnus.
“When we implemented PeopleSoft Contributor Relations, we had up-to-date information for just 5,000 alumni,” said Nunn. “By providing graduating students and alumni with the ability to update their details online, we can ensure the accuracy of their contact information.”
Since the system went live in April 2012, the university has automatically added 100,000 graduates to the alumni program, and tracked 250 new logins in six weeks.
“The university is running a campaign to encourage all UB graduates to update their details through PeopleSoft Contributor Relations self-service,” said Nunn. “Those alumni who update their details are provided with a token of appreciation from the alumni office, and we have received numerous letters, e-mails, and phone calls of appreciation.”
The PeopleSoft Contributor Relations module creates a single, easy-to-update source of contact information for alumni. Historical and academic records of the alumni are also linked directly from PeopleSoft Campus Solutions, which enables a complete and comprehensive profile of the alumni. The integrations prevent loss of information due to mismatches or data integrations.
PeopleSoft Contributor Relations integrates seamlessly with UB’s library management software, allowing alumni to register and pay for alumni library membership online. Previously, students needed to manually complete an application form and visit the campus to pay for membership.
“The alumni library program used to attract a minimal number of applications each year,” said Nunn. “We gained three new members in just the first week of online registration and payment and expect a gradual increase in membership. The library program will be a model for other alumni services, such as gym membership.”
Students and alumni at UB’s education partners can now get more accurate data about the university’s alumni program and members. Thanks to PeopleSoft Contributor Relations, the university’s alumni office can send accurate and authorized information to alumni chapters upon request.
Alumni around the world also benefit from the ability to update their contact information online.
“PeopleSoft Contributor Relations allows students overseas to stay in touch with UB without the need for international phone calls, e-mails, or postage,” said Nunn. “Ensuring overseas students stay in touch with us is the first step in connecting our alumni all over the world.”
UB adopted the PeopleSoft Campus Solutions suite in 2007 and began implementing key modules including PeopleSoft Campus Self Service, PeopleSoft Financials, and PeopleSoft Student Administration. UB anticipated that PeopleSoft Contributor Relations would seamlessly integrate with the PeopleSoft Campus Solutions suite while meeting its need for donor and alumni management.
As part of the implementation process, UB sought support from Oracle in providing contact details for PeopleSoft Contributor Relations clients in the U.S. Nunn and the university’s Alumni/Foundation Officer arranged to view live implementations of PeopleSoft Contributor Relations at Moody Bible Institute, Illinois, and George Fox University, Oregon.
“Seeing PeopleSoft Contributor Relations’ capabilities in a live setting convinced me that it was the right solution for UB’s needs,” said Nunn. “These two universities were using PeopleSoft to achieve much more than we’d planned for. I saw that it was easily capable of handling our current requirements and taking us into the future. We really appreciated the valuable input from both universities.”
UB decided to add PeopleSoft Contributor Relations to its PeopleSoft Campus Solutions suite in mid-2011. Oracle Partner ASG Group Limited, in conjunction with the University of Ballarat Project Team, commenced testing and configuration in late 2011, and the project went live in mid-2012.
“The installation was absolutely clean and seamless,” said Nunn. “We implemented the software during a normal maintenance window, which caused no downtime for the university. The implementation was so stable that students were finding and using some of the features before we announced them.”
ASG Group Limited implemented PeopleSoft Contributor Relations as part of its alumni and donor management project. This was the first PeopleSoft Contributor Relations implementation undertaken in Australia. UB chose ASG Group for its strong PeopleSoft knowledge base; the company had extensive experience with PeopleSoft Campus Solutions, Financials, Global Payroll, Human Resources, Recruiting Solutions, and Time and Labor, and had successfully upgraded several key clients to the latest PeopleSoft releases.
In addition to providing UB with PeopleSoft Contributor Relations, ASG Group upgraded the university’s PeopleSoft Financials and PeopleSoft Campus Solutions implementations.
“ASG Group Limited impressed us by seamlessly implementing PeopleSoft Contributor Relations—the first implementation in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Nunn.
“The successful implementation of Contributor Relations has been a credit to the collective professionalism, solid approach, and hard work from all involved,” said Michael Simkovic, general manager, ASG Group Limited.