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.
Should You Establish an Advancement Office Overseas?
CURRENTS Article Institutions that have opened an advancement office overseas report intangible benefits, while others find it more economical to rack up frequent flier miles. Others do a combination of both. Here's how four institutions found success.
Office Space: Foreign Affairs
CURRENTS Article As more institutions expand operations abroad, setting up satellite offices in various countries that have high concentrations of alumni makes sense.
Manager's Portfolio: Location, Location, Location
CURRENTS Article At many institutions, limited office and parking space forces advancement units to move outside of campus borders. Off-campus facilities offer several advantages over campus quarters, but advancement staffers must work harder to keep in touch with faculty, staff, and students when off site.
AdvanceWork: Going the Distance
CURRENTS Article Opening a satellite office can be expensive and time consuming. However, as long as its mission is clear, having an out-of-town office can create opportunities for increasing contact with alumni, students, and other constituents. Institutions with successful satellite offices note that careful staff recruitment is crucial. Also, staffers should be aware that distance can create a sense of isolation.
Manager's Portfolio: Advancement Away from Home
CURRENTS Article Frankle, alumni and development director at the University of Toronto, describes how her staff established a Hong Kong office. The remote office carries out such tasks as coordinating visits for institutional leaders, planning events for the large Hong Kong alumni base, supervising volunteers, maintaining alumni records, recruiting students, and conducting prospect research. Frankle recommends that institutions considering opening overseas offices should: 1) hire people with local and institutional knowledge; 2) make sure they know the language; 3) bring staffers home for training annually; and 4) evaluate them fairly.