Browse by Professional Interest
Alumni Communications

44 results



Browse other interest areas at left.

No Lemons Here
CURRENTS Article Change happens. But that doesn't mean it's easy. Change can be threatening. An institutional merger or updated mascot, for example, can spark fears that alumni memories and traditions aren't treasured. In a job where keeping alumni happily engaged is key, how do you navigate the negative stuff? We aren't talking about crises—bad news takes everyone by surprise. But if you know your alumni, you can predict when a big change for the institution is going to be a problem for some graduates. Before you start bracing yourself for hate mail, take a deep breath. With a proactive outreach plan, you can take part of the sting out of the unwelcome and maybe even turn the news into a positive for your alumni.

Talking Shop: Boring Benefits Can Kill Alumni Engagement
CURRENTS Article For more than 25 years, Gary Toyn has worked with clients to enhance their member/donor acquisition, retention, and engagement. He is the lead researcher of numerous studies related to constituent engagement, including the Voluntary Alumni Engagement in Support of Education survey, which analyzes how institutions attract and engage their alumni. In a recent blog series, Toyn discussed the most beneficial and the "lamest" alumni benefits institutions offer.

Show Some Love
CURRENTS Article Saint Leo University in Florida sends special Valentine's Day postcards to alumni couples and invites them to share their "Leo Love" on social media with the tags #LeoLove and #MySaintLeo. At Amherst College in Massachusetts, student engagement fellows host Love My Alumni Week, during which students write 3,000 thank-you postcards to alumni donors and volunteers.

Talking Shop: What’s in It for Them?
CURRENTS Article Daniel Cohen and his father, Marcel, founded Graduway in 2009, which builds branded alumni networking and mentoring platforms to help institutions stay in touch with their alumni. Daniel Cohen talks about how universities can enahnce the alumni experience.

Alumni Events Balance Digital and Print Outreach
Article,  BriefCASE Article As more alumni move to electronic communication as their preferred method of contact, alumni relations professionals are tasked with diversifying their communications efforts. Alumni relations offices that want to be thorough without wasting resources should take stock of their current communications efforts and tweak them if needed, according to Jennifer Heathcote, coordinator of alumni and parent relations at John Brown University.

Aligning the Satellites
CURRENTS Article See if any of these situations sound familiar: Your alumni association staff emails alumni the same week that athletics sends out its annual appeal. A faculty member hosts a group of former marching band members, but no one takes pictures. The challenges of campuswide alumni engagement can be tricky, and without a strategy, you can duplicate efforts or miss opportunities. The result? All your efforts are sinking into a black hole. Does your central alumni office know how your campus units, departments, and offices talk with alumni? Are faculty and staff informing you of interactions with alumni? Do they understand your alumni association's goals and messages? If you cannot answer these questions—or you don't like the answers—then it might be time to reassess cross-campus collaboration. Here are some ways to energize and revitalize your alumni engagement efforts.

Angry Students, Alarmed Alumni
CURRENTS Article More than 80 colleges and universities have experienced student protests in recent years. Underrepresented students have publicly called on their institutions to address the often toxic environments they face as minorities. These efforts range from the viral 2013 #BBUM hashtag campaign—Being Black at the University of Michigan, a social media tactic marginalized students adopted worldwide—to dozens of protests in 2015-16. The demonstrations have undermined advancement efforts, with alumni and donors questioning whether students have taken over. The protests are also forcing institutions to scrutinize their campus and address overt, subtle, and systemic racism. Here's how some institutions are navigating the protests.

Loved, but Lost
CURRENTS Article Your lost alumni have become untethered, drifting away from their beloved campus, and you're not sure how to bring them back. Some don't update contact information when they relocate; others ignore your correspondence because they think you only want money. Still others might like to reconnect but don't know how or are too busy to realize they haven't heard from you. Search-and-rescue attempts aren't easy. Tight budgets don't help, nor do increasing numbers of graduates, many of whom hop jobs and locations early in their career. But even with these challenges, institutions are designing affordable, innovative campaigns for finding alumni who could become a valuable part of the college's mission. Here's what you can learn from them.

Training Camp
CURRENTS Article Using alumni volunteers as university ambassadors is a no-brainer, say advancement professionals. Most universities and colleges offer some kind of orientation or training for their alumni volunteers, but in recent years the trend has been to provide more robust, dedicated training. Many institutions hold training days, often tied to another on-campus alumni event, such as homecoming or an alumni weekend.

10 Sacred Cows of Alumni Magazines (And Why You Should Rid Your Pages of Them)
CURRENTS Article A longtime editor reveals his list of wrongfully revered and oft-repeated publication practices, departments, features, and philosophies.

Office Space: Solving Survey Fatigue
CURRENTS Article Survey overload is a problem for colleges and universities, which need to understand what alumni think and feel to make informed decisions about programming and develop strategies that increase involvement and financial support.

Spring 2015
CURRENTS Article A 25-year-old assistant director of alumni relations shares the lessons learned during her first year at Williston Northampton School.

Alumni Association Annual Reports
Sample Collection The Library maintains this collection of annual reports from alumni associations. Reports are arranged alphabetically by institution.

Students Help College Profile Alumni
Article,  Community College News Article The alumni relations staff at an Illinois community college recently partnered with an English 101 class on a project to interview alumni and write profiles about them. The new collaboration has already proven itself a win-win for all involved.

Alumni Association Branding Samples
Sample Collection The Library maintains this collection of alumni association brand standards and visual identity guidelines for all CASE members. Samples are arranged alphabetically by institution.

Honesty Is the Best Policy
CURRENTS Article In this article, Tina Hay, editor of The Penn Stater, discusses the editorial decisions the magazine made in covering the child molestation scandal that erupted at Penn State in November 2011.

The Benefits of Data-Driven Alumni Communications
Article,  BriefCASE Article A one-size-fits-all approach to alumni communications doesn’t work, said two speakers at this year’s CASE Summit for Leaders in Advancement.

Infographics
Sample Collection The Library maintains this collection of education institutions' infographics and data visualizations used to convey advancement-related data and stories.

Infographics
Good Question Does CASE have resources that discuss best practices for designing infographics? What about examples of infographics created for advancement purposes?

CASE Survey Identifies Key Traits for Successful Alumni Relations
Article,  BriefCASE Article A CASE survey on alumni relations programmes outside of North America reveals that frequent communications via e-newsletters and alumni magazines as well as more holiday excursions and personal-interest events can increase the number of donors for these institutions.

Alumni Surveys
Sample Collection The Library maintains this collection of alumni surveys, reports of survey results and magazine coverage for all members.

Alumni Surveys
Good Question We are preparing to conduct an alumni survey. Do you have sample surveys that can be emailed to me?

Graduates Rank Email as Most Effective Communications Tool
Article,  BriefCASE Article College and university alumni believe email is the most effective way for their alma maters to communicate with them, according to the results of a survey exploring donor motivation as well as the communications and philanthropic preferences of graduates.

Findings from the Field: The Donor Motivation Study in Practice, an inside look at the attitudes and preferences of more than 50,000 champions, friends and acquaintances
Converge Consulting in Alliance with CASE
White Paper This white paper, the second in a three-part series produced by Converge Consulting in alliance with CASE, explores the results of a study of how alumni attitudes relate to the motivation to give. The paper looks at preferred communications channels and philanthropic causes of alumni by segment, applies the study’s findings to three specific institutions and includes recommendations based on lessons learned.

Graduate School Alumni Relations
Sample Collection The Library compiled this collection of graduate/professional school alumni association websites, programming ideas, newsletters, magazines and stewardship reports to assist members who are working with graduate/professional school alumni.

CASE Survey Reveals Most Successful Alumni Relations Services, Activities
Article,  BriefCASE Article A new CASE survey on alumni relations programs outside of North America reveals the critical need for email addresses and frequent communications via e-newsletters and magazines to grow the number of donors and volunteers. Time is also a key factor.

The Power of Two
CURRENTS Article BI Norwegian School of Management publishes two alumni magazine, one in Norwegian and the other in English. The English-language magazine has helped keep international alumni engaged.

Virtually Yours
CURRENTS Article Technology is providing alumni relations professionals with a new way to organize events and engage more alumni, but it also offers us the opportunity to look at our field through a new lens. For example, using webcams and digital recorders, brick-and-mortar events can be retooled to reach more than just those people who attend. Alumni leaders now have the ability to engage their entire database worldwide without being limited to a particular venue, region, or timeframe.

Virtualmente suyo
CURRENTS Article La tecnología ofrece a los profesionales de la vinculación con exalumnos un nuevo prisma para ver los eventos. Es el fin de una era en las relaciones con los exalumnos. Las evidencias están a la vista, y la mayoría de nosotros no las hemos visto o no estamos dispuestos a aceptarlas. Para muchas asociaciones de exalumnos, la asistencia y la participación en eventos y programas siguen disminuyendo mientras los costos que conllevan siguen aumentando. Los sitios de redes sociales, y otras herramientas web 2.0 ofrecen nuevas formas de comunicarse con los egresados, sin mencionar que son nuevas formas para que éstos se comuniquen entre sí sin la participación de las asociaciones de exalumnos.

Advice for Small Alumni Shops: Keep it Simple and Personal
Article,  BriefCASE Article Small schools can do little things to communicate with alumni that will have a big impact, according to a speaker at the CASE District III conference held Feb. 21-24 in Tampa, Fla.

In Full Bloom
CURRENTS Article The digital age is upon us, with technology reshaping the way institutions interact with students, faculty, alumni, and donors. Find out how this new age is changing the world of communications and marketing, alumni relations, and development.

Advance Work: News at Your Fingertips
CURRENTS Article The University of Waterloo is offering its iPhone- and BlackBerry-wielding alumni the option of receiving school news on their mobile devices.

Advance Work: No Turning Back
CURRENTS Article The University of Pittsburgh alumni association stopped printing an annual alumni report and instead put it online. This switch not only saved money but allowed the association to better communicate with alumni.

Community Writ Large and Small
CURRENTS Article At many institutions the majority of students are women, the student body is increasing, or more ethnically diverse students are enrolling. Alumni officers are smart to revise their programming to serve these alumni.

AdvanceWork: Season's e-Greetings
CURRENTS Article When alumni relations officers at Miami (Ohio) and Colgate universities wanted to spice up their alumni outreach efforts, they turned to e-cards. The Flash-based “postcards” of photo, sound, and video messages most often are used to engage and involve alumni in campus activities, seek their support, and help them feel connected to alma mater. This article explores why and how these campuses embraced e-cards and links to several examples.

Let's Make a Deal
CURRENTS Article Alumni might not realize that they can benefit from the technology their alma mater already uses to locate and stay in touch with former students. Help alumni activate their “hidden” alumni network by showing them how to connect with fellow graduates via online directories, campus personnel directories, online class notes, and more. With these high-tech tools, business-savvy former students can forge new ties, rekindle lost campus connections, and open doors to new opportunities. An accompanying sidebar offers advice on networking etiquette.

Manager's Portfolio: Achieving Fabled Service
CURRENTS Article Like Nordstrom and other companies famous for customer service, alumni associations should infuse quality constituent service into everything they do. This column features examples from the University of Michigan Alumni Association, which has created a customer relations staff.

Mending Student Discontent
CURRENTS Article Alumni still carrying grievances from their student days can be turned into enthusiastic donors if development officers listen to and address those grievances. Development officers should also be alert to the dissatisfactions of current students, and can try to collaborate with other campus departments to improve the student experience, in order to cultivate future donors.

Closing Remarks: It's Still about People
CURRENTS Article Taylor warns that advancement is in danger of depersonalizing its mission by mistaking technology for human contact. To sustain vital, long-term relationships between alumni and the institution, alumni relations officers need to see alumni face to face. E-mail, the Web, and other technological innovations may make work easier, but they should not be used to the exclusion of personal contact.

Write-Minded: Alma Writer
CURRENTS Article Not all alumni who wish to write for their institution's magazine have the necessary skill, but editors can benefit by seeking out truly talented alumni writers. Editors should do everything possible to say "yes" to alumni interested in contributing, while still ensuring the magazine's integrity. When a submission simply isn't usable, let the contributor down gently with a personalized note explaining why the story won't work.

Tech Support: High-Tech Ties that Bind
CURRENTS Article In addition to e-mail and campus Web sites, the Internet offers special advantages for reaching out to international alumni. The article describes ways to use Internet telephone programs, streaming audio and video, freeware, and live chat to increase contact with alumni globally.

Think Different
CURRENTS Article The first commandment for adapting your alumni magazine to cyberspace

Closing Remarks: Keep Those Letters Coming
CURRENTS Article Editorial guidelines for alumni correspondents

Closing Remarks: You've Got Mail
CURRENTS Article A psychology professor muses about the mailings he receives from his alma mater — including reunion announcements, a survey for the alumni directory, and a solicitation for the annual fund.

Sample Collection

The Library maintains a collection of sample materials for members.

View samples

CASE Communities

Connect with peers on CASE Communities.

Join the conversation