4 Way to Connect Alumni
Here at QuadWrangle, we are passionate about alumni engagement. We know that fully engaged donors are 2.5x more likely to participate in fundraising initiatives and 3.6x more likely to encourage those in their life to participate in fundraising. But, how do you get alumni to the “fully engaged” level? Studies suggest that a strong emotional attachment is a prerequisite to fully engaging alumni, and one way to encourage this bond is through sustained community involvement. By creating an interactive alumni portal, you can continuously maintain an impactful engagement community. Here’s 4 approaches to creating alumni community connections:
1. Provide a Peer-Sharing Jobs Board
Getting a referral from a current employee at a company increases an individual’s chance of landing a job by 7%. Moreover, 9 out of 10 recruiters would prefer to hire someone from their own alma matter. Providing a recruiting platform both helps alumni companies who need to fill positions and aids alumni who are seeking jobs, which will encourage alums to see engagement efforts as a value add. If alumni gain access to lucrative job opportunities and/or an efficient recruiting system, they have an incentive to continuously participate in facilitated networking.
2. Create Mentorship Relationships
Facilitating mentorship pairings is another way to draw alumni your engagement efforts. Mentors receive a variety of tangible benefits from mentorship programs, including “increased self esteem, a sense of accomplishment, creation of networks of volunteers, insight into… young adulthood, increased patience and improved supervisory skills.” By pairing alumni with a current student interested in their career field, alums can have a fulfilling, long term experience that will keep them engaged and aligned with the developmental mission of their alma matter.
3. Host Affinity-Targeted Mixers
Attending events is a primary driver of alumni participation. But how do you convince alumni to come? General area-wide mixers or even events filtered by class years may not be a lucrative enough draw. But if I am a young, New York area, LGBTQ-identified consultant, and I get an alumni outreach email about a Diversity in Consulting panel, I would be very likely to attend. Getting alumni in the door is a critical step to pulling individuals toward community participation.
4. Establish a Digital Community
Keeping alumni in the loop and actively drawn into your community doesn’t always have to be through events and other time consuming interventions. One great way to encourage engagement is simply to keep alumni in the loop. By sharing relevant news articles, blogs, and photos, alums will be drawn into the community and given the chance to interact with one another through digital discussion. If you have an alumni facing app and/or social media presence, try posting throwback photos and tagging different class years. Alternatively, try posing specific questions to alums in order to encourage direct interaction with your content. If you can pull alumni to interact with your posts and feel valued, you will reel them in closer to “fully engaged” status.
Though connecting your alumni to one another carries immense benefits, it isn’t always a straightforward task. If you want to talk about best practice for alumni networking, tools that can help with networking automation, and more, we’re here to chat [https://calendly.com/nzeckets/quadwrangledemo].