At Elevate IMS, we understand that regular alumni communications are a vital part of the success of your fraternity or sorority. The experience that alumni bring to the table and their willingness to be involved with helping your chapter evolve, can absolutely not be neglected. Engaging with alumni and building positive relationships does not happen overnight, but is something that your chapter can begin working towards today.
Elevate IMS provides a variety of greek life member services for dozens of different chapters across different campuses in America, and would be happy to aid your chapter with alumni communications in a variety of ways, whether that be through website management or event organization. While the undergraduate members are what keep the chapter running in the present day, the most successful organizations are those who can fully utilize all of their resources, with alumni being one of the most valuable.
This article touches on some of the services that we offer, and also demonstrates other practical ways that current fraternity and sorority undergraduate students, along with the assistance of the board of directors, can help strengthen relationships with alumni.
We get it — “social media” could be added to a list of how to improve essentially anything, and it is highly likely that you are already following all of your current chapter members on Instagram. When it comes to alumni, though, chapters can use social media to find innovative ways to keep them involved.
For one, it is likely that many alumni are not regular Instagram or Twitter users, and a couple of logins into Facebook each week covers the extent of their social media use. Rather than just building a network of past and current chapter member followers through social media, we encourage you to create a Facebook group and invite those members to join. This can serve as just one medium to keep everyone informed on different events, whether that be a chapter BBQ or volunteer event. Twitter can serve as a great platform to keep current members up-to-date on daily happenings, but does not work as well for more expansive alumni outreach.
We all know that everyone uses social media differently, and it is important for your chapter to cover all of the bases when it comes to sharing information in online communities.
In a similar way, digital newsletters serve as a great visual element to keep alumni in the loop. Whether you have a newsletter produced weekly, monthly, or quarterly, this is an opportunity to package the most relevant chapter information into one place, show off some of the most recent pictures of chapter events, and keep alumni updated on your involvement in the local community.
Elevate IMS helps chapters produce printed and digital newsletters as part of our RE:Connect services. Whatever service you utilize for digital newsletter design, it is important to realize that many users will be viewing them on either tablet or mobile. In fact, over half of web traffic comes from mobile devices, and that number continues to increase every year. Having your newsletters visually optimized for mobile will make the content much more digestible for alumni.
No matter how you are getting information out, whether that be through social media, newsletters, phone calls, or any other platform, alumni need a central location that they can be redirected back to where they can take action. This is where having a dedicated alumni website can help.
Alumni websites can serve a variety of purposes. Some of the most popular features that we will include in alumni websites here at Elevate IMS include the following:
- Member Directories
- Secure Donation Pages
- Personal Information Management
- Event Registration
- Real-Time Updates
- Social Media Integration
The first two bullet points should be enough to convince any chapter of the importance of alumni web pages. Member directories are a highly popular tool, as they allow chapter members of any generation to connect with other members, and reconnect with more distant friendships that they may have forgotten about over the years.
We also understand the budget constraints of non-profit organizations, and how crucial alumni support can be in receiving funds needed for various events and campaigns. An alumni website provides a secure place for donations to be processed, and provides peace of mind for alumni who are contributing to the chapter.
If you have further interest in fundraising, be sure to check out our capital campaigns page.
Undergraduate members often do not realize how much certain alumni are willing to aid in their success, and sometimes all they have to do is ask. Building stronger relationships with a handful of alumni who have the capacity to be more involved in providing wisdom to current chapter members can help build a positive mindset around alumni involvement and provide immeasurable value for undergraduate students.
Whether you have chapter members who need advice on career paths, purpose and involvement in the community, or simply how to get through the rigors of school while balancing a healthy social life, alumni are a wealth of information, and many of them want to pass their knowledge down to upcoming classes.
So how do you ask someone to be a chapter advisor? One of the easiest ways to do so is to utilize your digital newsletters or social media groups to ask if any alumni would be interested in serving as an advisor to the chapter in any variety of ways. Some may have more time to dedicate than others, and the majority may not be able to at all. But building a few strong relationships with advisors can be one of the first steps in strengthening alumni networks from the top down.
For many chapters, the fundraising never stops. As you likely know, many fraternities and sororities also utilize annual campaigns where they will laser-focus their fundraising efforts each year. An annual campaign can help incentivize alumni to work as active donors rather than one-time supporters. It is also an opportunity to use marketing tools to pull in new donors, and get off on the right foot for an impactful year with your chapter.
Feasibility studies and annual campaigns are a specialty of ours here at Elevate IMS, and our success is measured by your success. Visit our site to learn more about how annual campaigns can keep alumni connected!
Last but certainly not least, reunion events are an opportunity to actually gather current members and alumni in one place and network with one another. Event planning is not always as easy as it sounds, and we are here to help if your chapter simply does not have the time or resources to devote towards gathering alumni together in one place.
It should be noted that chapter events do not always need to be devoted towards planning the direction and future of your fraternity and sorority. Every now and then, alumni just want to get together and have a good time! AN event such as a football game provides a great opportunity for this, as chapters can organize a private tailgate for their organization. This gives you an opportunity to briefly update alumni on the current status of the chapter’s success, but more importantly provides an opportunity for current members to meet alumni and enjoy having like minded people around!
At the very least, inviting alumni who are still in the local area to chapter meetings from time to time gives them an opportunity to provide input and still feel involved with current events.
Contact Elevate IMS Today
Alumni were in the same shoes that current undergraduate members are in at some point in time, and they love to hear about the impact that their former organization is making in the community and beyond, and the relationships that are being fostered between brothers or sisters. If your chapter is proactive about keeping them involved, you might be surprised at the financial support, wisdom, and direction that they can provide. If your chapter doesn’t have the time or resources to handle alumni networking, don’t hesitate to reach out to Elevate IMS today!