One of the most important elements of keeping alumni engaged is to make sure your database is constantly organized and updated. With a well-maintained alumni database, your school district or educational foundation will find it much easier to stay in touch with alumni to inform them of events, update them with recent news and ask for contributions.
With this in mind, below are a few strategies to help you keep your alumni database in great shape.
Be smart with your software decision
You can find a variety of database and CRM software on the market. Your chosen CRM should be able to collect and store all the information you get from sources like your website, your social networks, your email campaigns, any online fundraising platforms you use and any additional sources.
Never add names without permission
Not only is this simply good manners, but it can also be a legal issue. People must actively opt in to being placed in your database through a field on your website, telling you in person at events or when making donations.
Track donor preferences
There are a variety of donor preferences you should track, including the preferred method of communication, whether they wish to receive direct mail or solicitations and whether they are interested in being invited to events. This will better help you tailor your campaigns to make them more effective.
Purge your list occasionally
Every now and then, go through your database and remove the names of people who are completely unengaged. If they are not interested in engaging at all or have never opened any of your messages and it has been an extended period of time since you added them, don’t feel as though you need to keep them on the list.
However, avoid removing anyone who has given in the past, even if they do not wish to do so again in the future. Simply mark them as someone to whom you should not solicit in the future so that you can maintain records of their giving in your database.
Mark your VIPs
If you have alumni who are well connected in their communities (such as business owners, government officials or other big names) or have been significant donors, make sure you have a way to mark them off as VIPs on your database so you are able to give them special treatment and address them appropriately.
Double check all entries
Routinely go through your database and verify the accuracy of all information, including addresses, spellings and honorifics.
Need more tips on managing your alumni database? Contact Alumni Nations for further guidance.