Meet the reimagined leadership board designed for today's alumni

Get more from your alumni by asking them for less

One of the defining characteristics of Millennial and Generation X alumni is their aversion to long-term commitments; these groups much prefer short-term engagements. They regularly change jobs, companies, industries, and volunteer roles and choose not to pursue projects that don't add value to their lives.

But many colleges and universities don't take this characteristic into account when dealing with their younger alumni. They still use boards, councils, and committees as key components of their alumni engagement strategy. These leadership and advisory positions often require alumni to accept three- to six-year appointments and sit in on administrative meetings that, frankly, they're not interested in. Since alumni guard their time more closely than ever before, these traditional models are off-putting to alumni who might otherwise assume leadership positions at your institution and become reliable donors over time.

Leading institutions have switched to a new model: volunteer strikeforces. These short-term activities are more in line with the interests and availability of 21st-century alumni. Strikeforce structures can vary, but essentially they are one or two day workshops where institutional leaders handpick a small group of alumni to discuss a particular topic.

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