We asked hundreds of sorority members throughout the country about their opinions of the alumni experience, and here is what they said:
What do you want out of your experience as an alumnae of the sorority? (Select up to 3)
What can the alumnae chapter do that would motivate you to donate?
- “Keep me updated with chapter news and successes…”
- “Create more of a connection…”
- “I have been back once for the centennial event, but really only because a classmate arranged an event nearby…”
- “Keep the alumni pledge classes connected…”
- “I enjoy open houses or events that allow Alumnae to come back…”
- “More informational news instead of only sending something when they ask for money…”
- “If there was a specific goal, I would consider donating for the specific project…”
- “Yes, I would like contact with the chapter...”
- “I believe I have received a few newsletters, but they are rare and I don’t feel I have any sense as to what is happening on campus…”
- “Perhaps fundraisers specific to an initiation year…”
- “A website with more frequent updates so I could feel closer to the chapter…”
- “Demonstrate that the money is wisely used for a good purpose and that donations are appreciated…”
- “The house was a complete mess when some of us visited there on Homecoming a few years back, so we decided then not to donate in the future…”
- “A clearer explanation of why donations are needed and how they are used…”
- “Show true interest in the alum and get us more involved in the chapter today.”
Percentages based on 2,985 responses from fraternity members. Results achieved a 97% confidence rate with a +/- 3% error margin.
Apply the Research…
Based on this research, here are 7 things Greek organizations can do to develop a community of lifelong supporters:
Build special events and communication programs that help alumnae reconnect with other sisters from their specific era or year.
Consistently communicate with your members across multiple channels—in print, via email, and on the web.
Encourage alumnae to return to campus; invest in promoting these events and in creating an experience that will be memorable and rewarding.
In your communications, ensure that you are promoting the successes of sisterhood, and then appeal to the alumni’s sense of duty with “pay it forward” messaging, (e.g., “give back to the organization for what was given to you…”)
Communicate a clear, definable need for support by setting tangible goals and over- communicate these goals to the alumni.
Alumnae want to know their donor dollars make a difference, so provide status updates on projects funded by the chapter.
Get alumnae involved with the chapter and encourage them to participate in leadership roles that will provide guidance for the active undergrads.
For more fundraising ideas and tips, check out Jodie Dello Stritto’s, 15 Tips How to Create a Newsletter People Eagerly Read or request fundraising letter samples and we'll mail you great examples of winning fundraising letters.