For many graduates, the idea of donating money to their alumni association is tough to grasp. Why should a graduate give more money to an institution when they owe so much in student loans? Engaging alumni is a delicate process, but there are a few ways to build trust. In this guide, we’ve shared four alumni engagement strategies to increase your university network.
Firstly, successful alumni programs avoid being broad with promotional materials. Instead, they specifically target the alumni audience in specific segments. These segments can be grouped by background, area of study or age. A targeted strategy like this allows for a deeper relationship with alumni that speaks directly to their needs.
To help ease the mental pain of donating money to your school while paying off loans, your alumni association can offer discounts on education programs. For example, your association can start an alumni-only portal. This portal would be constantly updated with new educational content, such as videos and blog posts. You can also discount full-fledged online courses and encourage alumni to continue their education.
While having access to an online alumni network and job board is extremely useful for graduates. A favorite feature of alumni programs is definitely off-campus events. Many alumni will relocate to cities around the world, so hosting small in-person mixers could help people keep in touch. A fun pub crawl, city walking tour, or sports viewing party might be the perfect occasion to draw a crowd. The most successful alumni programs are often more than just a business network.
Trust takes time to build with new graduates, but if you appreciate them and provide consistent value, you’ll start to increase engagement. Like any relationship, you’re not going to ask for money right off the bat. Instead, you should open a dialogue and update them on exciting college developments. If you put the graduates’ needs first, they will build a more positive association with the school and be far more likely to contribute. If you’re still looking for some advice check out this article about alumni engagement from Sprout Social.
At GraduationSource, we believe that a strong alumni network can bring huge benefits to graduates, while also fostering the future of your school. Visit our blog for more educational resources and alumni engagement strategies.