Alumni Relations

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					Alumni Relations: Why bother?




      Louise Simpson


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        Today, we’ll cover
• Alumni relations – overview of benefits
  (and problems) – trends, expectations
• What should you consider if starting up?
• Tone and content of good alumni
  associations in small colleges
• Working groups on some of the
  strategic big questions

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    Rise of alumni relations
• Historical roots
• Convocation, matriculation,
  congregations
• Benefactors
• American influences
• What do we mean by alumni?

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Sample By HEI Type

Institute Type                        %
Pre 1992 University                       41
Post 1992 University                      34
College of Higher Education               11
Specialist Institute                      11
Oxbridge College/other                     3

The Size of Alumni Databases – 000s
Institute Type                            UK        International   Total


Pre 1992 University                            49               9           58
Post 1992 University                           32               4           36
College of Higher Education                    10               1           11
Specialist Institute                            3               1            4
Overall average                                34               6           40




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Proportion of HEIs that Admit Former Students to Alumni Association
by Type of Qualification

 Award Type                          %




 Research Degree                          96

 Masters                                  97

 Pg Diploma/certificate                   95

 Professional awards                      70

 Intermediate Undergraduate               77

 Credits                                  77

 No Response                                -




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Policy Towards Students and Graduands



                                    Policy                        %

Only graduates are members and no pre marketing to students       44

No firm policy/policy being developed/no response                 21

Current students are actively marketed to in some way prior to    13
graduation/completion but cannot join until graduated/completed
Current students are actively marketed to in some way prior to     8
graduation/completion and can join before graduating/completing
Students/graduands admitted as a general policy                    8

Other                                                              7




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Location of Central Alumni Relations


             Host Department           %

Marketing/External Relations           46

Development/Fundraising                25

Student Affairs/Registry                8

Standalone                              4

Other                                   4

No Response                            11




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   £ range    %
              Central
              Budget


Under             30
£25,000
25-49,000         17
50-74,000         17
75-99,000          8
11-124,000         4
125-149,000        0
150-174,000        2
175-199,000        0
200,000 or         5
more
No replies        15
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      Belonging from the start
• “




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    Students more inclined to
          participate?
• Email, networking easier
• Websites and chat pages
• Friends Reunited phenomenon
• American influences
• Friends from further afield…
  international links
• University as a part of life…
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          To set up… or not?
•   Why are you doing it?
•   How will it relate with your mission?
•   Is it sustainable?
•   What are the risks associated with it?
•   What are you hoping to achieve?
    (friends, money, more students…)

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What are the risks for a small
          college?




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     Risks for a small college?
•   Staffing issues – can you manage?
•   Cost of running an alumni operation
•   Will you raise less than it costs?
•   Getting academic buy in?
•   Metrics for success?
•   Ownership of your alumni? (a degree-
    awarding partner?) – future merger?


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      Think positive….Small
            means…
• You’re already a community… and your
  graduates are distinctive and closely bonded
• Your students are probably going to pursue a
  specific career trajectory – and need you!
• You can offer a lot more in terms of
  networking, and career progression
• You can be personal and effective


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  What’s in it for the college?
- fundraising. Yes… but that’s only part of it?
- Alumni should be your greatest selling point -
  friends, advocates, advisors
• Helping you attract new students
• Adding value to your institution at every level
• Returning as staff and mentors



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           Trinity College pulling no
                    punches
•   The first Annual Law dinner, which is being held in conjunction with the
    Trinity College Law Society, is intended to help the creation of the
    Trinity Law Association network and to foster relations between
    practitioners and current students. The dinner is a social event for the
    benefit of students and alumni and the committee, in consultation with
    the current law Fellows here at Trinity, has set the price for alumni
    tickets at £50 which includes a subsidy to enable current students to
    obtain tickets for £12.50. Those undertaking the CPE, Law Society
    Finals, Bar School Finals, trainee solicitors and pupils will be charged
    half the full alumni price. It will be a black tie dinner and Lord Rees, the
    Master; Lord Walker, the President of the College Law Society and
    Lord Clement-Jones, the Chairman of the TLA Advisory Committee will
    be attending this important occasion. This dinner will be held in College
    but it is hoped that future dinners will thereafter be alternating between
    the City and the College. Please contact the Alumni Relations Officer if
    you wish to register as a member of the TLA and/or attend the dinner.



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   Alumni are also your biggest
        potential market
• For PhDs, MAs
• Continuing professional development
• Distance learners, evening and weekend
  classes
• Summer courses.
• And you should be targeting them as
  potential customers – no high street store
  fails to notice the fact that you have bought
  something once…

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     What’s in it for alumni?
• Career enhancement – courses,
  libraries
• Networking and mentors
• Social opportunities, fun, holidays
• Jobs – latest adverts, opportunities (eg
  casting for a play)
• Use of high quality facilities
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Getting graduates back in




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Roll calls




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       Turning to the US for
           inspiration…
• What can we learn from the niche
  players there?
• How do they enfold professional alumni
• Encourage attendance on summer
  schools and courses
• Create real alumni stakeholder
  engagement

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Supporting BME agendas




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“ I wouldn't want to belong
  to any club that would
  accept me as a member."
  Groucho Marx

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Getting the tone right




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    But how do you stop costs
           spiralling?
• Doubling up roles (senior advocates
  needed)
• E letters, not print
• Use alumni to run the show – and
  answer the queries
• Charges for services?
• Free perks (hotel discounts)
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          A free advisory board
• BAA's structure and governance
•
  The Brown Alumni Association is organized as a 501(c)3 non-
  profit corporation. The alumni body selects the BAA’s President-
  Elect, Secretary and Treasurer every two years in the Alumni
  Election. The previous President-Elect becomes President at
  the next election, for a total of four elected officers who lead the
  25-member Board of Governors. When he or she assumes
  office, the President also begins a six-year term as an Alumni
  Trustee of the Brown Corporation. Most board members have
  distinguished themselves as leaders within Brown’s volunteer
  programs or alumni communities. Others bring the specialized
  expertise required for current projects and priorities. More on
  board members and committees.


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 Getting alumni to do the work
Extract from New York Academy Alumni Association
• The first step is to fill out the registration/update information
   form.
• If you have paid your dues and would like to include up to 3
   images (not to exceed 600 pixels in height or width, or 100KB in
   filesize) on your page, optimize them for the Web and forward to
   the Webmaster (webmaster_AT_aanyaa_DOT_org) with the
   following information for each image:
• Title
   Date
   Media
   Height x Width (x Depth) inches
• Please pick them carefully, you may only add/update images
   once per dues-paying year.


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Making life easier




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     Keep your friends close
• Can you afford not to have alumni
  relations?
• Board members, advocates, friends in
  crisis, positive press endorsements, new
  members, increased –re-applications.
• Otherwise –you may not have enemies,
  but you won’t have many friends.


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                ALUMNI exercise
If you have an alumni operation already:
• How do you measure your success?
• What are the negatives of doing?
• How do you reduce keep costs down?
• What are the main things you - and your alumni - get out of it?
If you don’t have an office but are considering one:
• Why should you, or shouldn’t you launch an alumni operation?
• How do you relate it to your college mission?
• At what stage do you get students interested?
• Where should the office be located?
• Balance between fundraising, and other?

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Work group exercise 2: for those
      considering starting
• Why should you, or shouldn’t you launch an
  alumni operation?
• How do you relate it to your college mission?
• At what stage do you get students interested?
• Where should the office be located?
• Balance between fundraising, and other/




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