are you leveraging every contact to help engage your alumni donors? schools have long recognized the development potential of alumni reunions. they dedicate considerable resources to encourage participation (and associated giving). there is no reason, however, why other events to which alumni are invited cannot also become cultivation opportunities.
“we have found that with this event alumni just show up”
recently I got an email from my high school alumni office. the message body was the image file seen here. the image was not clickable. I replied, suggesting that the school link the image to information on the website, which I found after some searching (there wasn’t much more there). the message I received included the following statements:
…we have found that with this event alumni just show up…
…if they happen to have nothing going on they pop up to the Hilltop…
…unfortunately we do not know who is coming…
the school is in the northwest corner of connecticut. some alumni are local, but the largest regional concentrations are 2+ hours away. that is is not a “pop up”-able distance for me. so, what will help me decide whether or not to just show up for an event at my old high school? probably the same things that would get me to reunion – tell me who’s going to be there. in fact, I might be more interested in an event with alumni from other years well as my own.
knowledge is power
hopefully the school can use whatever system powers registration, etc., reunion on smaller events without an additional charge. if not, eventbrite can track this information for free. as an attendee, I can see who else is coming before I sign up. beyond the benefit to attendees, the school gets valuable insights on alumni engagement to add to its donor database.
I used my particular “hot button” (although I think it’s a common one) as an example of ways organizations can improve the user experience for constituents while gaining insights about their engagement. companies like hubspot offer additional ways for non-profits and institutions to strengthen relationships. there are limited opportunities to engage alumni donors. don’t pass up any opportunities to encourage and measure interaction!