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University of Ottawa Alumni Website

uOttawa needed better connections with their alumni. They needed to find ways to support projects. And they needed to promote achievement. The university was provided with a digital solution that could help them achieve all three objectives.

The University of Ottawa (uOttawa) has been a force in Canadian education since it was first established as the College of Bytown in 1848. A defining part of the city and the culture of Ottawa, the university hosts 40,000 students across ten faculties.

In 2014, uOttawa developed a new strategic plan, Destination 2020. An ambitious plan, the university sought to build community engagement, increase student retention and success, and promote the achievements of both students and the university. Their vision is to “make the University of Ottawa one of the great universities of our time, with a reputation to match its achievements.”

As part of this strategy, uOttawa had a digital space that was designed and developed that would make it easy for alumni, donors, volunteers and friends to get involved with the university, and support worthy projects.

The landscape for alumni giving is changing, just as charitable giving is changing. Initiatives are targeting younger and more digitally-literate audiences. This makes traditional tactics of calling, direct mail or even email campaigns much less effective.

uOttawa has a vast network of alumni, given the age of the university and the standards of education held there. They have acquired a great deal of notable alumni that are eager to help out and support their initiatives. What uOttawa needed was a place for alumni and supporters to come together with the university and get involved with initiatives in a harmonious digital experience.

This new Alumni and Giving experience is achieved by creating an integrated web, email and social media strategy for alumni, donors, volunteers and friends of the university.

Collaborating with members of all faculties and departments, a content audit was conducted and a content governance structure was developed to provide individual departments with the guidelines needed to create content for this platform. This encouraged content development, and ensured that it remained consistent with the overall tone and style of the uOttawa brand.

After conducting research, environmental analysis and stakeholder interviews, a website was designed and developed, for uOttawa, that served as an outreach tool, facilitates engagement from all faculties and departments, and elicits support from the uOttawa community for important projects being run by members of the university.

Using this website, uOttawa can reconnect with alumni, increase the quality of alumni records, increase alumni donations and maintain stronger ties with all alumni, regardless of age or when they graduated. With a focus on the donor experience and online engagement, this project is an important tool to help the university reach the goals of the Destination 2020 strategic plan.

Solutions Provided

  • Area of Practice – Crowdfunding
  • Area of Practice – Education
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