He Started by Sharing His Entrepreneurial Spirit at Palm Beach Atlantic University
When Chicago native Robert Anderson graduated from Palm Beach Atlantic University, he didn’t just toss the school aside like he did his graduation cap.
Unbeknownst to him at the time, he would one day, in some way, give back to the university in a way that stretches much further than your typical donation ever can.
Robert went on to create the start-up Forte Interactive as a founding partner in 1999, which offers innovative online and fundraising solutions for nonprofits and endurance events through cost-effective web-based registration and fundraising technology, creative campaigns and strategic consulting. Forte is the parent company to TrustedPartner, which provides full online solutions built to remove the frustrations of busy nonprofit professionals; RacePartner, which offers integrated solutions that make endurance event management simple; and Achieve, a research and design agency for causes.
Forte’s focus on nonprofits isn’t accidental. PBA’s “Workship” (that’s work + worship) program gave students the opportunity to work directly with local nonprofits. Donating 45 hours per semester of his time while at PBA fostered Robert’s passion for the nonprofit sector. That passion is how Forte found its niche in the market.
How does Forte and its Achieve division fit into the PBA family? Well, much of Achieve’s research delves into the habits and thought processes of the Millennial Generation, those born in the early 1980s to the early 2000s. One such study is their Millennial Alumni Report, sponsored by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, which specifically looks at how millennial alumni prefer to engage with their alma maters and how universities, in turn, can secure alumni donors and preserve their existing alumni base in the midst of a transforming higher education world.
And that’s where Robert’s journey became full-circle.
In the ever-changing landscape of higher education, universities now more than ever struggle to understand and engage with their next generation of alumni donors: millennials. Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, FL has been no exception to this struggle.
PBA turned to one of their own former students and current alumni board members – Robert – and his talented team of people at Forte to overhaul their website into one that was more user-friendly and more appealing to their millennial audience.
The university is also working with the team at Achieve, who is conducting research and creating marketing materials that will enhance millennial alumni engagement.
Now, PBA is well on its way to effectively reaching the alumni who make up the most-studied and perhaps most misunderstood generation today – all because of an actively engaged alumnus who is working to actively engage alumni to come.
As the Chief Operating Officer of Forte Interactive, Slade leads marketing, operations, human resources, and product development, while overseeing a staff of Millennial employees.
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- He Started by Sharing His Entrepreneurial Spirit at Palm Beach Atlantic University - July 10, 2015