Alumni engagement is a perennial concern among higher education advancement professionals—and for good reason: a strong program can not only sustain your institution's annual fund over the long term, it can also help build your major donor pipeline and provide your school with some of its most effective volunteers.
Although institutions of every stripe would stand to benefit from engaging their alumni more effectively, the challenges of building support among alumni are of particular relevance to small and mid-size liberal arts colleges. These institutions’ strengths and weaknesses present them with a unique set of opportunities and challenges.
To gain deeper insight, Campbell & Company held conversations with advancement leaders from six best-in-class alumni engagement programs, representing the following institutions:
- Carleton College
- Colby College
- Harvey Mudd College
- College of the Holy Cross
- Middlebury College
- Wesleyan University
Based on our conversations, we compiled a comprehensive series of strategies that your team can leverage as you work to deepen your connection to your alumni. We also developed a proprietary tool to help you evaluate the maturity of your alumni engagement program.
Building a strong program can take years, if not decades. However, we found that by making it an institutional priority and following best practices, advancement teams can institute the organizational changes and cultural shifts necessary to set themselves on the path to success.
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