Engaging a Growing Alumni Community
A Review of Alumni Milestone Celebrations
Schools must leverage alumni milestones to improve alumni development. From our review of alumni websites, common milestone celebrations include designated microsites, promotional logos, custom hashtags and contest giveaways. This brief presents five alumni milestones from schools within the Alumni Monitor coverage group as well as other universities that surpassed their 100,000 alumni mark.
School must employ magazines as an effective method of outreach to alert alumni and supporters about recent news, upcoming events and sparking increased donations. This report examines the hard-copy magazines available for eight schools covered by the Alumni Monitor coverage group.
The rapid change of communications offers opportunities and threats to the future of alumni magazines. The most effective magazines inform, entertain and engage readers of all audiences. All supporters, not just alumni, should have the option to subscribe to the print publication. This Alumni Monitor report reviews nine hard-copy magazines with an emphasis on design and availability, content, promotions and advertisements.
Social Media Matters: Offer an Ambassador Program Colleges and universities are creating reward programs by offering supporters an incentivized social media ambassador program to promote official Giving Day content. The most effective social media ambassador programs reward participants for their online participation with an entry to win school apparel and merchandise. Social media ambassador programs are critical to spark alumni participation in Giving Day and campaigns.Fundraising Updates Are Simply Not Enough: Incorporate a Webcast It is imperative that schools use social media to provide fundraising and donor updates to supporters about their Giving Days. Without having to wait for fundraising updates, donors can quickly learn about the event’s progress in the broadcast. This brief looks at critical Giving Day strategies and features.
Social Media Still Matters: Ambassador Programs Gain Traction Since last year, five additional schools introduced ambassador programs in honor of giving day. The most effective social media ambassador programs incentivize online participation with a chance to win school apparel and merchandise.Showcase Results Creatively: Publish Infographics Through social media, email, and microsite progress meters, schools are better able to provide timely fundraising and donor results to supporters about their giving days. These visuals are an effective way to present a lot of data in an easily digestible manner, allowing donors to better comprehend a giving day’s outcome. This brief examine new techniques to maximize Giving Day results.
When possible, schools should endeavor to make it easy to donate directly from the app. Additionally, navigation must be intuitive and efficient. Top apps also provide compelling reasons for alumni to visit the app, including directories and information on alumni discounts. This report identifies several best practices related to alumni apps.
Create Well-Designed Graphics: Make Infographics Clean and Simple Colleges and universities must design infographics in an easily digestible manner where alumni can clearly read the content and limit the amount of scrolling to view the entire graphic. Professional, well-designed graphics capture a reader’s attention.Keep Branding in Mind: Incorporate School Logos and Colors The most effective infographics incorporate school colors, logos or other recognizable features. When readers scan the infographic, the colors and logos should easily help identify the school publishing the graphic and draw an association that is both familiar and professional. This brief showcases five infographics from universities within the Alumni Monitor cover group.
Key to an Effective Email: Make it Beautiful and Keep it Simple Every college and university must use the first (and still primary) digital messaging tool, email, to reach alumni. The best and most well-crafted emails not only break through the clutter of modern inboxes, but the email design and content differ between schools.Subject Lines Matter, Be Clear and Concise The world moves quickly, and people feel their time is valuable. Emails offering clear subject lines and succinct communications that deliver their message are most effective. This brief examines effective email content and design practices for six school covered by the Alumni Monitor coverage group.
Improve Ease of Use: Pre-Fill Form Fields The most effective online giving forms pre-fill donor information to create an efficient experience. Schools must follow this practice to maximize the effectiveness of their giving forms.Security Matters: Add a User or Site Verification Element University websites should offer Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) or user authentication verification software (e.g., reCaptcha) to assure donors that their websites are safe and secure.Create a Seamless Donation Process: Use Progress Meters and Responsive Design Donors should experience a direct, effortless giving process on any mobile or desktop device. Schools should include a range of standard features, including breadcrumbs, progress meters, expandable sections, lightboxes and responsive design. This research examines effective giving form practices.