Boost Alumni Engagement in the Digital Age

Women sitting around a table

You want your alumni to maintain a connection to the institution while allowing them to have an active interest in the school’s future. These engagement opportunities should extend beyond asking for donations. With some help from your alumni, you can boost current student organizations and improve other areas of student life. 

Although reunion and homecoming remain vital components of any successful program, these large-scale events are no longer the signal events of the year. In an age of constant contact—and constant distraction—schools are finding new and creative ways to reach out to their alumni and stay connected.  Focusing on personalization is very important.

Want to find a new creative way to connect with alumni? Check out how Wavelength can make alumni relationships more manageable!

Connecting the Dots of Engagement

Finding ways to keep alumni connected to their former school requires creativity and continual relationship building. Over time, that once strong relationship often dissipates if you don’t remain in touch with your students.

Related: Ideas for Spring Alumni Engagement

Fortunately, there is some good news. Keeping your primary and secondary school alumni in communication is easier than ever in the digital age. With these methods, you can help fundraise, recruit, and retain those alumni. Think about your alumni engagement plan! With a solid strategy, you can have significant benefits for years to come. Let’s look at a few ways you can connect and engage your alumni in this modern age.

student using a virtual classroom

Resonate Your Message With Other Alumni

You could come up with a standardized message, but you might only be reaching out to half of those former students. Think about creating messages that help certain groups relate to your alumni association. For example, a woman-focused alumni meeting might be a great way to reach your female students. No matter the group, you can find a way to specialize your message and respond to them.

The more personalized programming includes gathering like-minded alumni in areas where they are clustered, such as identifying alumni who work in a specific industry and getting them together in a city where they work. For example, hosting an event for alumni in the tech industry in San Francisco, or gathering in New York for those alumni who work in finance.  The alumni engagement team also needs to ensure that the school reaches out personally to people at milestone moments, sending individual cards to celebrate everything from new babies to job promotions.

Related: Schools are Challenged Trying To Address Alumni Engagement

Highlight Alumni

If you are looking to increase your engagement, think about highlighting alumni at the school. You might find members who have a talent for making music. Reach out to them and have them discuss their abilities. Some alumni members might be math whizzes. This is the perfect opportunity to possibly set up guest speakers to share life experiences and knowledge.

With this, you can show that the alumni association is more than an organization looking for a donation. When you personalize your message, they are more likely to engage with your club. The message should have a certain amount of authenticity with current and former students. You can certainly achieve that when you turn the focus away from the organization and towards the alumni. Those high levels of authenticity will make people more likely to participate in your organization. Along with that, it will show that your school helps shape well-rounded graduates for years to come. 

Create User-Generated Content

One way to highlight alumni is by having them create content for you.  For example, ask alumni to share pictures from their school days. Imagine seeing alumni when they were little ones getting ready for school. 

Plus, this type of content also gives an authentic feel to your message. You won’t look like an organization that just wants donations but instead is focused on the stories of your alumni

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Connect on Instagram

While schools can connect to former students on LinkedIn, it might not be the right choice for those younger alumni. Today, many younger people are staying in contact with the help of Instagram or TikTok. These methods are a far cry from the days of sending off all alumni meeting notices in the mail. 

Think about dropping them a personalized message, or DM, about your intentions. In many cases, these alumni will want to reconnect with their former schools. Plus, when you use a platform like Instagram, your organization looks ready for the future. In turn, you can have more people engaged with the alumni board. 

Remember to keep those posts and videos fresh. With a bit of creativity, you can even make a typical asking for donation post seem relevant. Take some time to create live videos. Everyone in the digital space is turning to videos. While a written post can convey the same message, a video is your chance to make your case for stronger alumni engagement. Along with that, your alma mater can put a face to the name behind the screen. 

Use Online Tools

With many alumni groups, it can be hard to get everyone together for a reunion. Think about using modern tools to make a virtual reunion for those alumni. With that, everyone can participate, even those who might not live in the area. You can also use a virtual meeting to keep in touch with alumni or hold monthly discussions about important alumni matters.

Related: The Four Categories of Alumni Engagement According to CASE and How Institutions Measure Up

Engagement can be complex, but you can have a step up with these tips. Once you have reached out to your primary and secondary alumni, you can keep them connected with social media posts, virtual meetings, and other types of digital content. Move your alumni association into the future of the digital space. 

Looking for ways to take your alumni engagement to the next level? Wavelength offers simplified ways to help create a stronger community!

Engaging the Future: Connecting Alumni With your school community

high school students throwing graduation caps

Alumni engagement requires a lot of work, organization, and planning from your team, but connecting with alumni from primary or secondary schools requires teams to use more tools. These formative years of a person’s life should be celebrated with others. So how do you connect with your past alumni and enrich the schooling experience for current students? Here are a few tips for your school or organization. 

Do you want to connect alumni from your primary or secondary school? Wavelength has a few solutions for you!

Connect With Alumni

Connecting with alumni should be an easy task. You send a message through the mail or email, and they respond to your event. Don’t give up! There are ways to reach out to these former students. Once you do, you can connect them with current students to provide real-world advice, build relationships, and lead to future opportunities

Related: Ideas for Spring Alumni Engagement

Encourage Engagement

Alumni move away, start careers, and often forget about their humble educational beginnings, making it challenging to get those former students to reconnect with the school. You want them to have a continued positive relationship with the institution. There might be a select few who want to pass on their experiences to other students. 

How do you make your former students feel welcomed at the school? Think about using the school as an excellent opportunity to build your brand. Instead of being relegated as a single picture in a yearbook, your former students can help produce something tangible for future generations to come. Focus on the enjoyable time they had, the engaging teachers, and other positives from their time at the school. They are not just joining a alumni association but being a productive component that will lead the school into the future.

black and white photos of graduates

Putting the Pieces Together

You can find alumni to share their experiences at the school. By having alumni share their real world experiences in classrooms, students begin to understand the applications of what they are learning. You can boost the engagement of the former students and give your current pupils a chance to succeed. There is no downside to developing this type of program for your school, but its success will depend on finding willing alumni to devote time to share their stories.

Once you have an interested alumni member willing to connect with students, now what? With busy schedules, careers, and school workloads, it can be hard to get everyone together at the same time. Thankfully, with the help of a few online tools, you can connect to anyone throughout the world. 

If your alumni member is busy at work, they can take some downtime and answer some questions from the comfort of an office. Students don’t have to worry about meeting strangers in person when they flip on the computer and reach out to alumni members. These methods make it a safe and effective way to connect with anyone

a person typing on a laptop

Back To Basics

You can still reach out to them and convince them to take an active role in current students’ lives. Create your own campaign to let alumni know about your plans and activities. Just like any other event, make sure to create online social media pages and use other forms of communication to spread the word about your alumni events. 

Remember, some individuals might not know about alumni-related events unless someone reaches out to them. Make sure to focus your attention on those members who are willing to help out. Once they are informed, you might be surprised, but these individuals will be ready, willing, and able to support the school in any way they can

Related: The Four Categories of Alumni Engagement According to CASE and How Institutions Measure Up

Connecting your students with alumni is one way to boost engagement with the school. When you accomplish that, you can make sure that everyone takes an active role in the successful operation of the school.

Is there an easy way to help engage with your alumni? Wavelength might just have the answers for you!