All of us in alumni engagement are charged with generating school spirit by helping alumni grow personally and professionally under the university flag. Although the eventual goal is to create goodwill resulting in gifts of time and dollars, most of us are trying to promote programs and initiatives for our alumni over the short term that will cause a connective spark.
Many institutions rely on reporting alumni news as a central tenant to their alumni constituency engagement strategy. Our communicators publish unbiased, journalistically sound, news articles that showcase professional achievements or unique philanthropic efforts. But this reporting doesn’t really drive alums to do anything.
For example: perhaps fictional alumnus, Steve Studly ’81 has been named to the Georgia State Lawyers “Best Lawyers of 2012” list, or alumnae Mary Matters ’07 recently traveled to the Sudan and volunteered for the Red Cross. These are both excellent professional achievements, but neither will likely help sell your alumni engagement initiatives.
What do you want your alumni to do?
When it comes to finding meaningful statistics that can help you make decisions about your alumni organization, you can find some helpful stats here or there, but (until now) there was no single repository of really good data that is also relevant. In the spirit of sharing information, here is my collection of relevant statistics from around the web that I have used to help my clients grow their programs and make important decisions. They are especially relevant to higher education, but have application to many types of membership organizations.
Garrett Huddy of Attend.com
Do you experience a momentary sense of panic before hitting “Post?”
Afraid no one will “Like” what you wrote? Not sure what comments, memories or photos will resonate most with your alumni?
Believe me, I totally understand. I had that feeling too, until I learned to follow these simple steps to a successful Facebook page.
Keep in mind that the goals of Facebook for any school community are to communicate upcoming events, tug at the heartstrings, foster nostalgia, and instantly get feedback from your community as to what means the most to them about your institution. Poster’s block can easily be cured by cruising around campus with an iPhone camera at the ready. Don’t overthink it!
Between reinventing Reunion weekend, recruiting Career Day panelists and exceeding ever-higher fundraising goals, it’s hard for Alumni Directors to even think about staying on top of the latest industry trends. Fortunately, that’s what we’re here for! KonnectAgain stays on the cutting edge of current strategies from Giving Days and class crowdfunding competitions to social networking and leveraging the power of alumni online.
By researching best practices from some of the most skilled alumni professionals out there, we’ve compiled this e-Guide entitled #Trending: Top 8 Trends in Alumni Relations. Enjoy! And then be sure to click here to find out how KonnectAgain can help you make these trends a reality for your program.
Source: Top 8 Trends in Alumni Relations
Membership clubs and organizations are all the rage. Brands like Netflix®, Weight Watchers®, Crossfit® and a myriad other businesses are adopting a membership or subscription strategy to grow their businesses. According to Robbie Kellman Baxter’s best-selling book, The Membership Economy, businesses that embrace the membership model are finding success by building lasting relationships, using member networks and developing benefits with high value as a way of enhancing loyalty and boosting engagement.
Sound a bit familiar? Continue reading
Ask most alumni relations professionals the secret of success and they will have a common refrain.
They will tell you that best way to create a group of engaged, committed – and generous – alumni is to begin with a group of engaged, committed students.
What do you think makes an alumni network great?!
Are education institutions in denial about their alumni engagement?
Schools are implementing a variety of activities, yet are they actually making progress towards their stated goal of engaging alumni? Perhaps, they have lost sight of the basics.
Engaging alumni should not be complicated. Fundamentally it is about providing alumni with a compelling reason to engage with your institution. Continue reading
History’s long standing camaraderie or rivalry comes with sports or sporting events. Sports fans have their psychological selves uplifted when their team wins. Be it sports fanaticism or an evening of casual playing, it is no doubt that roughing it out together, builds bonds that last a lifetime. There is something about running behind a ball, or hitting one with a bat that builds friendships and nurtures loyalty. Continue reading
Engagement leads to giving, and one of the best ways to engage alumni is through in-person events. Whether your school’s events are large or small, frequent or rare, there are some great ways to ensure that you are engaging your alumni base. Here are 5 ways to improve alumni engagement with events: Continue reading