Our local alumni board is in the midst of a large capital campaign with the goal of raising $500,000 in 5 years. About a year and a half in, they are about 40% of the way to the goal. My question is, how can we as the active chapter help out?
Right now we send newsletters every semester to all alumni to highlight things that we’ve been doing, and also hold one large event each semester aimed at alumni.
Here is the thing about alumni, if they are putting the time in to help the chapter, then they want to see the chapter trying to help themselves.
First, to keep them engaged – send them an update email once a year. Have your secretary or alumni chair write it and you proof it. Make sure there are a lot of pictures. They will appreciate that. It sounds like you are doing a good job here.
Two – have a fundraiser, and use the proceeds to contribute to the house fund. Even if you raise 500 bucks, that will show them that you guys get it and that you guys care. That will go a long way to keeping them motivated to keep up with the capital campaign.
Three – invite them to homecoming. They don’t have to show up, and you don’t have to do a lot for them. Just make sure they know they are invited. You will get extra points and a lot better turn-out if you let them know whatever you have will be kid-friendly.
Four – take pride in the house. Make sure the alumni know that you appreciate what you have. Why would they be motivated to give you a nicer house if you don’t take care of the one you have? That makes no sense at all…
Five – Always, always, ALWAYS be sure the alumni know how much you appreciate them. Send thank you emails and letters. Recognize those alums who go above and beyond. Be sure they are appreciated. Sometimes this is the most important responsibility of being a leader.
Your chapter is very fortunate to be in this position. Not all alumni remain engaged after graduation. Be sure you appreciate them and realize how lucky you are.
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