Alumni engagement in most Indian schools is a concept that is relegated to the once-in-a-decade Reunions only. While that is great to make some new memories, is it enough to fully leverage what Alumni can do for their alma mater?
You know it is not! It is expensive, it requires all alumni to be in the same physical location at the same time, those who live outside the state or country can’t make it, and most importantly it is not regular. It is nostalgic, that’s for sure, but it is not engaging in the long run.
Today, most schools understand their alumni’s impact. Not only are they the reflection of the school’s pride and success, but they are also valuable in increasing the credibility of your school’s brand. Parents trust the words of alumni, students look up to them for guidance, and you may count on their contributions – monetary or otherwise.
However, that’s possible only through alumni engagement. Your school must make an effort to go beyond the ‘Emotional Connect’ and make it meaningful for your Alumni to be active participants in school initiatives.
The Recipe for a Successful Alumni Engagement Strategy
Engagement is NOT a CONSTANT, but a Continuous Process!
Do you remember ‘Orkut’?
Yeah…took a few seconds for the name to click, didn’t it?
Orkut was a social network owned by Google that existed well before Facebook. It was also popular back in the day. Yet, while Facebook is still the most popular social networking channel, nobody really remembers or cares about Orkut.
It’s because Facebook learnt a lesson very early that while novelty can be instantly popular, such popularity is fickle. To stay popular and relevant Facebook constantly kept its users engaged while Orkut didn’t. You can derive your own conclusions on what happened next.
The biggest challenge that schools face while building an Alumni Network is quite similar. While alumni who left the school years ago are quite happy to stay active and engage during the initial few days or weeks, their enthusiasm gradually fizzles out. To keep driving alumni engagement at the same level you’ll need to keep having continuous meaningful communication.
Give to Get Back!
Like any other relationship, alumni engagement is also a two-way street. Your school alumni are the most valuable and powerful asset you have. They can be of great help in your school’s branding, your students’ guidance, and also for raising funds when needed.
However, to get these benefits, you’ll need to give something back to alumni first. Here’s how you can help your alumni while keeping them engaged.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All Alumni
The alumni from your school are a diverse group. They can be from different batches from years apart or be located at different geographical locations. They can be at different stages of their lives and hence have differing priorities and needs. Hence your alumni engagement initiatives too must be diverse. You need to engage your alumni and give them benefits based on their age and stage in life.
No…not because of Covid-19. But because there are only so many re-unions you can organize!
Your Alumni is a moving target that needs to be engaged through technology on platforms they use and understand. Digitalizing your engagement activities enables you to reach alumni who would otherwise be unreachable to you. It also provides you with a lot of diverse channels of engagement. From emails, social media, and dedicated networking platforms – there are many ways to reach your alumni digitally!
Alumni Impact Program – A Dedicated Platform to Reach Your School’s Alumni
At Univariety, we have recognized the value of a school’s alumni a long time ago. We have been driving the conversation about alumni impact, building networks, and engaging with them for years. To take these efforts to the next level, we are launching our Alumni Impact Program through which we’ll be working to track, manage, network, and most importantly engage with a school’s alumni base.
If you want to leverage the maximum value from your school’s alumni, get to know our Alumni Impact Program a little better.