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Building Alumni Communities


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Session on Building Alumni Communities delivered at Alumni Relations Conference on 19 September 2015 at American Embassy School, New Delhi

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Building Alumni Communities

  1. 1. #arcindia Building Alumni Communities Mr. Sahil Dewan, FuturEd Mr. Rishabh C. Sharma, The Doon School
  2. 2. #arcindia School ParentsStudents School Ecosyste m
  3. 3. #arcindia What happens when students graduate? School Ecosystem School Ecosyste m
  4. 4. #arcindia Alumni: Mutually beneficial relationship? • Schools select students for admission •School invests resources, time and energy educating students•Students graduate; now they are alumni
  5. 5. #arcindia Introducing Alumni in the Ecosystem How does you school define an Alumnus? • What is your schools’ expectation from its Alumni network? • How does the School envision to serve the Alumni network? Role of Alumni
  6. 6. #arcindia Revised Ecosystem School ParentsStudents Alumni Role of Alumni
  7. 7. #arcindia Admits Students Alumni Build a visible culture of Alumni Involve & Engage Alumni- Students Track Alumni before they leave school Alumni Engagement Integrating Alumni in the School ‘Culture’
  8. 8. #arcindia What do Alumni expect from School • Different things at different times – a young graduate vs. a mature alum • An opportunity to help and support current students and the school, not just give away Cheque(s) • Keep in touch with the news, updates and growth of the school • Opportunities to interact with fellow alumni Know what Alumni want
  9. 9. #arcindia How can the School Engage Alumni • Need an Alumni Office/Team/Staff/Volunteers • Define basic engagement models • Use schools calendar to fit in alumni engagement • Communicate effectively how alumni should serve the school - Annual Day, Founder’s Day, New batch/session, Mentorship, Talks Start
  10. 10. #arcindia The Relationship Trajectory Start Connecte d Happy Proud Inspired
  11. 11. #arcindia Alumni Associations Paradox Alumni Association School/Coll ege Alumni Office
  12. 12. #arcindia Clarity of Purpose Purpose: - Generate a feeling of connectedness among alumni community - Propagate a sense of pride whenever Alumni engagement happens through events and other forums. The harsh reality: - They do not have time to be end responsible for doing things for their Alma Mater; they can’t manage Alumni Office operations. - They need nurturing, someone needs to be responsible to guide and inspire them, consistently. Alumni Associati on
  13. 13. #arcindia Clarity of Purpose Purpose: - To seek knowledge about where their alumni are and what they are doing. - To track and manage alumni networks in an ‘Organized & Professional’ manner. - To generate value for Alumni and encourage stewardship for the development of the institution. - To harness the value that alumni networks could bring to the long term goals of the institution. The harsh reality: - Institutions may not be not prepared to invest time, resources and HR towards the ‘Alumni’ stakeholder segment. - Alumni network management may not feature in the priorities of the institution - Institutions may not have an understanding about how to approach alumni relations. School Alumni Office
  14. 14. #arcindia Examples of Alumni Membership Models The two alumni-centric models are: The Membership Dues Model: Alumni choose to pay annual or life member dues, in exchange for a set of benefits and privileges not available to non-members. The Inclusive Model: All alumni have equal access to the same set of programs and services provided by alma mater via the alumni office. There is also a fundraising-focused offshoot of this: The Donor Benefits Model: Individuals (including non-alumni) who donate at least a specified amount of money to the institution receive exclusive benefits for their contribution.
  15. 15. #arcindia Key Principles - It is not a short term activity. Alumni should not perceive it an outcome of over-enthusiasm or anxiety. There needs to be a plan. - Be Patient, results will take time - Alumni Association should be involved and meetings should be planned to clarify the roles and intentions of the school office - Recruiting/Managing Volunteers (Motivated Alumni) is the key. - Decentralize activity through volunteers, chapters – will only happen if the school is taking the lead and showing the direction - It’s a lot about content, stories, nostalgia and IMPLEMENTATION