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4 Steps to Engaging Your Alumni for Better Fundraising Results

When brothers and sisters feel truly connected to their chapter, they’re more than eager to open up their wallets and give back to the organization that gave so much to them. However, building this connection usually isn’t as easy as you might think. There’s only so long your alums can feel all warm and fuzzy when thinking about their college days, before you as an alumni director have to start engaging them and actively reminding them of those college days.

What are some of the best ways to engage your alums, for better fundraising results down the road? Here are four techniques we’ve found, through our years of success in the fundraising biz, that work.

 

1. Know What Your Alums Want…

Never assume you know what your alums want from their alumni group. The best way to get into the nitty-gritty of how your alumni group can best serve your graduated brothers or sisters is to simply ask them. These men and women fund your fraternity or sorority, so figure out what you can do to get them to give bigger and better donations by going straight to the source.

Data is your friend — survey, survey, survey. Don’t just send out one email survey and think your job is done, either. You’ve got to send that survey again. Then send it a third time. Then maybe even get on the phone.

Don’t rest until you know what exactly your alums want from their chapter’s alumni group.

Need help surveying your stakeholders or alums? Affinity Connection can help with that.

 

2. … And Then Give It to Them

Once you have all that data at your disposal, don’t waste it. Give your alums exactly what they’re asking for.

Maybe the older brothers or sisters want more events, excuses to see their old friends. Perhaps the younger alums want to see some networking or mentorship opportunities. What your group wants could be as simple as regular communication from you, the alumni director, to let them know what’s going on with the current undergrads, what’s going on with their peers and how they can stay connected.

Related: Check out how you can create the perfect newsletter.

 

3. Encourage Engagement

 

Everyone loves to be celebrated. Give your alumni easy ways to engage that puts the spotlight on them. If they give a gift of $100 to your annual campaign, blast their name in the newsletter, thanking them for supporting the cause. If they write in saying that they recently got a big promotion at their job, put it in the eletter, as an awesome example of how your fraternity or sorority is producing stellar career men and women. If you’ve seen multiple people chiming in on social media with memories of their time in your sorority or fraternity, combine them all into a feature for your next newsletter or eletter.

The more you show off your brothers or sisters, the more they’ll want to be a part of it all.

 

4. Keep an Eye Out

 

Of course, you could do all of the above successfully, but if you’re not watching your results carefully, you could end up making some mistakes. Keep an eye on your engagement to find out what works and what doesn’t for your particular group. Every alumni group has a different vibe and unique members, so what works for the fraternity down the street might not work for you. If you watch your results, you can pinpoint what’s most effective in engaging your members and encouraging them to reach into their wallets.

 

Affinity Connection can help you keep an eye on all the little details that go into successfully engaging an alumni group. Learn more about our services, here.