Category Archives: Resources

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.

What has been your experience with starting Alumni groups? | LinkedIn

From: Non-Profit Program Manager and Creative Problem Solver

We’re a 20 + year old organization that has not tracked participants or alumni up until now… a daunting task to start gathering information on folks who are no longer active. Thoughts? Suggestions? Experiences?

Thank you in advance!

What has been your experience with STARTING Alumni groups? | LinkedIn.

Customizing the Twitter Widget

If you have logged into your Twitter account and created a Twitter timeline widget, you can alter various properties so it displays how you want.  From the Twitter documentation here are a few tips:

To create a timeline you must be signed in to and visit the widgets section of your settings page.

For sites where the theme and link color do not provide enough customization to make the Tweets feel like they’re a part of the page, Twitter offers a set of additional client side customization features.  These settings allow you to control the background color, borders, header, and footer of the timeline. Continue reading

The Nonprofit Social Media Policy Workbook | Idealware

From Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn, nonprofits are flocking to social media, but not everyone is prepared for the challenges and ramifications of what you post–or how to manage the process. Who is allowed to tweet? Who can comment on your posts? How do you respond if someone says something mean about your organization? How do you make use of what social media offers while protecting your nonprofit and your constituents?Nonprofit Social Media Policy Workbook

As nonprofits have increasingly turned to social media, policies and guidelines to govern their use of social media have become the new frontier. The open and community-based aspects of social media can be a huge benefit for nonprofits looking to reach out to new audiences and engage their existing base, but sometimes it can seem that no one knows the right way to use each channel, or where the lines are drawn—or even how to find out.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

A good social media policy will provide clear guidelines as to what staff should and shouldn’t do when posting and interacting with the community on a day-to-day basis. Your organization can create a policy to help guide your whole staff simply by thinking about how you would like to make use of social media.

Written using the research from the Nonprofit Social Media Decision Guide, this workbook is designed to help you, as an organization, ask the important questions about social media, and take the next steps to growing a social culture.

Great Example: Elementary Alumni E-mail Blast

Below is an example of an e-mail blast sent by one of our customers . . .


School of Saints Faith, Hope & Charity Alumni – Winnetka, Illinois

This newsletter is to highlight the current news from the Faith, Hope and Charity School as well as the FHC Alumni Organization. We will send out newsletters 3 times a year to keep you connected to the FHC Community. This is our Second Quarter Newsletter. Continue reading

Proving the Value of Alumni Relations

While reading my daily briefing on alumni relations discussions I came upon this Q&A that I thought was just perfect to share with you.

Q. How do you prove the value of alumni relations on your campus and within the advancement department? With tighter budgets these days you may find yourself having to justify alumni relations expenses to your boss.

A. From Michael Wall, Director of Alumni Relations, Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Coon Rapids, MN:

I think you will get four answers or types of answers:

1) You can’t. (I would ignore this, as it does not help and we all know administrators and trustees who hold purse string do not often fund based on faith.)

2) Everyone knows that alumni relations is necessary; all the big universities and privates have them. (Again, no help here. If everyone knew this to be true then there would not be a need for us to justify through data.

Two left, one cold, hard science and one warm, fuzzy, and perhaps no less true.

3) Alumni Relations is valuable because we have the data to prove it. (This is, of course, on the heels of your work collecting and analyzing data, and finding that in your case it is true.) Data points for involvement, attendance, communication, and other indicators of engagement can certainly be tracked and compared to giving for the individual and group. The more engaged, we may show with data, the more likely to give and perhaps give more generously. (And, it goes without saying, and yet here I go saying it, that stewardship of the relationship, matching alumni with efforts, projects, needs, etc. that match that person’s interests/concerns have a large role to play in the direction and intensity of giving.)

4) Alumni Relations is an investment in the future of the institution. Results will not show monetarily in the near term, as our alumni are still in school or paying for it and getting adjusted to the ‘real world.’ But the things we do in Alumni Relations- engaging them on campus as students, maintaining contact once they leave, updating pertinent life information in their record, inviting and encouraging them to return, utilizing them in substantive, productive ways to help the institution and the students through their gifts of time and expertise (volunteering), exposing them to the giving of others and the impact those donations made (on their costs as a student and on the costs for current and future students- these things set alumni up to be donors. Giving back is so, so often not a reflex, not a product of attendance. Giving back is a matter of feeling invested and invested in, and a part of the life of the institution.

That last one is my pitch because we have only paid attention to our alumni for the past five or six years. Go decades through the life of an institution without any education about what it is to be alumni and without any ongoing connection, and when you start your alumni program it is going to take time for the money to begin to roll in, if it will at all. If we knew who would give what there would be a lot fewer of us and a lot more psychics in Advancement.

That’s my two cents.

The Nonprofit Social Media Decision Guide | Idealware

With more than 750 million people signed up for Facebook alone, there’s little doubt that social media can be a powerful part of most organizations’ communications mix. But what can it be used for—outreach and engagement? Event management? Advocacy? How about fundraising? For many nonprofits, it’s far more obvious that such tools can be useful than how to use them.

Idealware created the Nonprofit Social Media Decision Guide to help organizations like yours determine what results and benefits you can reasonably expect from social media, and to guide you through the process of identifying the right channels for different goals.

The Nonprofit Social Media Decision Guide | Idealware.

School Profitability: Benefit from The Endorsement of Alumni

Set Up an Active Alumni Association to Stay in Touch with Your Grads

Career schools are discovering the impact of Alumni Associations. Gainful employment rules have many requirements that can be solved by Alumni Associations. You’ll be able to stay in touch with your grads to find out where they are working and possibly their earnings. Grads can help to increase enrollment, retention, and job placement. You’ll see a return on investment. And your school will stand out from your competition. Continue reading

Do You Need a New Donor Management System? A Step-by-Step Decision Making Workbook | Idealware

Without an effective system to track donors and other constituents, you can spend too much time just trying to figure out who to contact and miss out on many fundraising opportunities.  But switching to a new system can be time consuming and sometimes costly.  So how do you know if you should switch, or stick with what you have? The Do You Need A New Donor Management System workbook, in PDF format, by Idealware, will help you decide.

Do You Need a New Donor Management System? A Step-by-Step Decision Making Workbook | Idealware.