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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    Strategic Trends In Alumni Engagement Case Summit09 Strategic Trends In Alumni Engagement Case Summit09 Presentation Transcript

    • Strategic Trends for Alumni Engagement
      Models, Metrics, & Media
      1
    • 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
    • New Models to Engage Your Alumni
      3
    • 4
    • Issue Statements
      5
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • Student Fee Models
      SUNY Albany
      • Eliminated dues program on June 30, 2007, and all alumni are now members
      • Implementing a $20 per semester refundable fee
      • Interesting story of how they got there: “A Lifetime Commitment” to “Student & Alumni Partnership Plan”
      11
    • 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.
      • 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
    • University of California
      A Vision for a New Partnership: UC and its Alumni
      13
    • Emerging Models in the University of California System
      • Modified Student Fee
      • $35 per quarter = Life member
      • Keep existing dues-program
      • Entrepreneurial Model
      • Free basic membership for all alumni; different levels of annual and lifetime memberships
      • Additional revenue through sponsorships and entrepreneurial efforts.
      14
    • 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
    • Using Metrics to Engage Your Alumni
      16
    • Design
      Begin with the end in mind
      Everything needs to be actionable (mostly)
      Prioritized improvement opportunities
      Enhanced brand/image recognition
      Alumni partnership
      17
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • Response from 2005 through 2008By Era
      Number of Participants
      21
    • Percent Indicating that the Item Has Significant to Critical Impact on Their Opinion of the University
      22
    • Importance and Effectiveness of Communications
      Not Important
      Somewhat
      Important
      Very Important
      Critically
      Important
      Poor
      Fair
      Good
      Excellent
      23
    • Importance and Effectiveness of CommunicationsGAPS
      Degree to Which Alumni Want More
      Degree to Which Alumni Feel Well Served
      24
    • Age Makes a Big Difference in Perception of Communications
      Degree to Which Alumni Want More
      Degree to Which Alumni Feel Well Served
      25
    • 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
    • Geographic Distance as a Barrier to Alumni Participation
      27
    • 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
    • Turning Metrics into Action
      • Talking about the right things
      • Hitting the right talking points
      • Focusing on the minus two/plus three
      • Professional and career related activities
      • Intramurals
      • Annual fund and development talking points
      • Integration across advancement
      • Integration across the university
      29
    • Using Social Media to Engage Your Alumni
      30
    • 31
    • 20 Years of the Internet Got Us Here
      Democratized Production
      Cheap Distribution
      Search, Filters, Recommendations
      32
    • 20 Years of the InternetGot Us Here
      • Niche based communication preferences (Long Tail)
      • Communication is decentralized
      • One-size-fits-all approaches become irrelevant
      • The interactive nature of new media (commenting and user-generated content) enriches the user’s experience and engagement
      33
    • 34
    • 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
    • What’s the greatest concern when communication becomes decentralized and users are empowered to contribute content?
      Loss of control
      36
    • Communication Strategies
      Social Media
      Mobile
      Syndication
      37
    • Syndication
      Blogs, RSS Feeds
      Podcasts
      Status Updates
      Video – YouTube
      Lifestreams – Friend Feed
      38
    • 39
    • Mobile Communication
      • Connecting the University to students, alumni, and friends through their mobile device
      • Targeting the right person at the right time with relevant, valuable& timely content
      • Requires the user’s explicit permission
      40
    • Connect Using SMS Messaging
      • Text messaged alerts, Text2Win(Contests), Polls, Quizzes & Promotions
      • 160 characters per text
      • Best Practice: Include link to mobile web or click to call
      • Up to 8 messages per month
      • Standard rates apply
      41
    • 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
    • Mobile Opt-in Process
      Via SMS Text MessageText bulldogs to 258664
      Online registration form
      43
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • Quiz Time!Text the word csualumto 258664to start the quiz.The first person to answer correctly will win a special prize!
      47
    • 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
    • Additional Resources on Our Blog
      http://alumniengagement.wordpress.com
      49