Creating and Executing a Successful Class Agent Program


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How-to-guide for establishing a volunteer driven fundraising program.

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  • -Add lead Agents in graphDanielle gives Webb school example-Lori gives Oxy school examples
  • Give a little helpPush them to do moreSet clear expectations
  • -Before/after-Goals: fundraising, dollar, participation, reunion attendance-Setting clear expectations, job description, define role clearly to get a meaningful commitment
  • -Recruit: lead agents are important with recruitment-Slide Notes: Agents are Ambassadors, Advocates, and FundraisersResponsibilities:Serve as an informed alumni leader to represent the goals and mission of the institutionRemain current on alumni programs and school initiativesEngage/re-engage classmates with the institutionIncrease alumni attendance at reunions and eventsMake an early gift to the Alumni FundRecruit additional class agentsWrite letters, make phone calls, and send emails to Classmates to cultivate and solicit gifts to the alumni fund.Engage, educate, update, askSocial MediaFacebook/linked-inOnline communications (emails, website news)
  • As much we were afraid of negative responses, we had no negative responses and one alum wrote a note with their check, doubling the size of their gift because they thought letter funny
  • Danielle, to add bullet points on what staff duties at Webb schools--3 series follow-up emails to go out in May/June prior to FYE3 Annual Solicitations signed by Class Agents (give specifics at Webb/Oxy)Fall: letter signed by class agentCalendar Year End /Jan: postcard, emails, facebook messagesFiscal Year End : letter and/or emails and facebook-Staff provide Agents with current classmates contact and giving info-Keep Class Agents motivated and energizedBuilding relationships as a team
  • Danielle – to add bullets on any important tools/resources used at Webb schools(Example: going out to Margaritas w/ Sally)
  • -Peer to peer recruitment is best.-Use your existing volunteers and contacts -1:1 lunch mtgs. between staff and potential Agents-Danielle and Lori give examples of how both Oxy and Webb Schools find the best Class Agents!
  • -Volunteer Recognition Thank you dinner, or happy hourGifts (ex: box of dining hall “famous” cookies, tiger hats, school pride ties)-Dinner + meeting with trustees-Stewardship visits
  • -Lori can talk about Oxy’s new Tiger Trainings with Agenda bullet points on next slide.-Danielle talk about education meetings/trainings for her class agents at Webb schools Training and education:-Workshops, retreats, or bi-annual meetings-Bi-annual training sessions (Aug. and Jan.)
  • TODO: Danielle insert event photo-Danielle to explain this slide and give specific Webb School examples of events and how Class Agents help make events most successful
  • TODO: Work on these bullet points(Use specific numbers.) $2500 -> $50K in reunion year. They need to be asked properly. BY THEIR PEERS.-Oxy: In 5 years, we will have our ideal volunteer program laid out, and every reunion from then on will have the most selective, best and well trained volunteers to fundraise for large reunion gifts.
  • -Prepare for a capital campaign.-Capital campaigns rely heavily on volunteers to be effective.-We need to find the right volunteers, and have them prepared and trained as Class Agents to take fundraising to a campaign level.
  • “School centric relationship building among alumni of all classes/decades”-Danielle: to also give specific examples of Webb successful school events and reunion attendance due to Class Agent program-Lori – mention that because the Class Agent program has just begun at Oxy, we are anticipating increased measurable attendance but are still focusing on building the program to see results.
  • Can’t ask alumni to volunteer if you can’t say how they fit into the needs of the institution, and what you will provide to make them an effective volunteer
  • Creating and Executing a Successful Class Agent Program

    1. 1. Creating and Executing a Successful Class Agent Program<br />Lori Wineman<br /><br />Associate Director of<br /> Annual Giving<br />Occidental College<br />AGPN, Pomona College, March 24, 2011<br />
    2. 2. The new way to stay connected<br />Building relationships<br />Ask volunteers to do more<br />Preparing for capital campaign<br />Peer to peer solicitation is critical<br />Maximizing impact of each reunion year<br />2x fundraising<br />1/3 of alumni fund is from reunion years<br />WHY a Class Agent Program?<br />
    3. 3. <ul><li>Ranked #8 in U.S. News and World Report, Top Liberal Arts Colleges
    4. 4. 2010: Alumni Fund $6.6 million with 53% participation
    5. 5. Reunion increased from 1,500 to 2,500 attendees in 10 years, and increased reunion giving from $1.1 million to more than $2.2 million</li></ul>Carleton College: A Case Study<br />
    6. 6. Occidental College<br />Program launched in August 2010<br />Over 90 Class Agents from 1951+<br />4 staff management<br />Occidental College Program<br />
    7. 7. Before:<br />Small volunteer committees (5-15 / committee) not comparable with each other<br />Inefficient training and oversight<br />Less significant role for the individual<br />After:<br />One Class Agent program shares resources<br />Competition among class years (more comparable)<br />Common training and administration<br />More significant involvement (“leader of college”)<br />Before and After<br />
    8. 8. Staying Connected: The Old Way<br />
    9. 9. Staying Connected: The New Way<br />
    10. 10. Building Relationships<br />Example: 1 staff works with 10 Lead agents and 40 Class Agents, that reach out to 3,000 alumni<br />
    11. 11. How do you get MORE out of your Volunteers?<br />
    12. 12. Give Class Agents ownership<br />Let them set their own goals<br />Give them the tools<br />Set clear expectations<br />Choose dependable volunteers <br />Clearly define their role<br />Give more to them: they give more back<br />Build a relationship so they WANT to give more<br />Get MORE out of your Volunteers<br />
    13. 13. <ul><li>Engage, Educate, Update, Ask
    14. 14. Serve as informed leaders of the institution and engage/re-engage classmates </li></ul>Create class goal and strategy<br />Commit to goal in front of entire program (Oxy) <br />Write their own solicitation letters<br />Make them personal! <br />Ask for targeted gift amounts including leadership level<br />Write personal emails, make phone calls, and send facebook messages to cultivate gifts from classmates.<br />Recruit other Class Agents and successors<br />Class Agent Roles:<br />
    15. 15.
    16. 16. Oversee Annual Solicitations signed by Class Agents <br />Fall: letter<br />Calendar Year End/January lead<br />Fiscal Year End <br />Build relationships with Class Agents<br />Offer basic training<br />Provide updated gift information & tools<br />Show them the big picture<br />Keep Class Agents motivated and energized.<br />Staff Roles:<br />
    17. 17. Online portal:<br />Updated gift information for each Class Agent<br />Custom built by our IT Team<br />Training materials <br />Handbook, binder, expectations and guidelines<br />Institutional updates<br />Emails of what’s happening on campus<br />Talking points<br />Event calendars<br />Important Tools<br />
    18. 18. Seeking:<br />Leaders on campus<br />Consistent donors<br />Passionate<br />Dependable<br />Comfortable fundraising<br />How to get first 50 Class Agents in 4 weeks:<br />Library research + Office of Student Life (6)<br />Personal contact (10 – 1 per class)<br />Lunch meetings or phone call<br />Peer to peer recruiting (50)<br />How to Find the Best Volunteers<br />
    19. 19. Cultivation<br />Lunch meetings and welcome gifts <br />Make it FUN!<br />Overnight summer retreat + workshops<br />Happy hours paid by staff<br />Stewardship <br />Gifts<br /> Ex: Box of dining hall “famous” cookies, tiger hats, school pride ties<br />Volunteer recognition dinner<br />Cultivation and Retention <br />
    20. 20. Oxy “Tiger Trainings”<br />6-hour workshop with all Class Agents<br />Social proof: peer influence<br />Overview of agenda<br />Training and Education<br />
    21. 21.
    22. 22. Most successful events are volunteer driven<br />Increase involvement with the campus and alumni community<br />Regional and local volunteer coordination<br />Agents work closely with Alumni Relations planning committee<br />Events<br />
    23. 23. 2x fundraising in a reunion year from average donor. <br />Capitalizing on Major gifts ($50K+) in reunion year<br />Before Class Agent Program:<br />Reunion Gift Committee<br />Volunteers freshly trained & inexperienced<br />After reunion year, no longer volunteers<br />After:<br />Class Agents represent every class year (1945+)<br />Volunteer retention and growth <br />Leads to: well trained agents maximizing fundraising during their reunion year<br />Reunion Year Impact<br />
    24. 24. Capital Campaign<br />Bring Class Agent program to the next level<br />Involve as many volunteers as possible<br />Committed, talented volunteers available to serve as leaders are essential<br />Class Agents identify, cultivate, and solicit major gifts peer to peer.<br />Increase Annual Fund dollars and capital gifts.<br />
    25. 25. Class Agents:<br />More than 2x gifts<br />Regular giving to <br /> leadership giving<br />Lifetime donors<br />Alumni fund:<br />Increased participation and $$<br />School events & reunions:<br />Exponential rise in attendance<br />Measurable Results<br />
    26. 26. Identify what your institution needs<br />Present to volunteers and board a plan for new Class Agent Program<br />Create a FUN, interesting program overview document for alumni (main recruiting tool)<br />Set common goals<br />Build online tools& training materials<br />Plan first training workshop<br />How to Start<br />
    27. 27. Questions?<br />Lori Wineman<br />Occidental College<br /><br />