Congratulation graduates, you can now call yourself alum. It’s a title you get to carry the rest of your life, so why not take advantage of it by joining your school’s alumni association? It’s a great way to keep in touch with classmates, an excellent way to network with other alumni, and who knows; those connections could land you a job.
A functional Alumni Association benefits both Alma Mater and the Alumnus.
Records has shown that alumni association is a big asset to schools and members of the association.
It is important to note that school should create a platform for the graduating students to connect together. This is where Alumni Management System or Software comes in.
Alumni Management System or Software is a system schools use to manage their alumni. It could be manually or automated. School Software Pro Alumni Management System is all you need to manage your alumni effectively.
Alumni plugin in School Software Pro helps you to connect Current Students and Employees of your institution with Alumni.
– Automatically transfer graduating students with their details to Alumni.
– Check the list of Alumni
– Choose to accept invitation
– Choose to decline invitation
– Comment on the event (optional)
– Assign employee(s) as coordinator
– Assign student(s) as coordinator
– See number of alumnus who accept invitation
– See number of alumnus who decline invitation
– See number of alumnus who did not responded
– Send bulk email to alumni
Don’t Be Overprotective
It is tempting to keep close control over your alumni and funnel all contact with them through the development or advancement office, but this can have negative consequences. The capacity of the office to deal with alumni contact might be overwhelmed, frustrating the alumni who want to get in touch. A bond between an alumnus and the institution that is focused on a single point will be weaker than a bond focused on multiple points.
Good alumni relations should be flexible enough to allow an alumnus to maintain a positive link, not only with the office, but also with his old tutor, former football coach, careers adviser and any number of his peer group. This broader network experience is far more enriching both for the individual alumnus and the institution.
The trick is to be aware of these links, capture the information and make sure these interactions are recognized as a part of the overall donor cultivation process (as multiple links are a strong indication of an individual’s favour toward the institution and probability to give).
More Than One Way to Engage
Providing financial support is just one way for alumni to engage with their institutions. Engagement can be on multiple levels and rewarding for both parties. Examples include:
- Donating regularly through the annual fund or with high-value single gifts,
- Sponsoring research, student projects or courses,
- Commissioning consultancy from academics,
- Leaving legacies – financial as well as through personal bequests, e.g., art, property,
- Participating in peer-to-peer fundraising,
- Brokering introductions to create new partnerships for the university with their employers, governments and other affiliated organisations,
- Providing expert advice and guidance to the university’s leadership,
- Providing case study material, guest lectures, equipment or similar to enhance teaching,
- Supporting student recruitment both at home and overseas,
- Providing careers advice, mentoring, placements, internships to current students,
- Acting as positive role models to current students,
- Sharing talents to enhance the cultural life of campus through performances, exhibitions, etc.,
- Contributing to the positive international public profile of the university and
- Contributing to the positive online profile of the university.
Benefits of Joining an Alumni Association
Just because you moved to another state after graduation, doesn’t mean you can’t get involved. Alumni associations often form local or regional chapters around the country. These local chapters are a great way to connect with alumni face-to-face, and maybe watch that big game with fellow fans. Here are some other benefits to joining your school’s alumni association:
- Discounts at campus bookstores and retailers around the nation. An alumni association discount can come in handy when you want to buy a new school t-shirt or sweatshirt. Rasmussen College alumni have access to Savings Connection, which provides discounts on everything from travel, movies, clothing, and restaurants.
- Access to big ticket sporting events. Members of alumni associations can sometimes purchase sporting event tickets ahead of the general public, and at a discount.
- Access to your school’s library system. This is a great resource if you ever need to do research for work projects.
- Gym/Recreation Memberships. Some schools let alumni association members use their recreational facilities. Schools may also have their own alumni sports program.
- Free alumni magazines, newsletters, and webinars. These will help you keep up-to-date on campus activities, events, faculty, and other alumni. Rasmussen College sends out an electronic newsletter to alumni called @ Rasmussen every quarter.
- Giving to your school’s future. Some alumni associations raise money to provide scholarships to incoming or current students. Associations also raise funds to pay for campus improvements.
- Tax Deductibility. Many alumni association memberships are deductible for federal income tax purposes. Check with your tax advisor.
There are many other benefits to joining your school’s alumni association after graduation, but they vary from school to school. If you haven’t received information about your school’s alumni association yet, log onto your school’s website or contact your school’s alumni relations office. They’d love to have you. You may find it’s the best way to stay in touch with old friends.