The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education hosted their first ever virtual conference last week, centered around Community College advancement. We weren’t sure what to expect from a conference in cyberspace, but it was a terrific experience. Keep an eye out for more virtual conferences in the coming months, as the trend heats up. As an added benefit, they’re a lot easier on the budget, making them more accessible to all.
If you missed the conference, never fear. Here are our top 5 takeaways from the event, along with some accompanying tweets to spread the word. How will your college benefit from these ideas?
- It’s a myth that 2-year community college graduates transfer all their affinity to the school where they complete their bachelor’s degree. There is still a great deal of respect for the college that got them started. But you must keep in contact with them to maintain that affinity.
@360Alumni Mythbusters: Community college graduates WILL give back if you ask them. But you need to know who they are to make the ask.
- A sense of community is vital for maintaining relationships with community college alumni. Provide them value beyond graduation, and they’ll give back.
@jpdoak: Relationships with #comm_college alumni are evolving, no longer purely transactional. “Make your town a college town.” #casecc
@CASEAdvance : @DrPollard_MC: If your college’s relationship with alumni is only about money, that’s one-sided". #casecc
- Consider free inclusion into the alumni network to increase support and positive sentiment. This can often raise more money in the long run, through fundraising campaigns. Dues paying alumni networks are rapidly losing favor.
CASEAdvance: Jody Donaldson’s survey of @KirkwoodCC alumni revealed dues weren’t popular b/c they limited association’s fundraising potential. #casecc
- When designing fundraising campaigns, allow alumni to choose which cause their contribution will benefit. Have multiple campaigns running at one time, beyond the annual fund, to increase engagement. Also, consider appeals to anyone that has taken a course, not just those with a degree from your college.
@CASEAdvance : John Fellas @sunywcc1: Community colleges should allow their donors to designate gifts to specific areas of the institution. #casecc
@CASEAdvance :Mitch Andrews: Include students who’ve taken a few credits in alum database. Biggest gifts to @TylerJrCollege have come from them. #casecc
- Virtual conferences are a great way to share ideas, collaborate and learn! Hope to see you at the next one!
If you’re looking for ways your college can increase alumni engagement and exceed fundraising goals, click the link below to see what 360Alumni can do for you!