While schools continue to oversee remote learning of their students, advancement teams are redesigning what engagement looks like with their alumni.
Knowing how widespread their community is across the U.S., one New England institution opted to focus their engagement efforts on creating local alumni support programs. By developing a list of geographically close alumni, they created email chains between local members. The message was one of hope and community, encouraging alumni to support each other. Young alumni were explicitly asked, if able bodied and willing, to assist older members and those unable to leave their house in running errands, obtaining essential goods, and more.
33% of alumni organization in North America have at least half of their alumni living in a different state or province than the primary campus. (VAESE)
What you can do for your school:
Now, more than ever, people are seeking connections; schools have the opportunity to show the impact and importance of their community to their constituent base.
As an advancement team, consider what you know about your alumni base. Where are they located? What are needs of your school or your alumni that can keep people engaged and promote unity at this time? Giving during a time of job insecurity and uncertainty in the future might be difficult for your constituents, but they can contribute in other ways. Acknowledging these ways, recognizing their import, and supporting your school community should be top priority. Forging stronger relationships now opens the door for longer term partnerships in the future.