In 2012 I was in grad school figuring out the next steps in my career. Knowing like-minded professionals with a common educational experience would be incredibly helpful, I tried to tap the network for mentorship and professional networking. My school assured me of the power of the network, but it took a ton of effort to actually utilize it. The alumni directory was static and limited, and the community existed in fragments across LinkedIn, Facebook, and various internal programs.
Having planned my high school reunions, I wasn't shy about tracking people down. So I copied 50 emails one by one off each profile of alumni near me in related industries, and sent a message to them all. Half bounced, but the other half was truly interested in connecting - mostly because it was local and relevant. Besides using gmail, we set it up on evite, compiled bios on a google doc for pre-networking.
Our school didn't even know about it, but fourteen alumni attended the 'hyperlocal happy hour'. And at the event, incredible new relationships were formed. One alum hired another as a consultant, two started a new venture together. And although two alumnae had known each other for years through the kid's sports teams, they never even realized they went to the same school.
Sadly, our alma mater didn't see any of this engagement. Nor could they see the opportunity to engage this enthusiastic networker as a volunteer. What really hit home was that when I asked after the event, every alum said the shared educational experience created such high value networking that each of them would have donated to the school afterwards, had they been appropriately asked.
That's scholarship dollars unavailable. Programs pulled. Career connections never made. The missed opportunities for alumni and the organizations that bring them together are just too great.
After extensive market research and product development, 360Alumni's all-in-one alumni engagement and fundraising platform launched in late 2013. We know firsthand that there is infinite goodwill to be nurtured through organic, authentic engagement. By providing the tools your alumni need to maximize the networks they've invested in, you can create ongoing value and get better outcomes when you make the ask.
- Christina Balotescu, Founder & CEO