Tips for Engaging With Younger Alumni

Alumni associations across the nation tend to be populated by slightly older alumni, who are well past their high school and college years. However, getting involvement from your alumni right after they’re out of high school can prove to be quite beneficial; it’s just a challenge to actually make it happen. After all, many recent graduates are eager to move on with their lives and establish an identity beyond their high school.

So what are some of the ways you can stay relevant with your most recent graduates? Here are a few tips.

  • Begin outreach early: Start getting in the ear of students even before they graduate high school. They should be well aware of your organization before they graduate so they already know all the opportunities that lie ahead of them by getting involved. 
  • Meet them where they are: The way you market to and engage young adults between the ages of 18 and 23 is very different from the way you should be reaching out to adults in middle age and later years. The biggest thing is meeting them where they are. You’re not going to have much success trying to engage them through Facebook, for example--the usership there skews older. Social media platforms to look at for those younger adults include TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram (and even Instagram is starting to skew a little older, more toward Millennials). Make sure your website is highly functional for mobile devices.
  • Demonstrate value: The value should go beyond just high school nostalgia. For young people who are just getting started in life, there are all kinds of additional needs they are likely to have. Provide workshops, job boards, networking events, social mixers and various other forms of support. Your initiatives shouldn’t all focus on fundraising, because you simply won’t get much in donorship from this group given where they’re at in their professional lives.
  • Make it genuine: Today’s young adults are more sensitive than ever to messaging that comes across as fake. Make interactions as genuine as possible. It helps if you can build relationships with in-person meetings and events.

For more tips, contact us at Alumni Nations!


How to Create a Manageable Communications Plan for the New Year

Still looking for a new year’s resolution for your alumni association? One area your organization can look at improving is your communications. By developing and adhering to a solid communications plan, you will better engage with your alumni members and encourage new involvement.

Here are a few tips to help you get started with creating a communications plan that will be manageable for 2023 and beyond.

  • Set goals: What do you want to accomplish with your communications? Be specific with your goal setting; a goal that is too unfocused will be hard to accomplish, as it is difficult to determine the success of vague objectives.
  • Set metrics: Once you know what you want to accomplish, you need to know how you will measure the success of your communications. What are some of the key metrics you can track? Some examples include increases in donor-ship, website traffic, newsletter engagement, and attendance at alumni events.
  • Note your target audience: Determine the audiences you will have to connect with if you are to be successful in achieving your objective. Obviously, for alumni associations the main target is going to be alumni. But if you have specific goals, such as increasing engagement among recent alumni, you would need to target communications to that specific age range. Segmenting your audience can make your goals more achievable.
  • Establish an editorial calendar: Communications should be sent out regularly on a predictable schedule. Have set intervals for publishing blogs and newsletters, and stay consistent with your social media updates. Staying consistent and predictable with your communications will help stabilize your engagement.

Want some more tips about establishing excellent communications for your alumni association? Contact us today at Alumni Nations!


The Steps to a Successful Capital Campaign

It’s hard to believe, but we’ve nearly reached the end of another year! With a new calendar year about to begin, your mind might be on new initiatives and new goals, including fundraising.

Capital campaigns are critical to the success of nonprofit organizations, including educational organizations. It is important for alumni associations to find and connect with the right donors.

Here is a quick look at the seven steps that you should take to help set your capital campaign up for success.

  • Determine your capital needs: Examine your needs and the various opportunities that exist to help you reach your campaign goals in the coming year. Get members, school board, community members, school staff and any other invested parties involved in brainstorming and goal setting so you have a wide range of players aboard.
  • Determine the next steps: Schools must determine if, when, and how they will move forward with a campaign after they have set goals and determined needs. Districts should make adjustments to that campaign early on to align with community feedback and potential funding limitations, which will help guide how the campaign will get started.
  • Set your strategy: Before you officially launch the campaign, you should take another couple months to make sure everyone is on the same page regarding the strategy for your campaign. This can include prioritizing potential donors.
  • Soliciting your leadership gifts: Leadership gifts are the largest gifts your organization will take in. These often help set the tone for other gifts that follow from supporters in the community. This process can take several months. Focus on wealthy potential donors and organizations that have some connection to your organization already.
  • Seek out major gifts: After the leadership gift phase, you can seek out major gifts. Major gifts are still quite large, but they’re not the massive tone-setters that leadership gifts are.
  • Solicit all other gifts: Most gifts you get from the community at large will be much smaller, but these are the kinds of gifts that really can make a difference. A larger number of smaller gifts means you have greater investment from the community.
  • Implement the project: Once you’ve completed your fundraising, you can get going on the project for which you have been raising capital!

Follow these steps and you will find it much easier to succeed in a capital campaign!


Tips from the Business World to Better Engage Your Alumni

Having a difficult time getting your alumni engaged in your organization? You might consider taking a few lessons from the world of private sector business.

Yes, there are many significant differences between the fields of private business and public education. However, there are also many similarities between engaging leads in a business or corporation and engaging alumni in an alumni association. In each case, the goal is to keep people coming back and make them lifelong customers (or, in your case, members and supporters).

Here are three quick lessons that you can take away from general business operations that will be of assistance to you as you seek greater alumni engagement.

Always focus on providing value

People are much more likely to be engaged supporters if they feel like your organization offers them something of value.

Businesses will frequently offer coupons, webinars, and various giveaways to “sweeten the pot” for their current and prospective customers. In a similar way, school alumni associations can focus on what alumni want, beyond just an opportunity for nostalgia. What events and initiatives can the organization focus on that will enrich alumni’s lives, beyond just the opportunities to donate? 

Don’t ask for too much

Businesses will frequently send out monthly or quarterly newsletters with interesting stories and event listings, though there are retail companies that might engage more frequently with customers to share deals and specials. In general, though, most corporations will try to avoid flooding their customers with messages.

Alumni associations should remember that alumni have busy personal and professional lives and should maintain a focus on effective communication. Quality over quantity is always a good rule to follow.

Accept that you can’t always win

There are going to be marketing strategies and initiatives that occasionally do not work. In addition to that, you’ll never hit with everyone. Businesses will regularly find success focusing on specific segments of their consumers or by trying new things to see what sticks.

The same should be true for alumni associations. Don’t worry about getting the best possible results for everyone. Instead, focus on outreach efforts that seem to be working for a good portion of your membership base and are driving results.


Happy Thanksgiving! Thanking Your Members for All They Do

Thanksgiving is nearly here, and there’s no better time of year to show your gratitude for the members of your alumni association!

Showing your gratitude for those members makes them feel valued and cared about, and also makes them far more likely to stay engaged within your organization. Take the effort to showcase your appreciation this year. Here are just a few ideas for how you can do that.

  • Send an email: This is, by far, the easiest way to say “thank you” to your members. It’s effective for emailing your entire membership at once and giving a quick yet effective thanks to all of your members for being involved in your organization. Give it a nice newsletter design and make sure they’re personalized!
  • Send cards: If you have members who are higher donors or who are particularly engaged with your organization, you might give some extra effort into thanking them by sending them cards with handwritten signatures. The old-fashioned thank you card will never go out of style and always carries a little extra charm to it that simply does not come across in digital media.
  • Send gifts: If you have swag for your organization, consider including it in thank you messages to your alumni members. It could be something as simple as stickers--just something extra to show your appreciation and that you can include your branding on.
  • Phone calls: This is another method of giving thanks that is best done in small quantities and for members that go the extra mile to support your organization, whether it be with their time or money. A personal phone call saying thank you can make a big impact and will be greatly appreciated!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! Enjoy the holiday!


What You Should Know About Donor Advised Funds

A donor-advised fund is a separately identified fund or account that is managed and operated by section 501(c)3 of the internal revenue code. Every account features individual contributions from individual donors.

Here’s an overview of what you should know about them and how they could benefit your alumni association.

Why do people use these funds?

With the tax law changes that were passed and put into law several years ago, there are many more people using donor-advised funds to lump deductions. One can make charitable contributions for a single year and still deduct them from itemized taxes. This also allows them to make charitable contributions over a period of time and have those funds invested over that period of time.

Individuals will also supplement gifts to their private foundations, which are subject to a 30 percent limit. Donor-advised funds, meanwhile, are subject to a 50 percent limit. This allows people with philanthropic interests to increase the amount of their giving in a high-income tax year.

Finally, the simplicity of these funds makes them much easier than working with a private foundation. 

Who is in charge of these funds?

Donor-advised funds still go back to the individual who creates them. The holder and manager of the funds acts at the direction of the donor, so it always comes back to the individual that created the fund and who will direct future contributions to the organizations it chooses to support.

Using these funds for your organization

Organizations can gain support through donor-advised funds, but you do have to convince individual donors of the value and quality of your programming. If you are able to do this, they can support your activities by direct contribution. Many of these organizations are automated, so they can easily make monthly or annual contributions (or whatever period they choose).

There are hundreds of organizations that now support donor-advised funds. It’s as easy as an individual writing a check, but instead of writing a check, they request that a check come out of their donor-advised funds.

To learn more about the best ways you can use these funds as vehicles for donating to your alumni association, contact us at Alumni Nations!


Tips for Forming an Advisory Board for Your Alumni Association

Advisory boards are important for the health and success of any nonprofit organization, including alumni associations. Schools and school districts will often use advisory boards to get community feedback. These boards have the added benefit of engaging alumni and community members and keeping them involved in their schools even after graduating.

Advisory boards are different from school boards in that they do not have a legal responsibility to make decisions about how the school is run, or indeed, even any authority to do so. Instead, they simply provide advice and feedback for certain decisions.

So how do you create an advisory board? Here’s a brief overview of what you should know.

  • Gather members: Begin by gathering people who might be interested in being involved with an advisory board. These could be people who are already involved in your alumni association or in the community, or simply people you know to be strong school advocates.
  • Determine the operation of the board: How will the board operate? Consider the frequency of meetings, the guidelines you’ll have for membership and other types of general expectations, such as how meetings will be run.
  • Name leadership: There should be a chair of the board who will be tasked with managing the board’s operations. This could be an existing community leader or someone who is involved in the community as an alumnus.
  • Consider how the board can be most effective: What can you do to get the most out of an advisory board? There should be a clear vision and mission statement in place so the board has an actual direction and tasks to accomplish. Make sure to regularly recognize the work of the members, who are volunteers.

For more tips and information about running an advisory board in the most effective manner, contact us at Alumni Nations.


Recruiting the Right Leadership for Your Alumni Groups

Strong leaders are critical to the success of any group, especially volunteer organizations. Having the right leadership in place for your organization can make all the difference in having a successful and thriving alumni group.

So how can you encourage these great leaders to step up and help your alumni group thrive? Here are a few tips.

  • Recruit people with a passion for your school: If they aren’t already passionate about your alma mater, they’re probably not ideally suited for running an alumni organization. Consider how else they are already involved around the school community, and what sort of advocacy work they do for the school. Perhaps they’re involved in PTAs or frequently attend school events already. Maybe they’re already members of your alumni association who are regularly at your events.
  • Look for people with children at the school: Alumni who have children attending their alma mater might be even more likely to want to get involved. Not only do they have personal experience in attending the school, but they have a current stake in the health of the school community, given their children’s attendance.
  • Look for people who are well connected: People who have a large network of friends and connections around the community and the school are ideally suited for leading an alumni organization. They’re likely to get more people involved, which is important for the health of your group.
  • Add some prestige: When people apply, make sure they know there is some prestige and some benefit to taking on a leadership role. Try to add some perks that will make people more likely to want the position. 

For more tips about attracting great leaders for your organization, contact us at Alumni Nations!


Make Sure Your Freshmen Know About Your Alumni Association!

The new school year is underway, which means there’s a brand new opportunity for your alumni association to connect with students. The best way to establish long-term success for your organization is to make sure you have a presence in the schools and that current students are well aware that your organization exists. 

So what are some of the steps you can take to make sure students know about your alumni association from the time they’re entering the building as new freshmen?

Here are a few ideas.

  • Postcards: Consider working with the school to place postcards or flyers in all freshmen lockers advertising the alumni association and the kind of work it does for the school community.
  • Emails: Have school administration send out emails about your alumni association, or have them include information about your organization’s events and activities in various roundups that get sent out to students.
  • Home room introductions: Consider going in to freshman home rooms to talk about the alumni association and the kind of impact your high school years had on you. Freshmen tend to be excited to be starting this new phase of their lives, so it’s a good time to hit them with this messaging.
  • Social media: Establish a strong presence on social media, not just on Facebook, but on places where younger audiences are hanging out, like Instagram or even TikTok.
  • Be present: Have an organizational presence at school events. When current students see you constantly present and involved, they’re much more likely to get involved when they become alumni themselves.

For more tips, contact us at Alumni Nations!


Virtual Ways to Involve Your Alumni in Your Homecoming

The new school year is underway, and for high schools across the nation, there’s a sort of buzz as Homecoming season approaches!

Chances are your alumni association already has some great plans in place for bringing back alumni to get involved in your homecoming celebrations. Of course, not everyone is necessarily going to be able to make the journey back to their home town to participate. But that doesn’t mean they’re not interested!

Consider giving your long-distance alumni some virtual opportunities to participate and showcase their school spirit. They might not be able to make the tailgates or mixers, but they can still participate in these fun virtual ideas!

  • Spirit days: Most high schools put together spirit days for their Homecoming weeks. Consider sharing the themes for the spirit days on your social media pages and encourage alumni to get dressed up and share a photo of themselves in their spirit outfits! This is both a simple and fun way to engage your alumni.
  • Throwbacks: Encourage alumni to share throwback photos of their own high school Homecoming experiences. This can be a great way to connect the excitement of your upcoming homecoming to the past. It’s always fun to revisit old memories (and styles)!
  • Fundraising competitions: Consider putting together digital fundraising competitions! You could create teams by graduating class or decade and see who ends up raising the most money for your organization or for a specific educational initiative for your school.  This is a great way to get your alumni involved while supporting important causes.
  • Recorded messages: Have alumni send in recorded messages talking about their favorite high school memories, especially regarding homecoming, and share them on your social pages to help spread the excitement!

Looking for more ways to keep even your distant alumni involved around Homecoming season? Contact us at Alumni Nations!


Using Teacher Amazon Wish Lists to Show Appreciation

With August mostly behind us, most teachers and families are in major back-to-school mode, with school about to begin for many districts (and having already begun in some). For teachers, this means making sure they’re stocked with all the items they need to get through the school year.

With school districts across the nation having various abilities to provide teachers with everything they wish for, it is often teachers who use their own money to supplement the materials provided by the school district. Many of the classroom supplies they use on an everyday basis must be purchased outside of school funds. 

For this reason it has become popular for teachers to create wish lists on sites like Amazon that include items and supplies that will make a difference in their classroom. Once items are purchased, Amazon ships the item directly to the school (or the teacher’s home). 

If you are a teacher, using such a wish list is a great way to show alumni what you need most. You’ll find that many alumni are happy to help their old teachers out.

Here is a quick overview of the process:

  • Sign into your personal Amazon account
  • Hover over the “accounts and lists” option in the top right, under your name, and click “create a list” on the left side of the hover menu
  • Under the “this list is for” drop-down, click “you”
  • In the list type options, select “wish list”
  • Type in the name of your list
  • Under “privacy,” set the list to “public” to ensure anyone interested in contributing can see your list
  • Under “recipient name,” place your name

It’s that simple! Once you’ve completed this process you have a new Amazon wish list you can fill with items you need for your classroom. To add items to your list, search Amazon for products you want, go to the product page and select the “add to list” drop down menu, choosing your classroom wish list.

For more tips and information, contact us at Alumni Nations!


Tips for Planning an Alumni Homecoming Tailgate Party

It’s hard to believe, but August is already here, meaning the start of the new school year is already here for some and only a few weeks away for others! Homecoming celebrations are coming up right behind the start of the school year too! If you haven’t already begun planning your Homecoming events for your alumni, it’s important to get started now. 

One of the easiest and most popular events alumni associations hold around Homecoming is an alumni tailgate at the Homecoming football game. Tailgates are low-stress, laid-back events that are relatively easy to plan, so long as you know everything you need to do. Here’s a quick set of tips to ensure your alumni tailgate party goes off without a hitch.

  • Begin planning early: The earlier you get the word out about the event the better. This will allow out-of-town alumni to clear their schedules and make plans to come into town to support the event. 
  • Send out invitations a couple months ahead of time: You can spread the word about the event long before this, but you can send out official invitations a couple months head of time with the date and a deadline by which to RSVP. Include information about the time the tailgate begins, where it’ll be located and what time the kickoff is. Consider using our invitation template from the National Alumni Institute. 
  • Decide on food issues: Will you be cooking yourself, or will you be having a catered cookout? If the former, you’ll need to make sure you have people volunteering to run the grills and help out at the event. You’ll also need to make sure you get enough food in advance to accommodate the guests who have RSVP'd. If the latter, it’s important to book a caterer early so they can fit your event into their schedule. Be sure to ask how many people they will be able to send to work at the event.
  • Have add-on activities: Plan to have other activities beyond just food. This could include corn-hole or other yard games, photo booths, a performance by the high school’s marching band or anything else that could get you in the mood for the game and showing some spirit.
  • Consider after plans: After the game are your alumni heading their separate ways, or are you going to host some sort of after party? Consider talking to local bars, taverns or other establishments about the possibility of hosting some kind of alumni gathering when the game is done.

For more alumni tailgate tips, contact us at Alumni Nations!


Is Your Landing Page Supporting Your Organization’s Mission?

Summer is a great time to take care of some organizational housekeeping, which can include reviewing, fixing and updating your website. A great place to start is reviewing if your landing page is properly supporting your mission and providing your visitors with information they need about the organization.

There are several key questions your landing page should answer:

  • What is it that you’re selling? You may not be a business in the traditional sense, but you’re still selling something, including opportunities to stay in touch with your alma mater and fellow alumni.
  • How does your organization enhance the lives of its members?
  • What is your organization’s mission?

Your visitors should be able to discern the answers to these questions very quickly upon navigating to your website. A simple statement or sentence and the photos you choose to decorate your landing page should give a very clear message of what your organization stands for and how it supports your alma mater.

Make sure also to check all links and features on your landing page to ensure they work as desired. Broken links should be fixed immediately, and features that are outdated should be either updated or eliminated.

These simple checks and questions can go a long way toward creating a high-quality landing page that informs and activates your audience.

Alumni Nations provides excellent templates for your alumni website that ensure these questions are always answered- contact us today to learn more! 


How to Write a Great Volunteer Solicitation Email

Need to send out a message to your members and supporters to solicit volunteers? It’s important you word it properly and effectively to give you the greatest chance of getting volunteers.

Your email should accomplish the following:

  • Clearly communicate your organization’s values
  • Provide examples of unique experiences and benefits volunteers receive with your organization
  • Provide a link to a place online where you have specific volunteer opportunities in various time increments
  • Provide contact information for people to connect with you with any questions they have

Here’s an example of a template you could tweak for your own purposes to use as a volunteer solicitation email.

_________

Dear Supporter,

At ORGANIZATION NAME, we believe we have the ability to make a difference in our community if we work alongside and in partnership with you! Therefore we’d like to invite you to volunteer with our organization to advance our mission to [INSERT MISSION].

By volunteering with our organization you will have the opportunity to:

  • Opportunity 1
  • Opportunity 2
  • Opportunity 3 

Volunteering with our organization is easy! To explore time-flexible volunteer opportunities, visit our website at WEBSITE. If you identify a role or event you’d be interested in, or if you don’t see anything but would still like to discuss how you can help our organization by donating your time, please reach out to NAME, TITLE at PHONE NUMBER or by email at EMAIL ADDRESS.

SCHOOL PRIDE TAGLINE

Sincerely, 

YOUR NAME
YOUR ORGANIZATION


Questions to Ask to Get the Best Alumni Profile Piece

One of the best types of content for you to create for your alumni association’s website is the alumni profile. These pieces give you a chance to get closer to your members, and their nature makes them highly shareable among family members and friends of those featured. 

You don’t necessarily have to focus on distinguished alumni who have major accomplishments in their fields; even focusing on the small things people are doing and achieving in their lives is a great way of showing off your membership and the many ways in which alumni of your school go on to make a difference in the world.

Of course, to produce a great alumni profile, you need to ask the right questions. These questions should be thought provoking and lead to interesting responses.

Here are a few examples of some of the best questions to ask when interviewing an alumni for your next profile piece.

  • What are some of your fondest memories of your time at [school]?
  • Who are some teachers, coaches or other adult figures who were in your life that made an impact on you during your time in high school, and how?
  • What are some of the most important lessons you took away from your time at [school]?
  • What does your life look like now, and how do you believe it was influenced by your high school experience?
  • How did you become involved with our alumni association?
  • What is your favorite part of being involved with our organization?
  • How would you like to see our organization grow and evolve?
  • What sort of advice would you give to current students at [school]?

Need some more tips for crafting great alumni profiles? Contact us at Alumni Nations today!


Consider Developing a Birthday Campaign for Your Members

Birthdays present an opportunity for you to create a meaningful connection with the members of your alumni association. Take the time to create messages that you can easily personalize and let them know you remember them and are thinking about them on a day that is truly all about them.

You already have a database of members, so you most likely have the contact information and birthdays of your members already. All it takes now is for you to find a creative way to celebrate your alumni’s birthdays. 

There are a variety of strategies you can use to accomplish this. It could be a simple email, it could be a signed birthday card in the mail, it could be a personal birthday phone call, or it could be a video that your team creates to send via email.

Here are a few tips for you to consider as you decide what strategy will work best for you.

  • Get students involved: Creating a card? Consider seeing if any students in the art or photography department at school would be willing to make some templates for your organization! Creating a video? Check with your school’s AV club or other tech-savvy students or organizations within the school to see if they’d like to be a part. It’s one more way to enhance the connection between the school and the alum.
  • Bring in familiar faces: If you’re filming a video, bring in faces who might be familiar with the person in question. Consider asking the alum’s former teachers to make an extra-personal touch.
  • Have multiple templates available: If you’re sending a simple email or card, or need a caption for a video, you can have a number already written out in advance that you can then personalize for each recipient. This will save you quite a bit of time.
  • Automate when possible: At the very least you can automate alerts about who has birthdays coming up so you have a to-do list for creating and sending birthday wishes.

Contact us today at Alumni Nations for more tips!


How to Approach Sponsors for Your Alumni Association

Every nonprofit organization can benefit from sponsors, whether they’re ongoing sponsorships or sponsors of individual events. This includes alumni associations. Many organizations can benefit from outside funding beyond memberships to put on events and special programs they would like to run.

With so much on everyone's current plates, it can be difficult to know where to start or how to make time to procure sponsorships. We’ve listed some tips for how you can find and approach sponsors for your alumni association and its events. 

  • Consider their ability to donate: Depending on the size or type of business, their ability to sponsor your organization might be limited. Particularly small businesses, for example, might only be able to contribute small items or coupons to events, but other, larger businesses or businesses of certain types might have more financial resources at their disposal. Consider the needs of your organization and adjust your ask based on the business you’re approaching.
  • Start local: Local businesses are more likely to have close ties to your school and organization, so you should consider starting there, as the odds of a “yes” are higher. 
  • Connect with alumni business owners: If you know any alumni who own businesses in your area, consider asking them for a sponsorship. Their own personal connection to the school (and possibly to your organization) will increase the odds of a sponsorship.
  • Sponsor specific things: While general organizational sponsorships are highly beneficial, you might find more success in securing sponsorships for your organization if you give them something specific they will be supporting. This could include a class reunion, an upcoming event or even your organization’s alumni database. 
  • Have something to offer in return: You will be more likely to lure in sponsors if you give them something in return, or show the ROI of their sponsorship clearly. Put their name on your event advertisements, list them on your website as a sponsor, give them free admission to your events, etc. Whatever you can feasibly provide at little or no cost that will encourage them to become sponsors, you should investigate.

Looking for more tips about how you can attract sponsors for your alumni association? Contact us today at Alumni Nations!


Getting Parents Involved in Your Organization

With Mother’s Day having just happened, we thought it would be an appropriate time to think about how you can get parents of students involved in your alumni association!

That’s right--you don’t necessarily need to restrict your organization just to alumni of your school or district. There’s plenty of space for other community members and supporters who want to be advocates for your organization and the school in general.

So how can you connect with parents of current students or recent alumni and invite them to get involved in your organization? Here are a few tips.

  • Make sure they feel important: Parents of students in the district are just as critical to the health and success of a district and school community as alumni, and in many cases have even more of a role they can play. Keep the language of your communications inclusive to ensure community members also feel like they can get involved and are invited to connect with your organization.
  • Have a presence in the school community: If you’re able to show up at school events and be actively involved in activities involving current students as well as alumni, this will broaden the appeal of your organization and allow you opportunities to connect with parents of existing students. These parents are already naturally plugged into the everyday events and goings-on of the district, so if they frequently see you in and around the school, they’ll be more likely to take an interest in your group.
  • Target your communications: Target some of your communications directly to parents of students in the district, especially at the high school level. You may be able to work with your school or district office to get parent contact information to send them information about your organization and how they can get involved.

These are just a few examples of some of the strategies you could employ to get more involvement from parents of current students in the district. Get out there and broaden your membership!


Ideas for Great Membership Perks for Your Alumni Association

A great way to attract new members to your alumni association is to offer some perks for membership that entice them to come aboard. While not every person who joins your organization necessarily needs a sweetener to do so, it certainly can’t hurt to have a set of perks that only add to the benefits of being involved in your alumni association.

Once you’ve chosen your membership perks, you should be sure to review them annually to make sure they’re not growing stale or that they’re still perks that are in demand among your membership. 

Here are a few tips to help you find the ideal membership perks to offer your alumni who register for your organization.

  • Easy to mail: Any physical items you use as perks should be easy to mail. They shouldn’t require particularly special packaging or difficult methods of delivery. Ideally you should be able to get these items to your members as easily (and cheaply) as possible.
  • Show school pride: Great perk items are things that can be easily customized to feature school colors or logos. Think flags, scarves, socks, pens, frisbees, mugs, koozies, t-shirts, tote bags and other items of that nature. Ideally your membership perks will double as school pride tools when people take them out into public with them.
  • Information: Don’t forgot about free e-newsletters! Every member who signs up should get the perk of information. That should be a basic offering to anyone who decides to register for your organization. This information is their lifeline to your organization and everything you’ve got going on, and could entice them to sign up for higher membership tiers.
  • Special access: Perks don’t necessarily have to be physical items. You can offer special access to certain organizational events or school events, such as tailgates, sporting events, concerts, theatrical performances, alumni galas or banquets and more. 

For more ideas about how you can get the most out of your membership perks, contact us at Alumni Nations!


Getting Your Capital Campaigns Off the Ground

Are you preparing for a large capital ask for your alumni association? It’s important you do all the necessary preparation to lay the groundwork for success in your capital campaign. For sizable asks, it should be all hands on deck within your organization to make sure you’re maximizing your ability to achieve your financial goals!

Here are a few tips to help you make sure everyone who wants to help out your organization has an opportunity to lend a hand.

  • Spread awareness: Make sure your entire audience knows about your campaign. This is a great way to get your members and volunteers involved; you can allow them to spread the message into their circles, which reach far beyond your own. The more people you can have advocating for your organization and spreading the word about its campaign, the more potential sources of funding you will have available.
  • Vary your gift options: Give different options for gifts that appeal to different donors. These gifts might vary from large to small with some benefits being intrinsic in nature and others providing more recognition in the form of plaques or bricks that honor the donor. Your alumni are at all different stages of their lives and have all different income levels, so you shouldn’t settle for one-size-fits-all recognition options. Be creative and offer plenty of opportunities to recognize and thank your donors. Your members and volunteers may be able to assist you in the form of connections with certain types of gifts.
  • Show the outcome: Make sure all of your communications are benefits-driven and show potential donors the outcome of their actions and your overall campaign. People want to know exactly how their money is going to be put to use and how they can make an impact. Specifically, how will their money benefit the students of today and of years to come?

These are just a few simple tips to keep in mind as you start organizing your next capital campaign. We encourage you to get as many of your members involved as possible to increase the power and potential of your fundraising drive!