First, as a consultant for solutions for Blackbaud, engaged by the University of Chicago to build an alumni portal on its Sphere SaaS platform, and then as an independent consultant, I helped design technology solutions that met the demand for increasing alumni participation, networking, and fundraising revenue. The main challenge was how to build an online presence that catered to both younger and older generations of alumni.
Proceeding from that larger constraint, an interesting problem was the need to let students who registered online for accounts self-verify themselves, using either a social security number, a student ID number, or various other forms of proof of identity. This way the University of Chicago could involve the maximum number of students in the most economical way possible. As with other projects for alumni and membership organizations we had to create a complete digital experience, such that communications and events, whether conducted by a website, app, phone or in person, be synchronized among themselves in a holistic fashion.