Alumni engagement goes well beyond writing checks.
This past year has been incredibly hard on Advancement departments across the country, and you might be feeling the pressure to get those much-needed gifts any way you can. But don’t fall into the trap of solely using email, phone, and text communications to ask for a financial contribution. You need to be sensitive to what your alumni may be experiencing during the pandemic, and while they may or may not be able to give today, they still deserve support and engagement opportunities.
A text message can go a long way in showing your college’s alumni that you care, and a simple gesture can create long-term engagement that will encourage them to give when the time is right for them.
Invite them to a virtual event
There’s no question that in the age of social distancing, people are feeling isolated more than ever. While on-campus events may be unattainable for now, it’s important to get creative and find ways to keep alumni engaged with their alma mater. Virtual events like guest speakers, lectures, and even networking events are all effective ways to bring alumni together and reminisce about their days on campus.
Hi <FIRST>, it’s <NAME> from Mongoose U! We’re hosting a virtual networking event for the <SCHOOL NAME> Class of <GRADUATION YEAR> on Friday - would you like to join us and reconnect with fellow Goose alum?
Get connected with Career Services
Whether an alumni is currently looking for work or interested in a career change, or even thinking of going back to school for another degree, it’s important to know about all of the career-related resources available through your institution. Does your school have a job board with open positions in your city? Can alumni meet virtually with Career Counselors to have their resume reviewed or practice mock interviews? Let them know how you can help them take the next step in their career!
Hi <FIRST>, it’s <NAME> from Mongoose U! Did you know that our Career Services team can help alumni spruce up their resume or practice for an interview? Reply to this message if you’d like to set up a virtual meeting to learn more!
Be a mentor for current students
Navigating the college journey isn’t easy. Add to that a global pandemic and a challenging job market, and you have some very stressed students. This means mentorship is crucial. Current students want to know what’s awaiting them after graduation, and how they can be prepared to stand out from other job candidates in their field. Text alumni and invite them to mentor graduating seniors - just a simple Zoom call once or twice a month can go a long way in keeping seniors focused and prepare them for the job market.
Hi <FIRST>, it’s <NAME> from Mongoose U! Our seniors are eager for career advice as they prepare for graduation - would you be interested in learning about mentorship opportunities with <MAJOR> students?
Keep alumni up-to-date with what’s happening on campus
When someone chooses to give to their university, they want to know how those contributions are being put to work. Don’t forget to update alumni on what’s new in between giving campaigns. Are new buildings or dormitories being constructed on campus? How are donations helping students struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic or other circumstances? Donors want to know that they’re making a difference, and by being able to see first-hand the impact of a fundraising campaign, they’re much more likely to become repeat donors.
Hi <FIRST>, I’m <NAME>, a <YEAR IN SCHOOL> at Mongoose U! I wanted to reach out and thank you personally for your donation this past Giving Day. Because of your contribution, I was able to get some much-needed help buying my textbooks and some other materials. I can’t thank you enough for your support!
There are so many different texts your Advancement department can send to keep alumni engaged, whether or not there’s a financial contribution involved. In times like these, it’s even more important to keep the lines of communication open - someone’s ability to give shouldn’t be the deciding factor. Your alumni need support, and when they feel supported and valued, they’re also more likely to give. Remember: engagement is a year-round initiative, not just when there’s a Giving Day coming up.
Learn more about engaging alumni virtually by downloading our on-demand fundraising and stewardship webinar!