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 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

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

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