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Affinity Revenue Programs

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Alumni Association Affinity Programs
To help alumni associations respond to questions about affinity credit card programs and potential legislation and regulation, CASE has developed the following FAQ.

CASE Guidelines for Alumni Relations Professionals on Establishing Vendor Relationships
The CASE Commission on Alumni Relations approved these guidelines in April 2008. They guide member institutions' relationships with vendors that provide alumni programs and services.

A Toast to Alma Mater
CURRENTS Article Alumni affinity programs usually involve insurance solicitations and credit card offers, but the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Alumni Association has found something more popular: wine.

That Entrepreneurial Spirit
CURRENTS Article Now that credit card affinity programs aren't as lucrative for alumni associations as they once were, many alumni associations are looking to diversify their mix of revenue sources.

Special Report: What Impact Does the New Credit Card Legislation have on Your Affinity Card Agreements?
Impact Alumni blog
Podcast In this May 4, 2010 podcast, CASE Director of Government Relations and Institutionally Related Foundations Brian Flahaven discusses the impact of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 on affinity card agreements in the United States.

Tapping Energy by Conserving It
CURRENTS Article Some colleges and universities are capitalizing on the current interest in the sustainability movement as a way to engage alumni.

Advance Work: Novel Idea
CURRENTS Article The Cedar Crest College Alumnae Book Club has become a successful new program.

Talking Points: What's Around the Corner?
CURRENTS Article Under a new U.S. law, affinity credit card agreements are now subject to increased disclosure requirements. This column explains why Congress opened up these agreements for scrutiny and how can alumni associations can comply with the new law.

Don't Take the Fall
CURRENTS Article Even before the economy took a nosedive, many institutions were seeing affinity revenue stagnate or drop. With institutional budgets constricting and alumni wallets shrinking, funding the alumni association is requiring more creativity than in years past.

New Credit Card Law Affects Alumni Association Credit Card Programs
Article,  BriefCASE Article The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (H.R. 627), which Congress passed and President Obama signed into law late last month, includes disclosure requirements for alumni association affinity credit card agreements.

Alumni Leaders Puzzle Over Funding as Revenue Dips
Article,  BriefCASE Article As affinity revenue starts to dip for some institutions and the dismal economy affects everyone, funding the alumni association has become an even greater puzzle.

CASE Announces New Affinity Partnership for Credit Card Services
Article,  BriefCASE Article CASE has a new affinity partnership with Landmark Merchant Solutions, a provider of Visa, MasterCard and Discover card processing services.

Revenue-Generating Programs: Villanova University - Silver Award
Best Practice The Villanova University Alumni Association has established a varied portfolio of corporate partnerships resulting in a 48% growth in revenues over 5 years. In 2007, VUAA developed a Partnership Guide to provide a concise and consistent response to alumni, businesses and corporations interested in partnering with the Association to reach their marketing goals. Through revenue generated by this program, the Alumni Office has added benefits, services, programming, and staff despite budget cuts.

Talking Points: Caught Up
CURRENTS Article This article provides an overview of the student loan scandal, which started with an investigation of potential conflicts of interest between higher ed and the lending industry and expanded to alumni associations in an effort to determine whether these groups are steering students toward specific loan consolidation companies in exchange for certain benefits.

Winners at Heart
CURRENTS Article Profiles of 12 winners of CASE’s 2004 Circle of Excellence awards. The winning alumni relations programs offered creative ways to generate revenue, use technology, or support a campus cause. In the development categories, campuses showed how to use flash e-mail annual giving solicitations and speech-writing students to attract donors. Communications winners relied on humor, creativity, and unconventional publications. And top advancement services shops highlighted the importance of identifying top campus prospects, working as a team, and maintaining accurate data.

Paying Your Dues
CURRENTS Article Shrinking campus budgets often lead to discussions about the value of alumni association membership dues programs. Do these programs bring in revenue and increase overall campus support--or do they create alumni confusion as well as competition for the annual fund? Alumni managers from a range of campuses weigh in on how they educate former students and find the right solutions for their campuses.

Managing Precious Resources
CURRENTS Article To cope with the double problems of growing graduating classes and dwindling funds, alumni directors are trying to generate more revenue, trim expenses, and reallocate limited resources. A short accompanying article lists cost-saving measures.

AdvanceWork: Off the Wall
CURRENTS Article The University of Washington Construction Management Alumni Association caters to its specialty audience with a calendar featuring major regional construction projects instead of traditional campus photos. The alumni association sells the calendars or uses them as event favors. Proceeds go to scholarships.

Industry Watch
CURRENTS Article Alumni relations executives are eyeing a variety of economic factors that have influenced their business plans. Overall, they are reporting a need to contain expenses to offset multiple hits to their budgets. The financial health of key industries also is having an effect on alumni travel programs and affinity programs.

Affinity Test
CURRENTS Article When considering any affinity agreement, keep in mind this critical factor: The corporation or company will be acting as an extension of your institution. Mutual trust is essential, but so is mutual knowledge and full disclosure. Get the whole picture by visiting your prospective corporate or company partners’ headquarters.

AdvanceWork: UBIT Update
CURRENTS Article What the recent affinity card court decision may mean

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