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Starting Advancement Operations

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A Global Mindset
CURRENTS Article More international schools are recognizing the importance of alumni relations, communications, and fundraising. CASE's Fundraising in International Schools Report 2016 found that 82 percent of the international schools surveyed had a fundraising or development office. The marketplace is changing. Once a bastion for expats whose tuition was paid by corporations, international schools now attract middle-class families in developing and emerging economies. The schools can help launch their children into universities around the world, and having 40 to 60 different nations represented in international school classrooms isn't unusual. Some schools have up to 90—and such diversity means advancement has to be extra diligent and creative. Whether they are American, Singaporean, or German, parents often face a steep learning curve before they become willing to give.

Starting with Zero: A Lesson in Developing Alumni Groups
Article,  Community College News Article Instead of starting with postcards and emails, Brookhaven Community College, located right outside of Dallas, Texas, tried something different when looking to begin the school's first alumni program. The college hosted a kick-off event where they invited every single alumni in recent history back to the campus for a small event.

Two Approaches to Alumni Relations
Article,  Community College News Article When Stacey Lockhart arrived at Wenatchee Valley College in 2011, the alumni program was essentially nonexistent. Today, the WVC Alumni Association is on its way to showing return on investment and documenting measurable results.

How to Create a Startup Advancement Office—and Survive to Tell the Tale
CURRENTS Article When Fiona McQueen arrived at St Andrew's College as the first director of advancement, she needed to build a philanthropic culture from scratch. A year and a half later, McQueen more than tripled the money raised in previous years; doubled alumni, parent, and friend engagement; created an alumni and community magazine; and is assisting with a AU$100 million master plan. She talks with CURRENTS senior editor Tara Laskowski about the strategies and tactics she used to transform the giving culture at St Andrew's.

Expert Advice on Starting an Alumni Relations Program
Article,  BriefCASE Article Advancement shops at four-year institutions that are thinking about starting an alumni relations program could look to a few community colleges for inspiration.

If You Build It, Alumni Will Engage
CURRENTS Article Many community college students complete the requirements for a degree or certificate but then transfer to a four-year college or university and don’t apply for the credential. So how should these institutions define and count their alumni? How can alumni relations leaders reach out to campus partners to gain access to alumni information? Read this article to learn the answers.

Relearning the Principles of Alumni Relations
Article,  BriefCASE Article A CASE member who volunteered to help build an alumni program for an African nonprofit with no budget or paid staff says she was forced to focus on a few key principles to achieve success.

Fundraising Fundamentals, Section 2.1
Article This section from Fundraising Fundamentals discusses starting a new development office and the investment needed to be successful.

What’s Happening in Denmark?
CURRENTS Article University-sponsored alumni relations is a relatively new practice in Denmark. The author shares his experiences at Aarhus School of Business and offers insight into alumni relations in the rest of the country and the Nordic region.

Experts Discuss Building Advancement Programs from the Ground Up
Article,  BriefCASE Article Faculty at the recent CASE Asia-Pacific Schools Conference in Hong Kong say interest in advancement among Asian institutions is growing exponentially—but add that professionals at many schools are struggling to start advancement programs from scratch.

Advice for Building a Strong Advancement Program
Article,  Community College News Article A leading expert on community college fundraising says two-year institutions can secure a proportionate share of dollars given to higher education by applying management practices used by four-year colleges and universities.

Bountiful Catch
CURRENTS Article In 2008, instead of asking The Rockefeller Foundation for a grant for scholarship money, The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine asked for funding to relaunch the alumni association and survey its alumni to assess their impact around the world.

CASE Europe, Partners Release Results of Two-Year Alumni Relations Project
Article,  BriefCASE Article CASE Europe and other members of the "Alumni go Europe" partnership have released a report on the results of a two-year project to strengthen and enhance alumni relations programmes at European universities.

Postcard from Singapore
CURRENTS Article Starting an advancement office at an independent school in Singapore has many challenges. Find out how this alumni relations department had to start from scratch.

Advance Work: Wish Fulfillment
CURRENTS Article Many institutions start with a large initial endowment. Not the brand new Harrisburg University of Science and Technology.

One Craft, Different Cultures
CURRENTS Article More alumni directors outside North America are reaching out to their alumni audiences to encourage lifelong relationships with alma mater. However, these alumni directors face unique challenges. In Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Australia, school and university alumni often don’t have the tradition of giving to alma mater that’s a given in the United States and Canada. The institutions might not have maintained close ties with alumni, and poor record keeping can hinder relationship-building efforts. Some institutions' goals for alumni relations include encouraging continuing education and career networking by alumni as well as fund raising. Campus alumni offices also can become resources for groups of alumni who are more connected to each other than to the institution.

From the Ground Up
CURRENTS Article Three California state universities that opened in 1995, 2002, and 2004 illustrate the challenges of setting up new advancement offices from scratch. They each had to develop and implement community relations and media relations strategies; launch fund-raising programs; and build alumni relations programs even before the first class graduated. This article is of interest to managers of alumni, development, and communications and marketing programs.

Sending Signals
CURRENTS Article The popular distance learning approach of Britain’s campus-less Open University has generated a global presence and an international alumni base, as well as an atypical advancement operation. The fledgling alumni office seeks to involve alumni volunteers in multiple ways suited to OU’s character, such as student recruitment and mentoring. The development operation maintains a strong emphasis on business development while building programs in annual giving and planned giving.

Setting Up Shop
CURRENTS Article The author presents stories of how institutions, ranging from two-year colleges to independent schools, have launched or revived alumni associations. Alumni officers can adapt the strategies she describes to match the needs of their own campuses.

Closing Remarks: A Voyage of Discovery
CURRENTS Article The president of a small, struggling college on the Pacific Island of Papua New Guinea has set out to learn how advancement principles can be adapted to help his institution.

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