FFE Concludes Largest Ever Industry Research Study

Indianapolis, December 18, 2020 – The Foundation for Fraternal Excellence is proud to announce the completion of the largest research study ever conducted on behalf of fraternal organizations, the 2020 Alumni & Donor Engagement Survey.

FFE collaborated with Cygnus Applied Research throughout the year to collect and analyze the thoughts and opinions of a record-breaking 128,000 alumni in this survey that covered more than 20 different topic areas and measured the fundraising trends from 37 different fraternal foundations.

“Data is critical to the success of all our organizations, fraternal and foundation. FFE is the vehicle by which the entire fraternal movement can advance. I am proud of the organization’s work in this area this year,” said Jason Butler, FFE Board of Directors President.

This is the third iteration of the Alumni & Donor Engagement Survey, and each project has grown successively from 2011 to 2015 and now 2020. Cygnus Applied Research and the Foundation for Fraternal Excellence remain strong partners, reaching dozens of different Greek organizations to explore the various factors that influence philanthropic support. Cygnus builds directly on each research set, providing longitudinal comparisons of data both at the national level and for each fraternity and sorority that participates.

“No other initiative in our industry offers the return on investment for fraternal fundraisers. The broad scope of survey participants and the ability to see adjustments in the same data points creates incredible value,” FFE Executive Director Ashley VanDewark said. “Thank you to all the fraternal foundations that participated and sponsored the project.”

While the 2020 study was notable for being the largest and most comprehensive survey of fraternity and sorority alumni and donors ever conducted, its real value comes from the information gathered about alumni preferences for information and communication, their motivations for making contributions, and how fraternities and sororities can grow engagement and support after graduation.

The Alumni & Donor Engagement Survey is just one key part of FFE’s industry leading research agenda. We are proud to champion widespread research on the value of the fraternity/sorority experience in partnership with key stakeholders. We are committed to exploring a variety of data sets that can inform the actions of our industry leadership and support fraternal fundraising missions. Relatively few published studies have been completed about the fraternal experience – the Cygnus Applied Research survey partnership is the most consistent, in-depth project available to the industry. For more information on the need for expanded fraternal industry research, contact FFE.

Survey sponsorships are still available for parties interested in reviewing the full 2020 Alumni & Donor Engagement Survey results. To be a sponsor, email FFE.


The Foundation for Fraternal Excellence (FFE) cultivates a culture of philanthropy and care across the fraternal community. Often known as the “heart” of a fraternal organization, fraternal foundations and professionals are offered support through FFE as the foremost provider of programs, services and resources for fraternal fundraising. The FFE also offers scholarships to graduate students and professionals for continuing education, operational support for new and emerging fraternal foundations, and works hand-in-hand with fraternal communities and the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) to strengthen and improve the entire fraternity/sorority experience.