Conferences & Training
Program - Summer Institute in Alumni Relations


Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5

Day 1, Monday, July 23

NOON-2:00 PM
Residence Hall Registration and Check-in

12:30-2:00
Conference Registration

2:15-3:00
Welcome, Introductions and Overview of Summer Institute
This session will provide an overview of the week ahead and an introduction to the field of alumni relations. We will discuss the history and purpose of alumni relations through the lens of its past, present and future, and meet fellow participants. Faculty will review and discuss the schedule for the week, and offer details on the courses available to you.

3:00-4:15
Toward Alumni Centrism: Redefining Alumni Engagement for the 21st Century
We live in a society with rising costs of education and associated student debt, competition for volunteer and philanthropic resources, and a consumer oriented alumni population with more information at their fingertips than ever before. What implications does this have on the strategies we use to engage our alumni? In a world where one size seldom fits all, successful alumni relations operations will start from the perspective of the alumnus/na. Our goal is to advance our institutions. To engage our alumni in this quest, we must first satisfy the value proposition.

4:30-5:45
Advisory Group Meeting
Meet with faculty and a smaller group of attendees to discuss how to maximize your learning opportunities at the institute.

6:00-7:30
Welcome Dinner
An opportunity to meet and mingle with attendees and staff. Enjoy food, drinks and good company with institute faculty and attendees.

7:30
Institute Adjourns for the Day

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Day 2, Tuesday, July 24

7:30-8:45 AM
Breakfast

9:00-9:15
Morning Announcements

9:15-10:30
Best Practices in Alumni Engagement
Numerous studies prove that those who are engaged meaningfully are the most likely to give and get involved more deeply than others. This session will provide tips and tools for developing attractive, effective mutually-beneficial engagement programs that advance institutional and alumni interest.

10:45 AM-NOON
Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Career Oriented Engagement (repeats at 1:15 PM)
    What is the value of a college education and what does alumni relations have to do with that value? Over the past decade many universities across the country have wrestled with how to enhance impact and outcomes connected to the Career Services offices on campus and have looked for their alumni relations team to play a significant and collaborative role in that effort. This session will focus on emerging models of how alumni relations and career services are working together to improve career outcomes, build more robust alumni networks, and create innovative programs to increase alumni engagement. Regardless of your particular relationship with career services, there will be lessons to apply to all aspects of alumni relations work.
  • Where Giving and Engagement Meet (repeats at 2:45 PM)
    An integrated approach to giving and engagement is what our alumni desire and what we as advancement professionals should provide to them. Engaging our alumni is a process with many different expressions of success and among those expressions is giving. In this session we will discuss how to best marry a successful all welcoming alumni engagement strategy while keeping an eye how to maximize expressions of engagement with a focus on giving.
  • Engaging Future and Current Alumni (repeats at 2:45 PM)
    Today’s alumni engagement efforts need to begin with students, our future alumni. By focusing on individualized engagement along a continuum, we can better connect alumni in various life stages. Meaningful experiences with an alma mater begin before a diploma is earned and this session will offer case examples of engagement in the early stages of the alumi lifecycle.

NOON-1:15 PM
Lunch

1:15-2:30
Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Geographic Alumni Engagement
    Regional chapters and clubs are a traditional tool of the trade for alumni engagement practitioners. We will look at opportunities, challenges, and innovations for engaging your alumni who live away from campus, whether across the country and around the world. This session will: (1) identify goals and best practices in geographic alumni engagement; (2) explore emerging trends and innovations; (3) help participants identify roles and expectations for volunteers; and (4) offer practical guidance and tips for large and small shops.
  • Career Oriented Engagement
    What is the value of a college education and what does alumni relations have to do with that value? Over the past decade many universities across the country have wrestled with how to enhance impact and outcomes connected to the Career Services offices on campus and have looked for their alumni relations team to play a significant and collaborative role in that effort. This session will focus on emerging models of how alumni relations and career services are working together to improve career outcomes, build more robust alumni networks, and create innovative programs to increase alumni engagement. Regardless of your particular relationship with career services, there will be lessons to apply to all aspects of alumni relations work.
  • Affinity & Identity Engagement
    Alumni needs are diverse so a one-size-fits-all engagement model might not speak to their passions. However, connecting alumni through shared interests can be a great way to garner loyalty and support for your organization. But how do you broaden your alumni offerings to build stronger connections? What is the best approach for your institution? How do you bring increased relevance to your alumni to reach new demographics? This session looks at several affinity models and helps you to determine what kind of touchpoints can move your affinity programs forward with the goal of increasing alumni engagement and encouraging philanthropy.

2:45-4:00
Elective Workshops Across all Summer Institutes (choose one)

  • Where Giving and Engagement Meet
    An integrated approach to giving and engagement is what our alumni desire and what we as advancement professionals should provide to them. Engaging our alumni is a process with many different expressions of success and among those expressions is giving. In this session we will discuss how to best marry a successful all welcoming alumni engagement strategy while keeping an eye how to maximize expressions of engagement with a focus on giving.
  • Online and Digital Engagement
    Some alumni will never come back to campus or attend an event in their regions. That's okay! This session will address creative ways to leverage technology and engage constituents where they live.
  • Engaging Future and Current Alumni
    Today’s alumni engagement efforts need to begin with students, our future alumni. By focusing on individualized engagement along a continuum, we can better connect alumni in various life stages. Meaningful experiences with an alma mater begin before a diploma is earned and this session will offer case examples of engagement in the early stages of the alumni lifecycle.

4:15-5:30
Advisory Group Meeting 

5:30
Institute Adjourns for the Day

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Day 3, Wednesday, July 25

7:30-8:45 AM
Breakfast

9:00-9:15
Morning Announcements

9:15-10:30
Get Out of Your Own Way: Techniques to Move your Ideas and Agendas Forward in a Complex Organization
Newcomers to the advancement field have a lot of great ideas. Sometimes, they can get stymied by the “Quotidian Miasma of Deadlines” that gets in the way of getting the respect and resources you need to succeed. This session is designed to help you: (1) “manage up” by understanding how to work effectively with your supervisor and senior leadership; (2) “manage across” by applying insights on influencing and leading professional peers over whom you may have no direct control; (3) “manage diagonally” by developing an understanding cultural practices and players within an organizational ecosystem; and (4) “manage within” yourself by applying techniques and tools to master the personal self-awareness and performance to detect and defeat the QMD!

10:45 AM-NOON
Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Budgeting as Planning
    Understanding the business aspect of planning and budgeting within your program will help meet goals, ease frustration, and give you confidence for future success. This interactive session is designed to help you: (1) understand concepts of strategic planning and measurable outcomes; (2) develop a plan of action; and (3) master the process, best practices, and terminology of budgeting.
  • Measuring and Reporting Impact
    How do we know that our alumni relations programs are adding value to the institutions and constituencies we serve? How do we know what programs to keep, start, and stop? How can facts and data be used to manage change and growth? Understanding engagement metrics can help us answer these questions. What are winning ways to report on outcomes to your boss and to the wider community? In this session we will explore: (1) engagement definitions, data collection and reporting; (2) evaluation techniques – survey, focus groups and net promoter scores; (3) explore the relationship between involvement and giving; and (4) using engagement metrics to inform future decisions.
  • Finding Your Voice as a Leader (repeats at 3:00 PM)
    Leadership is earned and honed in many ways; leveraging your accomplishments into a portfolio of leadership skills happens when you combine both self-assessment and skill-set inventories. This session will offer practical applications of these tools so that you can learn how to manage your own voice as a leader whether with your own team, institutional leadership or your next career opportunity.

NOON-1:30 PM
Lunch Sponsored by BU's Office of Advancement

1:30-2:45
Impact of Advancement with CASE President and CEO Sue Cunningham

3:00-4:15
Elective Workshops Across all Summer Institutes (choose one)

  • Finding Your Voice as a Leader
    Leadership is earned and honed in many ways; leveraging your accomplishments into a portfolio of leadership skills happens when you combine both self-assessment and skill-set inventories. This session will offer practical applications of these tools so that you can learn how to manage your own voice as a leader whether with your own team, institutional leadership or your next career opportunity.
  • Role of Alumni Relations in Institutional Communications
    Alumni Relations teams can and should be important partners in telling an institution's story. In this session, we will discuss best practices for working with both communication and development partners on this important initiative.
  • Are You an Event Planner or an Engagement Officer?
    Thankfully, it does seem like the industry is shedding its opinion that alumni relations professionals are “just party planners” or (grimace) “friendraisers.” But realistically, what percentage of your time is spent planning events? We’re not here to debate whether events are good or bad: we’ll be talking about how you can go beyond celebrating high attendance and great post-event survey results as your measure of success. You’ll leave with ideas to turn those attendees into ambassadors, volunteer leaders, connectors.

4:30-5:45
Quick Takes on Timely Topics - Part I
Sometimes, presenters squeeze 10 minutes of content into 75- minute sessions. In this rapid fire succession of short “TED-style” talks, you’ll hear from half of the SIAR faculty as they share best practices, breakthrough thinking, and killer ideas that bend your mind and boost your professional brand back on campus. We’ll conclude with an activity to help attendees find their “why” in alumni relations.

  • Alumni Life Cycle
  • Developing Your Network
  • Purposeful Planning
  • Finding Your Why in Alumni Relations

5:45
Institute Adjourns for the Day
Free evening, dinner on your own

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Day 4, Thursday, July 26

7:30-8:45 AM
Breakfast

9:00-9:15
Morning Announcements

9:15-10:30
Collaborative Advancement Leadership and Management
It takes a village of fundraisers, communicators, operations and alumni engagement staff to meet the goals of a highly successful advancement team. In this session, we will explore: (1) collaborative leadership and its importance for achieving success; (2) characteristics of a collaborative leader and team member (3) practical skills for developing your leadership presence; (4) fostering mutually beneficial relationships both internally and externally.

10:45 AM-NOON
Elective Workshops Across all Summer Institutes (choose one)

  • Collaborating with Development
    Success in institutional advancement depends on working collaboratively with a diverse array of colleagues. This session will explain the institutional advancement disciplines and roles, as well as provide practical tips and tools for: (1) understanding the role of alumni engagement within Advancement; (2) addressing differences in priorities and metrics; and (3) successful strategies for working effectively with our Advancement colleagues.
  • Collaborating with Campus Colleagues
    Leveraging campus relationships is a best practice for boosting alumni engagement and giving. Whether you are part of a large staff or run a one-person shop, this session will help you: (1) understand how to foster collaboration; (2) choose the right partners and volunteers; (3) set mutually-beneficial goals; and (4) establish metrics for assessing and managing successful joint ventures.
  • Collaborating with Volunteers and Boards
    Volunteers are a treasure, who require dedicated time and resources from our institutions. No matter, volunteers play an essential role in strengthening our institutions and it is our job to continually focus their work towards our mission. What are the basics and proven best practices in working with volunteers? What are the emerging trends and how is the landscape shifting? What do our volunteers say about their experiences and how can we learn from these? Explore the challenges and benefits of building sustainable and rewarding volunteer programs. Let’s share some brief, memorable tips for making the most of these groups and individuals.

NOON-1:15 PM
Lunch

1:15-2:30
Advisory Group Meeting 

2:45-3:30
Quick Takes on Timely Topics - Part II
Through a rapid fire succession of short “TED-style” talks, hear from your SIAR faculty as they continue to share best practices, breakthrough thinking, and killer ideas that bend your mind and boost your professional brand back on campus.

    • What’s the Matter with this Math
    • Involving Alumni Relations in a Campaign
    • Making Connections where the Heart Desires

3:45-4:30
Panel with Summer Institute Chairs

5:00-5:30
Buses Leave from Residence Halls for the Boston Waterfront

6:30-10:00
Boston Harbor Dinner Cruise

10:00-10:30
Shuttles Return to Residence Halls

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Day 5, Friday, July 27

7:30-8:45 AM
Breakfast

9:00-9:15
Morning Announcements

9:15-11:00
Building Your Professional Community
A common denominator for all successful leaders is the presence of key mentors and a robust professional community. In this interactive session, we’ll explore how to proactively build your network, ideas for where to find mentors (hint: one may be sitting next to you!) and advice for how to maintain these relationships. You’ll leave with practical actions steps to grow in your career.

11:15 AM-NOON
Program Wrap-up and Parting Thoughts

NOON
Institute Adjourns

 

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