For colleges and universities, having a strong alumni network is an important factor in accomplishing goals and positioning the school as a top-tier organization, making it more attractive to students, corporations and the community.
Here are six ways your alumni network can work for you:
1. ANNUAL GIVING
A strong alumni network can make annual giving a major event every year. This can help financially support a number of departments and organizations, important newsletters and major projects that need additional support. Annual giving helps with academic programs, scholarships, research, and other operating expenses that may not be covered by federal allocations. These funds help the university stand out in the programs and resources they can offer to students.
Alumni can hold targeted career fairs where the students will get firsthand experience on life after college, workforce experiences, challenges, and effective ways to manage their time and career plans. Alumni can also help human resources with recruitment—offering opportunities that may not be advertised—and in conducting employee coaching seminars to get students ready for the workforce. The university can set up a Linkedln group for the alumni network which will help them stay connected, while opening up communication with current students for mentoring and information on upcoming events. By using Linkedln, universities can create sub-groups that focus on specialized areas or degree programs to encourage access to personalized information or functions in their particular city.
3. CAMPUS COMMUNICATIONS
Alumni can leverage the campus notification system in a number of ways to rally alumni support. The campus notification system not only works as an emergency response resource, but can be used by alumni to increase event attendance, garner support from the community, improve fundraiser results with personalized calls and keep alumni current on university news.
Alumni can work as volunteers in certain departments or at events to stay connected while giving back. Alumni can also volunteer during college tours to help give advice to parents and speak to prospective students on why the university may be a good choice for them.
Alumni can work as advocates to help the university gain exposure in certain areas that could result in sustaining grants or financial assistance from different organizations. Alumni can be strong advocates in supporting the university on sensitive issues and working together as a unified voice when new regulations may create rifts. Alumni can also work as advocates for students applying for certain positions by offering recommendation letters and personally connecting them with employers in their field. six.
Alumni can assist in helping the university avoid the Silo Syndrome. This occurs when departments isolate themselves and don’t cross boarders to communicate with each other. By finding ways for departments to work together on projects, sharing information and helping students, alumni acts as a bridge to help departments and students become aware of opportunities and work cohesively for smoother operations.
So, what are you waiting for? Start utilizing these six tips today to leverage your alumni to their fullest potential.