As a college or university registrar or administrator, there is no greater resource than alumni. By virtue of their achieving a degree from your institution they are representatives of your culture. What’s more, they are familiar with your brand identity. So, as graduates disperse into the various industries they will form careers within, they are carrying your message with them (sometimes more, sometimes less). Your graduates are essentially your most cost-effective marketing team. If you’re not harnessing the benefit they can provide to your institution, you’re seriously missing out.
The question then becomes, how best to reign in those alumni? What can be done to continually manage them, keep them in the fold and extract the value they can provide? Your institution may want to seriously consider implementing a member management system. With a cloud-based AMS solution at your disposal, administrators will have no trouble keeping tabs on those vital alumni assets.
Below are some of the ways in which your institution will benefit from tracking and updating alumni within an AMS.
- Stay in Touch
- As stated above, your alumni members are an extremely valuable resource. By allowing them to drift by the wayside after they graduate, you’re losing the opportunity to purvey your identity outward. When your alumni move on to their next challenge in life, don’t lose them in the fray. With an AMS, you can easily keep your grads just a couple of clicks away. Without a member management system, it can be nearly impossible to keep track of everyone as they scatter in thousands of different directions. And, if by some miracle you successfully keep tabs on them, you certainly can’t manage them efficiently or in a timely manner. Fortunately, having to scour for your alumni is not necessary. When you maintain an online community for your alumni, you’ll never have to track them down. What’s more, an AMS will simplify the management of your alumni, so interacting with them is as easy point, click and type.
- Keep Them Invested
- Alumni and their professional networks can be your greatest supporters. However, the further they are allowed to drift away, the less connected they will feel – translating to their losing interest. Newly anointed graduates have an intimate understanding of your institutions brand and culture – don’t let that familiarity grow foggy with the passing of time. Keep them engaged in that brand identity they know so well by registering them to your AMS. Through the member management system, you can provide alumni with news and updates regarding your institution to keep them in the loop on what’s going on with their alma mater. Being in the know will keep alumni engaged and interested in the comings and goings of the institution. Alumni can serve as recruiters, ambassadors, investors and legitimize your institution through their professional reputation. None of this can happen if they don’t feel connect to your brand. Newsletters in the mail will just end up at the bottom of an envelope pile. And, even if they are read, there’s no interactivity to a physical piece of paper. Now, if they receive your institutions news and updates via an AMS, that’s a living, breathing online community. There’s plenty of opportunity for interactivity and there’s the sense of connection needed to keep them engaged. Staying in your alumni’s lives in a meaning way will keep them feeling beholden to the place from whence they came.
- Manage Alumni with Ease
- This was mentioned in passing above. Corralling your alumni community is basically impossible if you don’t have a system to manage them. Your administrators need a solution that houses your alumni in one place. An AMS is perfect for accomplishing this. What’s more, you’ll have quick and easy access to each and every alumni member and will be able to disseminate information to all of them automatically. When you’re dealing with such a large group, you need every advantage to optimize your interactions with them. With the access and automation an AMS offers, your administrators will have no issue managing and engaging your alumni – no matter how large the group becomes.
- Provide Value
- Through your AMS, you can provide serious value to your alumni members. There are a multitude of informational resources you can share within your online community that members will be able to use to their benefit and you can even provide professional development through e-learning should you choose. Probably the greatest value proposition you can provide through your AMS is the sharing of available career opportunities in a variety of industries that apply to your alumni. The benefit in doing this is three pronged. For one, you are providing value to your alumni by pointing them in positive directions. Two, by providing this value, you will attract more alumni to your online community. And three, the reputation of your institution will be good as word will get out that you support graduates in career development. There needs to be some sort of value proposition built into your online community so alumni will see benefit in becoming a member. The above are just a few examples of the value you can provide to your alumni members with the use of an AMS.
- Customized Solutions
- Every institution functions differently. Every set of administrators has a unique workflow. Every membership body has particular needs and goals. So, because this is all true, your institution is going to need a customized solution that is optimized specifically for those making use of the system. There are many out-of-box AMS solution available but very few bespoke systems. Don’t settle for a standardized solution. It will only exaggerate the pain points you already have. Instead, take the time to identify the provider who is interested in giving you a solution that empowers users instead of hindering them. If the solution you invest in is not easy to use or is incompatible with the way your institution functions, all of your efforts will be for not and you will not be able to derive any of the benefits mentioned above.
Do not be hesitant with how you keep your alumni engaged with your institution. They represent a cost-effective asset that can continually drive people toward your college or university throughout their professional career. They are your greatest resource for expanding your community and your network. Alumni extend your reach into industries you may have never before targeted – that is, if you make the effort to keep them connected. Ensure you are supported in this endeavour with a customized and capable AMS. The team at Guild would be happy to make our solution yours. To schedule a live demo of our system and its capabilities, please click here.