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Strategic Trends In Alumni Engagement Case Summit09
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Strategic Trends In Alumni Engagement Case Summit09

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Alumni are a powerful influence on our institutions. Are we engaging them strategically? This session will address new directions in alumni engagement and shifts away from traditional membership …

Alumni are a powerful influence on our institutions. Are we engaging them strategically? This session will address new directions in alumni engagement and shifts away from traditional membership models. The session will examine a nationally-normed alumni attitude survey: What do alumni want most from their relationship with your institution? Are you listening to them, and do they know it? You can’t engage them if you don’t know what they are thinking. Review new technologies to engage alumni and how to use them to effectively engage your alumni. Are you sending the right things? Too many emails? Learn more about the most effective tools for communicating with alumni of any age group. Even your grandmother Twitters!

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  • 1. Strategic Trends for Alumni Engagement
    Models, Metrics, & Media
    1
  • 2. Models, Metrics, & Media
    We are witnessing a sea change in alumni work
    Our alumni are forming their own tribes
    There are five cornerstone elements of the sea change.
    There are three strategic ways to keep up with the sea change
    2
  • 3. New Models to Engage Your Alumni
    3
  • 4. 4
  • 5. Issue Statements
    5
  • 6. Transformational Membership Models
    Gift Model
    University of Illinois
    Student Fee ModelSUNY Schools, Colorado
    University or Advancement-funded Model Rutgers
    Emerging Models in the University of California SystemUC Davis, UC Santa Barbara
    6
  • 7. Gift Model: University of Illinois
    Our strategic goal in moving to a universal
    membership donor model was not necessarily
    intended to maximize the collective dollars between
    membership and development.
    Our primary goal is to maximize engagement.
    –Joe Rank, Vice President, Membership, UIAA
    7
  • 8. Gift Model: University of Illinois
    One Year Later
    BIG Surprise
    Some challenges:
    Staff mindset & people who still think we are about stuff and events
    “What do I get for $50?”
    “You don’t get anything except the satisfaction of knowing you are supporting the things we do that uniquely support the University—if we didn’t do them, they wouldn’t get done.”
    8
  • 9. Student Fee ModelUniversity of Colorado, Boulder
    Forever Buff goals are
    Fostering lifelong relationships among students, alumni and CU
    Creating stronger professional andsocial networks
    Developing a culture of giving and service
    Engendering a strong sense of CU Pride
    Themes: “Engage – Contribute – Celebrate!”
    9
  • 10. Student Fee Models
    Some are optional
    Some can have fee refunded
    Challenges with inflation
    While there is student-oriented programming not all have students as members.
    10
  • 11. Student Fee Models
    SUNY Albany
    • Eliminated dues program on June 30, 2007, and all alumni are now members
    • 12. Implementing a $20 per semester refundable fee
    • 13. Interesting story of how they got there: “A Lifetime Commitment” to “Student & Alumni Partnership Plan”
    11
  • 14. University or Advancement-Funded
    Rutgers University Alumni Relations: The Imperative for Change
    • The newly created Rutgers University Alumni Association serves all 370,000 alumni of Rutgers University and does not charge dues.
    • 15. The mission of the association is to “advance the best interests and well being of Rutgers University by engaging all alumni in the life of the institution.”
    12
  • 16. University of California
    A Vision for a New Partnership: UC and its Alumni
    13
  • 17. Emerging Models in the University of California System
    • Modified Student Fee
    • 18. $35 per quarter = Life member
    • 19. Keep existing dues-program
    • 20. Entrepreneurial Model
    • 21. Free basic membership for all alumni; different levels of annual and lifetime memberships
    • 22. Additional revenue through sponsorships and entrepreneurial efforts.
    14
  • 23. Steps to Take if You are Considering a New Membership Model
    Does your current program tie into your strategic plan?
    Go at it for the right reasons—don’t mask it with the need for income (UIAA)
    Think long-term
    Buy-in from top, middle and bottom; internal and external audiences
    Be persistent!
    Do your research: what do your alumni want from the institution?
    15
  • 24. Using Metrics to Engage Your Alumni
    16
  • 25. Design
    Begin with the end in mind
    Everything needs to be actionable (mostly)
    Prioritized improvement opportunities
    Enhanced brand/image recognition
    Alumni partnership
    17
  • 26. Alumni Partnership Model©
    Alumni feedback is not a one-time event, but rather an ongoing process of measurement, action, and re-measurement.
    Initiate the process by asking their opinion
    18
  • 27. Statistical research to determine the introduction of a new drug for cancer
    Alumni Attitude Study
    Call-in opinion or self select online poll about what the verdict will be for a celebrity trial
    When Enough is Enough
    High Precision
    Statistical Research Value/Cost Model
    Need for precision in findings based on expected application or use for results
    High Cost
    Low Cost
    Low Precision
    Cost to do research/cost of error
    19
  • 28. Alumni Segmentation Model©
    Grad Year
    Yuppie/End Cold War
    1981 - 1993
    Electronic Revolution/
    Dot-com
    1994 - 2000
    Woodstock/Vietnam
    1964 - 1973
    Post-Watergate
    1974 - 1980
    WWII/Post WWII*
    - 1963
    Post-9/11
    2001 -
    ERA
    Age
    Mature/Contemplative
    63 and older
    Stable/Mid-Life
    45 to 62
    Building/Growth
    31 to 44
    LIFECYCLE
    Young Adult/Discovery
    26 to 30
    LIFESTYLE
    Family
    Career
    Recent Graduates
    21 to 25
    Gender
    /Ethnicity
    Hobby
    /Interests
    20
  • 29. Response from 2005 through 2008By Era
    Number of Participants
    21
  • 30. Percent Indicating that the Item Has Significant to Critical Impact on Their Opinion of the University
    22
  • 31. Importance and Effectiveness of Communications
    Not Important
    Somewhat
    Important
    Very Important
    Critically
    Important
    Poor
    Fair
    Good
    Excellent
    23
  • 32. Importance and Effectiveness of CommunicationsGAPS
    Degree to Which Alumni Want More
    Degree to Which Alumni Feel Well Served
    24
  • 33. Age Makes a Big Difference in Perception of Communications
    Degree to Which Alumni Want More
    Degree to Which Alumni Feel Well Served
    25
  • 34. What Alumni Should Do and How Well the University Supports Them
    Degree to Which Alumni Want More
    Degree to Which Alumni Feel Well Served
    26
  • 35. Geographic Distance as a Barrier to Alumni Participation
    27
  • 36. The Student Experience – Where They Want to See Improvement
    Degree to Which Alumni Feel the University is Doing Fine
    Degree to Which Alumni Want To See Improvement
    28
  • 37. Turning Metrics into Action
    • Talking about the right things
    • 38. Hitting the right talking points
    • 39. Focusing on the minus two/plus three
    • 40. Professional and career related activities
    • 41. Intramurals
    • 42. Annual fund and development talking points
    • 43. Integration across advancement
    • 44. Integration across the university
    29
  • 45. Using Social Media to Engage Your Alumni
    30
  • 46. 31
  • 47. 20 Years of the Internet Got Us Here
    Democratized Production
    Cheap Distribution
    Search, Filters, Recommendations
    32
  • 48. 20 Years of the InternetGot Us Here
    • Niche based communication preferences (Long Tail)
    • 49. Communication is decentralized
    • 50. One-size-fits-all approaches become irrelevant
    • 51. The interactive nature of new media (commenting and user-generated content) enriches the user’s experience and engagement
    33
  • 52. 34
  • 53. New communication strategies are necessary to reach alumni.
    “And ya better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone,oh the times they are a-changin --Bob Dylan
    35
  • 54. What’s the greatest concern when communication becomes decentralized and users are empowered to contribute content?
    Loss of control
    36
  • 55. Communication Strategies
    Social Media
    Mobile
    Syndication
    37
  • 56. Syndication
    Blogs, RSS Feeds
    Podcasts
    Status Updates
    Video – YouTube
    Lifestreams – Friend Feed
    38
  • 57. 39
  • 58. Mobile Communication
    • Connecting the University to students, alumni, and friends through their mobile device
    • 59. Targeting the right person at the right time with relevant, valuable& timely content
    • 60. Requires the user’s explicit permission
    40
  • 61. Connect Using SMS Messaging
    • Text messaged alerts, Text2Win(Contests), Polls, Quizzes & Promotions
    • 62. 160 characters per text
    • 63. Best Practice: Include link to mobile web or click to call
    • 64. Up to 8 messages per month
    • 65. Standard rates apply
    41
  • 66. Connect Using Mobile Application
    Programs that “live” on your phone
    Duke, Stanford launched
    UNC, Texas, Fresno State with Harris
    Available on the iPhone & Blackberry
    iPhone grabs 50% of U.S.smartphone market, Blackberry at 21% AdMob Mobile Metrics
    DEMO of Fresno State App
    42
  • 67. Mobile Opt-in Process
    Via SMS Text MessageText bulldogs to 258664
    Online registration form
    43
  • 68. Is This Overwhelming?
    Don’t feel bad if you think it is….
    You should be aware of these new communication strategies and understand how you can use them
    44
  • 69. Oh My, What Now?
    Experiment privately with new strategies
    Read up on social/new media
    Begin to accept a loss of communication control
    Identify staff who are comfortable with these technologies and develop a realistic strategy
    Join the conversation that is already going on without you
    Leave the PR megaphone at the office…engage alumni in meaningful dialogue
    45
  • 70. Metrics & Surveys
    How tech savvy are your alumni?
    What communication channels do they prefer?
    What do they want to hear about?
    How do they want to engage?
    How much communication?
    How often do they want to be communicated to?
    46
  • 71. Quiz Time!Text the word csualumto 258664to start the quiz.The first person to answer correctly will win a special prize!
    47
  • 72. Conclusion
    Trends suggest we need to rethink our strategies
    Our institutions are hierarchical and structured
    Our alumni are not…they are grouped in niches
    The models, metrics and media are changing
    We have to give up control and adapt 
    And it must be an institutional priority
    48
  • 73. Additional Resources on Our Blog
    http://alumniengagement.wordpress.com
    49

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