Did you know that Educator’s Ally helps schools with hiring for Advancement searches? It’s an area of growth for our schools and one we’re being tapped for help with more and more.
To that end, we’re excited to announce the hire of Susie Delaporte, the newest member of the EA Placement Team. Susie joins us from The Angeletti Group, where she was Director of Client Partnership and Executive Search. Working alongside EA Placement Manager Margaret Cissel in support of Advancement/Development placement, Susie promises to be an invaluable addition to the EA Team.
With this in mind, we asked Susie to share her thoughts on alumni giving and stewardship. In our conversation, Susie referenced a CASE article that reflects on how schools once engaged with alumni:
“In the past, alumni relations, or engagement, tended to be treated as a stand-alone activity divorced from fundraising and other advancement activities. Indeed, some alumni associations were entirely independent of their parent institutions, and whilst their members interacted with each other, they had very little interaction with the institution.”
Today, it is common knowledge that alumni have the potential to be a school’s most valuable ambassadors. Through the group’s social and professional networks, alumni can serve as a tremendous vehicle for word-of-mouth marketing. Still, cultivating a lasting and fruitful bond between a school and its alumni calls for a great deal of planning and stewardship.
Many schools will begin stewarding future alumni during their senior year. School leaders and advancement officers do this by reminding their students of the opportunities their (soon to be) alma mater has provided them, and educating them as to the importance of supporting the school after graduation.
“the first inquiry can and will, if handled properly, develop into a decades-long, generations-deep, resource-laden relationship as parent, student, alumni, grandparent, and beyond the grave (as the school benefits from estate planning). Thus, the trick at hand is to devise conscious and sustained strategies to develop and deepen the relationships and to pass them on at successive stages to successive contacts at the school. Handled well, the school will become the life-long “virtual home” for its families.”
In summary, schools are faced with a difficult task when it comes to alumni donors. And that is: keeping them engaged over time, and especially through staff changes. If relationships are handled thoughtfully, alumni will be more likely to make a lasting impact long after they have graduated.
For more ideas on how to engage your young alumni, click here.