The evolution of alumni relations recently has been staggering, and advancement leaders have struggled to adapt. The impact of traditional engagement methods has diminished, just as the enrollment boom of the early 2000s has increased alumni populations. Donor counts are dropping, and unless the trend is reversed, advancement officials fear a lost generation of alumni.
Advancement leaders are seeking new, innovative ways to engage alumni. This study outlines a new path forward for alumni relations through two recommendations: facilitate high-impact engagement and enhance partnerships with development. Download the complete publication or explore the table of contents to learn more about each recommendation.
A rapidly shifting landscape
The alumni relations field has changed profoundly in recent years. Alumni populations are growing,
donor counts are dropping, and alumni are increasingly unresponsive to their alma mater’s
traditional engagement efforts. As a result, the question of how to engage alumni is challenging
advancement leaders across higher education.
New digital communication channels lead many alumni to circumvent their alma mater to connect
with their former classmates, but even engaged alumni are dissatisfied by the underwhelming array
of happy hours and social events that alumni relations professionals offer.
A new path forward
To adapt to this changing environment, innovative institutions take strides to meet the engagement
needs of today’s alumni while fostering a seamless transition between engagement and giving. They
facilitate high-impact engagement through digital programming and targeted volunteer opportunities.
At the same time, they hardwire organizational processes so that alumni relations and development
professionals communicate, collaborate, and, in some cases, consolidate their operations.
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The Strategic Alumni Relations Enterprise