Welcome back to the first ever series for Advancement and Alumni Relations professionals, this is the third part of Modern day Alumni Relations series. We have discussed on how the digital revolution is changing the atmosphere in the world of alumni relations in the previous session(.
As discussed earlier, having an ecosystem of alumni on social networks is commendable, indeed. For a school with a small close-knit group of alumni, connecting and interacting over Facebook or LinkedIn seems adequate. However, as your alumni base grows with each graduating class, keeping up with 45,000 people’s lives is quite a daunting task for an alumni relations officer. Add to that multiple groups on innumerable social media websites, and one is bound to lose out on the vital information that matters. The need for a centralized alumni management platform is inevitable.
Migrating from sheets of alumni data to an all-accessible online database is a great start. You can step it up a notch through a dedicated platform for your school to interact with alumni that converts your database into a secure, active online community that you control. Alumni are an invaluable asset to a school, so nurturing a bond with them is essential. They could turn out to be job givers, excellent mentors and mainly, they carry your school’s name, and with it, a legacy. A community exclusively for your school’s alumni will reignite pride and a sense of belonging associated with your alma mater.
What does an alumni management platform hold in store for you – an alumni relations director?
You no longer have to worry about getting bogged down with having to rummage through years of alumni data to put together a list. The online platform has it sorted for you with a simple search. This effectively leaves you with valuable time on your hands to build meaningful relationships with your alumni.
The integration of alumni’s social media accounts with their profiles on the platform keeps you abreast about which of your alumni landed their dream jobs, married their high school sweethearts, made scientific breakthroughs or moved to a city near you. This enables you to effortlessly stay in touch with them and make them feel valued by your school.
You can connect the job seekers directly with employers to provide continuous value to your alumni. This allows you to scale this effort up to serve a large number of your alumni.
It also serves as the perfect platform for alumni to give back to their schools by mentoring students who in turn will do the same for future students, thus starting an active cycle of giving back.
Plan your next reunion around an exciting new theme based on the rich data from your alumni’s interests collected by an array of filters on your alumni management software. It also takes the burden of putting together a mailing list off your hands by enabling you to send out invites to the whole any particular class, enabling you to invest your time in planning out the intricate details of the event.
Make more with less:
Let’s face it, you have a lot on your plate. We tend to take care of housekeeping/administrative tasks first and then work on our relationships with alumni. A dedicated platform will make these administrative tasks easier – giving you time to focus on what really matters –building relationships with your Alumni.
It doubles up as your personal alumni assistant by producing detailed analytics of which of your alumni attended most events, which class engages actively with your school; elaborate reports on students found jobs or by mentors, and gives you all the more reason to toast to the success of your latest fundraiser or reunion!
With more than 62% of Millennials preferring to donate online it helps if you are at the top of your game to make things easier for your alumni to give back.
There are several ways to show your love to your alumni and the best way is to give them what they want. Having a dedicated platform for them is the first step towards that.
Thanks for your support and keep the love coming. In the next post in this series, will discuss more on Online Giving and how to make the most of it.