There is a curiosity about alumni, and an inkling about the potential, and the challenge is where to start!
The pushback factor: the alumni-donors coupling is strong, so much so our alumni can become cynical of any engagement efforts. While I agree with Chris Marshall and his podcast guest spot here where he describes integrated advancement, there are ways, especially outside of North America, where alumni as doers (taking an active place across the lifespan- I can enthusiastically recommend Prof Jessica Vanderlelie’s Alumni Engagement Concepts and Good Practice Guide – if you reflect on nothing else this Alumni Friday – read this! (see page 10 if you are particularly interested in the role of alumni in employability – it’s a terrific resource!)
Alumni relations needs to be relevant. Alumni need to feel that sense of purpose to become / stay engaged too! Relevance is one of alumni relations biggest hangups. Fundraising can show relevance with the amount of money raised. Are engagement scores enough? Don’t our alumni (especially our most recent alumni) want more? What would it be like if our alumni networks were viewed as social impact networks? Check out a World Economic Forum Article I co-wrote on the topic and another article exploring this idea.
Pick up your copy
of The Alumni Way here
Photo below: Online to reach the world!
My time at home is filled with workshops, webinars and panel discussions, including this one with The IC Global Café, a free community for international education professionals.
As an IC Global Fellow, I enjoyed a spirited discussion with Charlene Allen (The IC Global, top left), Vicky Lewis, international education expert researcher (bottom left) and Piet van Hove, President of the European Association for International Education- EAIE (bottom right)