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The Ohio State University Succeeds with a Focus on Empathy

Written by Alida

Published September 16, 2021

Higher education institutions have always placed great value on their relationships with alumni, but Ohio State goes the extra mile to ensure they are listening to alumni voices. With a goal of encouraging alumni to volunteer their time, talent, or treasure, Ohio State takes a relationship-first approach, rooted in empathy, to find ways to drive the most value for alumni.

Ohio State created The Buckeye Room, an insight community powered by Alida, where thousands of alumni have opted-in to provide feedback and insights. This community allows Ohio State to keep a pulse on the things that matter to their valued alumni, and in turn, use that feedback to underpin strategic decisions. Ohio State uses the Buckeye Room to provide value through meaningful connections and relevant information sharing. 

Having the ability to connect with people on a deeper level enables Ohio State to formulate strategic plans rooted in the voices of its alumni. For Ohio State, engagement goes beyond simple survey deployment. The Buckeye Room helps Ohio State improve experiences for alumni which translates into volunteering more of their time, talent, and treasure.

They also close the loop on the feedback collected and continuously share updates and targeted information with their community. The more they’re able to show the impact of alumni feedback on strategic decisions, the more feedback alumni are willing to provide.

For example, a survey shared with the Buckeye Room asked members what type of virtual events were appealing to them. Ohio State used the responses to make recommendations on where to invest for upcoming virtual events.

On another occasion, Ohio State engaged the Buckeye Room with an opportunity for alumni to ask the campus veterinarian questions they had about their pets. The community provides value to alumni while gathering impactful feedback that helps Ohio State make better decisions.

Relationship building is the key to providing successful experiences. Ohio State engages and learns from alumni, they co-create new products and events, and genuinely want to hear from them on everything from donor experiences to which new alumni societies to create.

The Buckeye Room is transforming the way they engage and communicate with their alumni, and ultimately the way they make business decisions. Whether they are in Columbus or across the world, this tool offers both the university and the alumni community an opportunity to cultivate deeper relationships together.

Ohio State leads with empathy and gathers insights that move the institution forward with support from their partnership with Alida, which constantly strives to understand Ohio State’s needs, goals, and expectations by listening and helping to develop an action plan. While Ohio State focuses on deepening relationships and engagement with alumni, Alida is deepening their relationship with Ohio State.