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Building an alumni volunteer program

Walk through on the volunteer lifecycle, program building process, volunteer opportunity examples, and challenges you may face when you create an alumni volunteer program.

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Building an alumni volunteer program

  1. 1. Building a Volunteer Program Margaret Grabowski, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Reggie Bustinza, Director of Alumni Relations
  2. 2. About Lewis University • Private Doctoral-Level University • Catholic / Lasallian • Romeoville, IL • 6,000+ students • 37,000 alumni • Alumni Relations Staff of 3
  3. 3. Commitment to Volunteerism • Hired Margaret in January, 2014 • LUAA has permanent “Volunteer Management Committee” • Lewis funds some volunteer activities – Thank You Party – All mailings – Gifts
  4. 4. Agenda • Purpose of a Volunteer Program • Volunteer Process • Program Build Process • Branding • How Lewis uses alumni volunteers • Challenges • Results
  5. 5. Why Build a Volunteer Program? • One avenue of engagement – Along with communications, giving, and event attendance • Additional (human) resources for the institution • Cultivation tool
  6. 6. Volunteer Process Maintain Engagement With Unutilized Volunteers
  7. 7. Identifying Opportunities • How are alumni currently being utilized? – Take an inventory by talking to deans, campus partners • Constantly ask yourself: Is this a potential volunteer opportunity? • Are there new initiatives you’d like to offer? • Ongoing vs. Recurring vs. One-time
  8. 8. Identifying Volunteers • Continue your inventory: Who are the current volunteers and what are they doing? • Add “Are you interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities?” to everything you can! – Door prize slips, sign-in sheets, all surveys • Engagement Scores / Data mining • Targeted outreach – Reunions and affinity groups – this is a GREAT method • Development Officers • Website Presence – Online volunteer interest form – Posting specific opportunities vs. vague categories • Finally… the marketing push!
  9. 9. Webpage Example Alumni.lewisu.edu/volunteer
  10. 10. Identifying Volunteers • Data Management – Volunteer Interest vs. Volunteer Active
  11. 11. Qualification, Training & Placement • Right volunteer for the job • Training done on a case-by-case basis – Some opportunities require almost no training, others are more involved • Campus partners often do their own training
  12. 12. Thank Volunteers • An email from Margaret immediately after they volunteer • Handwritten note from a volunteer committee member • Recognition in the Biannual Newsletter • Small gift • Annual “Thank You” Party for all volunteers
  13. 13. Maintaining Engagement with Unutilized Volunteers • Invitation to “Thank You” Party • Bi-annual Volunteer eNewsletter
  14. 14. Branding • Not necessary, but makes life easier • Bradley – BRAVO (BRadley Alumni Volunteer Organization) • Lewis – FAVS (Flyers Alumni VolunteerS) • Name was decided by the Volunteer Committee, which is one of the committees of the LUAA Board • Created Logo • All volunteers get a FAVS pin when they volunteer • Working on Mission Statement • Developing Brochure
  15. 15. Branding
  16. 16. Volunteer Program Build Process
  17. 17. Volunteer Opportunity Examples • Volunteer your Expertise – Classroom / Student Org Speaker – Networking Events Presenter – Your Flight Plan: Life Skills Week presenter – Career Services Resource – Webinar Host
  18. 18. Volunteer Opportunity Examples • Volunteer for Current Students – ICE Class Game Show Host – Dinner for 10 – Commencement Weekend Volunteers – Senior BBQ
  19. 19. Volunteer Opportunity Examples • Volunteer for the Office of Admissions – Yield Events – Alumni Letter Writing Program
  20. 20. Volunteer Opportunity Examples • Join a Committee – Affinity Group boards – LUAA Board & Committees – Department / College advisory boards – BoT – Celebrating Women in Leadership committee
  21. 21. Volunteer Opportunity Examples • April – National Volunteer Appreciation Month – Celebration of Scholarship – Earth Week – Operation Care Package
  22. 22. Volunteer Opportunity Examples • Conspicuously Absent? – Mentoring Program – College Fairs – Volunteering for other organizations
  23. 23. Challenges • Volunteering for other organizations – #FlyersCare • Faculty can be territorial with these relationships • Unfulfilled promises / Unmet expectations – Others promise volunteer opportunities that can’t be fulfilled – Everybody wants the ego boost of being a classroom speaker
  24. 24. Results
  25. 25. Results Volunteer-Independent Engagement Scores January 2014 January 2015 All Alumni 9.67 10.92 Volunteers 19.23 31.65
  26. 26. Results Group Giving May 2013 Giving Jan 2015 Change % All Alumni Population: approximately 34k 7.01% 7.88% +0.87%
  27. 27. Results Group Giving May 2013 Giving Jan 2015 Change % All Alumni Population: approximately 34k 7.01% 7.88% +0.87% Existing Volunteers population: 151 66 (43.7%) 117 (77.5%) + 33.8%
  28. 28. Results Group Giving May 2013 Giving Jan 2015 Change % All Alumni Population: approximately 34k 7.01% 7.88% +0.87% Existing Volunteers population: 151 66 (43.7%) 117 (77.5%) + 33.8% New Volunteers Population: 244 91 (37.3%) 110 (45.1%) + 7.8%
  29. 29. Results Group Giving May 2013 Giving Jan 2015 Change % All Alumni Population: approximately 34k 7.01% 7.88% +0.87% Existing Volunteers population: 151 66 (43.7%) 117 (77.5%) + 33.8% New Volunteers Population: 244 91 (37.3%) 110 (45.1%) + 7.8% Combined Population: 395 157 (39.8%) 227 (57.5%) + 17.7%
  30. 30. Questions? Margaret Grabowski (815) 836 – 5944 grabowma@lewisu.edu Reggie Bustinza (815) 588 – 7542 bustinre@lewisu.edu

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Walk through on the volunteer lifecycle, program building process, volunteer opportunity examples, and challenges you may face when you create an alumni volunteer program.

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