Category Archives: Articles

Stop Using These Metrics to Measure Alumni Engagement

Alumni organizations are always trying to find new ways to engage alumni, but when you’re trying to measure your progress, using the wrong metrics can give you a false sense of success (or failure.)

Unfortunately, many metrics tell only part of the story, and others are downright deceptive.

After years of working with both large and small member organizations, here’s a list of five digital marketing metrics that alumni organizations should stop using: Continue reading

What’s Your Persona in Your Alumni Office? Take the Quiz

What's your persona in  your alumni office?

In a well functioning alumni office, it’s important that everyone work together to make things happen. And because so many tasks need to get done, we tend to be drawn toward those assignments that play to our strengths.

Every office seems to have a person best suited to tackle complex administrative responsibilities,  or someone who loves planning and executing big events, or someone with the longevity and “institutional memory” to provide some historical prospective on new activities and programs. Continue reading

How To Survive the Gmail Tabs Marketing Apocalypse –

In the Spring of 2013, Google began rolling out a big restructure of the Gmail inbox, and many email marketers panicked. The Promotions tab that has been showing up in more and more Gmail accounts over the last two months has been repeatedly heralded as, “the death of email marketing.”

A couple of months later, however, we can step back from the apocalyptic rhetoric and take a look at what this really means.

  • Is the Gmail Promotions tab truly a bad thing?
  • How do we keep tabs on the impact of the tabs?
  • What should email marketers do in response?

How To Survive the Gmail Tabs Marketing Apocalypse –

Tip to Build Stronger Connections With Your Parents and Alumni | LinkedIn

by Jase Tillman

Tip:  Give, And They Will Give Back.

I was reminded of the “good ole days” a few years ago when I received a beautiful, full-color hardback book celebrating my school’s 40th year Anniversary. It’s filled with not just pictures and words, but dreams, memories, and relationships and was sent out to every person affiliated with our school.

I still love looking through it, but it reminded me of several other gifts my school has sent out over the years. Like the bib with the school logo on it when my first son was born. Or the “VIP Pass” that allows me free entry into every home sporting event…. for life. And you can’t beat the free pizza that’s found under the alumni tent at all the home football games.

With each gift, the emotional connection I have to the school is strengthened, and that’s why they’ll continue to get my support on all levels. My alma matter has developed hundreds of passionate supporters and donors by simply reinvesting back into its alumni by giving, instead of only “asking.”

6 Ways To Build Stronger Connections With Your Parents and Alumni | LinkedIn.

Why should I give back to my University or College? | LinkedIn

Universities and colleges all over the globe have some sort of Alumni and Development function within their institution.

This function is designed to enhance relationships with alumni and former staff whilst simultaneously enhancing the experience of current students and staff at the institution.

Read more: Why should I give back to my University or College? | LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Alumni Tool plugin (widget)

LinkedIn is continually seeking ways to better integrate LinkedIn technology with education sites.  Highlight what your alumni are up to now and showcase the diversity of their career paths to your current and prospective students.  Embed this university/college widget into your existing sites.

Alumni Tool Plugin data sheet

Additionally, here’s an example of the Alumni widget in action on a Colgate site:  You can even link to your school’s ‘notable alumni‘.

Other LinkedIn plugins are listed here:  And they have a page dedicated to Higher Ed Professionals with all kinds of resources.

4 Things Alumni / Member Organizations Should Stop Doing Now

After a career in alumni relations and institutional advancement,  I’ve since spent the last several years as a member marketing consultant for organizations ranging in size from a few thousand members  to over a million.

I’ve learned a lot from diving into the inner-workings of various types of member groups, identifying and dissecting their problems, and offering solutions to improve member engagement. I’ve heard every excuse possible about why their marketing efforts are not succeeding, and I’ve noticed several patterns among these poor performing member groups. Here are four of the most common things I asked these member groups to stop doing: Continue reading

New ways colleges target rich alumni –

Targeting alumni for donations is big business for colleges and universities — and schools are getting more savvy with their tactics.

Called “prospect research,” the practice of targeting wealthy alumni is not new. But the tools are getting better: complex data models using massive databases that store everything from wealth and income to class reunion attendance.

via New ways colleges target rich alumni – Feb. 24, 2014.

A Few Good Tools for Peer-to-Peer Fundraising | Idealware

Peer-to-peer fundraising isn’t new. For years, many organizations have engaged supporters to raise funds on their behalf—everyone from staff and volunteers to program participants and current donors. Traditionally these individual campaigns took the form of walk-a-thons and similar events at which supporters enlist sponsors from their own networks of colleagues, friends, and family. Informally, this kind of distributed fundraising is sometimes called “team,” “a-thon,” or “friend-to-friend” fundraising.

Read more: A Few Good Tools for Peer-to-Peer Fundraising | Idealware.