How to Populate Your Platform With Content

You want members/alumni to find a vibrant, informative space when they come to the platform. 

Initially, the content has to be provided by the internal team and, possibly, early adopter volunteer leaders. Over time, it will be a combination of updating and member engagement that makes for a rich, community-generated experience. 

To begin, you want to consider your goals so that you can establish the areas most important to your organization. Using your strategic goals, consider what you want to accomplish in the first year of the platform that will highlight the type of content you need at launch. For example, if you have a big anniversary year approaching, you might focus on generating participants and publicizing celebratory events. 

This part of the Blueprint will help you determine how much and what you need to prepare in advance for launch and beyond for each area that you will be utilizing on the platform. We recommend that you prepare a plan as shown here and use an actual calendar with dates and times for posting content. 

Example of an outline for creating and posting content in your community site
Example of an outline for creating and posting content in your community site

Let’s begin!

Homepage Headlines

When your members enter the platform, they see an information hub for your organization - social media feeds, discussion board, group posts, events, headlines, and an RSS feed (if available.) As an aggregated information space, most of the content is created somewhere else. Headlines are created specifically for the front page and can have a custom name that resonates with your members. Headlines are a great way to keep your members informed about the highest community priority at any time. Having current information shared in headlines, demonstrates that the platform is a dynamic space. We call it purposeful posting

Screenshot of homepage headlines
Screenshot of homepage headlines

Action item: Make the homepage engaging by having at least 3 headlines with great content posted at launch. Admin can create homepage headlines from the settings menu dropdown accessed by clicking on the gear icon and finding “homepage headlines” in the list. 

Headline Sources

  • Content from your organizations website
  • Alumni Spotlights/Alumni in the News
  • Business articles
  • Hot new jobs
  • Events

Homepage Discussion Board

The community discussion board is also an opportunity to engage and demonstrate the dynamism of the platform. 

Screenshot of homepage discussion board
Screenshot of homepage discussion board

Action item: Ask your early adopters to pick a topic and do some posting before launch. 

The other areas  of the homepage pull information from other places on the platform such as groups and jobs/opportunities or external sources such as social media. Consider what activity to generate in these other areas in order to have a robust homepage when you launch and on-going.


With the launch of your platform, you are providing each of your affinity groups with a (virtual) home. For existing groups, you want to welcome those members to their new home when they arrive on the platform. That means having the group already established with supporting media in the system - governing documents, photos, and videos. Ideally, this would be done in cooperation with existing group leaders to make sure it serves their purpose and so that they become advocates for engagement through the platform.

Screenshot of discussion board homepage
Screenshot of discussion board homepage

Action Item: Whether you already have affinity groups or if you want to establish affinity groups, you should set up groups in anticipation of members/alumni joining the platform.

The following steps will help guide you through the process of establishing your affinity groups to serve your strategic purpose via your 360Alumni Community. 

If you have affinity groups, follow these steps for setting them up on the platform:

  1. Review internally what groups are defined as most immediate and most important. These should be groups of constituents that get together or stay somewhat connected right now. Determine the type of affinity whether based on previous club participation, major, class year, cohort or other. The total number here is less important than their level of activity.  It may be 1, 5, 10 or more. Make a list of the names of the groups.
  2. Determine if there are any organizational sponsors who work closely with that group. Possibilities range from the Athletic Director to Performing Arts or Music teacher, Research leader to Dean of Admissions, Fundraiser, etc. 
  3. Identify what the Group does as a means of engagement: Do they have a social, lifelong learning or professional focus?  Do they have a cause or project? Do they interact with others on campus? How do they communicate? Compose a short description of each group.
  4. Identify the individuals who are the organizers or influencers of each of these groups. Ask at least one member-leader to serve as the Organizer for the group.
  5. Find at least one photo for each Group. You can identify photos and/or video links or you can assign that to your Group leader to do
  6. Establish the groups on the platform using the name, description, photo, and organizer(s) identified in the previous steps. Most Groups will be Regular. If you establish a Dynamic group, it populates automatically based on the Association field. If the Group is open to anyone who wants to join and can be reviewed by any members of the community, it should be Public. If it is limited in membership based on some criteria, you might choose the Private setting which means new members have to be invited by the Organizer.
  7. Identify how they find their “members” - do they get an updated list from you from time to time?  Do constituents find the group through others who are part of the group already? Consider if you want to invite members to join Groups as one of the Launch communications (see Communications.) Note that you or your group leaders can pre-populate the group using the Add Members option. For most groups, sending an invitation is an effective call to action. For those who do not respond, they can be added later.
  8. Review the structure and purpose with leadership. Are they formally organized (with defined leadership positions) or informal? Do they have membership dues and/or conduct any fundraising activities in conjunction with your organization? Load organization documents to the Group and set-up a fundraiser if appropriate.
  9. Continue to steward the group through the platform to achieve their purpose.

If you are creating new affinity groups follow these instructions:

  1. Identify potential affinity groups - active groups of constituents that get together or stay somewhat connected right now and/or groups that align with organizational structure and mission. Many schools start with Athletics. Many organizations start with geography. The key is to start groups that will attract members and engage them on behalf of the organization. 
  2. Look for organizational sponsors who work closely with some of the alumni or members and would be interested in supporting an affinity group such as Athletic Director, Coach, Performing Arts or Music teacher, Researcher, Admissions representative, etc.
  3. Identify individuals that might be the organizers of a group.
  4. Work with leaders to define the group based on a cause or project,  social, lifelong learning or professional focus. Consider how they will communicate.
  5. Consider how to contact and attract members using community lists or personal contacts.
  6. Provide guidance on starting structure and activities.
  7. Establish the group on the platform and use it to reach potential members.

We recommend that you have community leaders start and own the groups as often as possible.

TIP:  Create a Group just for your Group or Chapter Leaders or your governing Board. A leadership group would be Private so only invited Group leaders can see and join it. You can use this to share best practices, guidelines or any other content with your Group leaders. In addition, your Group leaders can support each other in this private group by posting questions or asking for feedback from their peers.


Events are a key component of an active community. They may be virtual or in-person, sponsored by the organization, or offered by others. When you are launching the platform, it is helpful to have at least 3 events posted. Typically, they would be a combination of events that are coming up within a few weeks and some of your regular annual activities.

Event Planning

Every event needs to be well-planned and marketed. Posting an event on the platform should be part of your communication plan to generate participation. In addition, posting events demonstrates the benefits of membership to your constituents. 

Screenshot of events homepage
Screenshot of events homepage

For launch purposes, you might post existing events that link to a registration page (Future events would have registration through the platform.) Also, you can use it for Save-the-Date announcements.

To post an event on the platform, it is easiest if you have gathered all the necessary information in one place. 

Use the checklist below to ensure that you have all the information ready (and that your planning is complete):

  1. Event Title
  2. Event Description
  3. Event Dates and Times
  4. Event Location (virtual or address for Google Maps)
  5. Event Manager/Point Person
  6. Image(s) and Links for your Media Carousel - You only need one image, but multiple images/videos will make for a more engaging event experience.  You can use links to include navigation to any housing or transportation information pages.
  7. Determine if it’s a single event with a fee or if the event is FREE or a Save-the-Date
  8. If relevant, Sub Event Details (Tickets) for each sub event (this can be one or more) some text
    1. Description
    2. Quantity available
    3. Price 
    4. Additional information needed 
    5. Start and End dates for registration
  9. Identify whether you have any discounting options (ie. Early Bird, Young Alumni)
  10. Identify whether you have any specific fundraising campaigns that coincide with this event and ensure that is created in Give Back (note: this can also be added later)
  11. Initial Post for Discussion Board area

TIP: Reach across your organization to identify events that may be held by other departments.

Remember to consider all your communication options to promote the event, including having groups promote the event, email, social media, posters, etc.


Many communities including alumni associations often focus on providing a robust network for identifying career opportunities such as job postings as well as internships and the like. Having an active private job board benefits job seekers and the people posting positions who have a qualified applicant pool. Today, most organizations look beyond job postings and offer all sorts of opportunities including internships, volunteer roles, fellowships, and more. 

Screenshot of job board homepage
Screenshot of job board homepage

Action Item: If the Opportunities Board is one of the key benefits for your community, you want to have at least 5, preferably 10 or more postings in your community at launch. 

Ideally, opportunities will be posted by different people to make it more manageable and to indicate the breadth of offerings. 

Here are the steps to populate the page:

  1. Decide who will manage the job board. It could be someone from career strategies or from alumni/member relations. 
  2. Determine the types of postings - volunteer roles, internships, externships, grants, fulltime, part time, etc - to offer the community. You can create custom job types in General Settings.
  3. Reach out to others departments (such as career services) to coordinate efforts and find postings. Business partners are another good source of postings.
  4. Promote the job board in Headlines and the introductory emails.
  5. Remember: target to have at least 5 jobs posted at launch, the more the better.

TIP: Offer a training session for career services to show them how easy it is to post jobs. Secure buy-in, then ask them to post opportunities regularly.  


Fundraising on behalf of the organization or for member-sponsored causes is often a primary function of a community. You can increase your fundraising participation and average donation size using the platform. Most importantly, the approach on the platform should align with organizational goals whether focusing on a capital campaign or managing multiple smaller drives at the same time. If you are not using the platform for fundraising at launch, consider turning off the feature.

Screenshot of campaigns homepage
Screenshot of campaigns homepage

Here are the steps to preparing the Give Back page for launch: 

  1. Work with Development (Fundraising) at your organization. Invite them to “own” Fundraising Campaigns and use the feature to post all on-going efforts.
  2. Target to have at least one broad communitycampaign and/or 3 smaller on-going fundraising efforts active so there is an appeal to all community members.
  3. Make sure to have an image for each campaign and a well-crafted Thank You message.
  4. Post a Headline about the Campaign(s).

Here is the KnowledgeBase article about creating a campaign:


If you already have a mentoring program, transitioning it to the 360Alumni platform is an effective way to generate engagement. The Mentoring Program is based on reciprocal information and self-identification through 3 information requests or questions that are the same for prospective mentors and mentees. 

If you are starting a mentoring program, consider waiting until you hit your first member activations milestone. There is a discussion of types of mentoring programs and how to get started in Phase III of the Blueprint for Success: Engagement.

Screenshot of mentorship feature homepage
Screenshot of mentorship feature homepage

Here are the steps to set up Mentoring on the platform in preparation for launch:

  1. Determine how the functionality of the platform supports your current program and whether you want to manage it exclusively through the platform.
  2. Decide on the name of the program and draft the description of the program. If the Mentoring Program already has a webpage (or site), include the link. Also, make sure to include information about any additional requirements beyond completing the questions.
  3. Draft the introduction to the questions for the mentor and the mentee to explain why you are asking the specific questions.
  4. Determine the 3 information questions for mentors/mentees. These should align with the type of mentoring program whether career-oriented, life-skills-based, educational guidance, or something else.
  5. Activate the module on 360Alumni, by going to General Settings
Screenshot of where mentorship feature can be accessed to edit
Screenshot of where mentorship feature can be accessed to edit
Screenshot of admin page for mentorship feature
Screenshot of admin page for mentorship feature
  1. Enter the information: name, description, introductory text, and questions.
  2. Include the feature in your launch communications.
  3. Post a Headline about the program.

Tip: Use Mentoring as a benefit of membership in your launch communications because it appeals to older members as an opportunity to give back and to younger members for the wisdom provided. 


The platform offers a customizable feature called Sponsors (the title is also customizable) that can serve the community in a range of ways. Here are some possibilities for it:

  • Pride page - highlight noteworthy alumni/community members with a teaser sentence and a link to a longer story 
An example of an alumni pride page in the sponsorship feature
An example of an alumni pride page in the sponsorship feature
  • Volunteer opportunities - use this page to encourage volunteerism and leadership with descriptions of the different chapter, volunteer opportunities or avenues to support your organization 
An example of volunteer opportunities in the sponsorship page
An example of volunteer opportunities in the sponsorship page
  • Logo Merchandise - create a mini-story that shows items available for purchase 
  • Business Partners and/or Member business page - let Business Partners and/or Members/Alumni list their business and promote their product or services to generate business. You can even offer advertising on the alumni offers page for additional revenue.
An example of an alumni business showcase in the sponsorship page
An example of an alumni business showcase in the sponsorship page

To set up the page for launch:

  • Decide on the name for the page which should be short and descriptive.
  • Draft the description of the concept.
  • Identify 5 or more entries for the page. Draft a description and choose an image for each entry. Remember to include relevant links in the description.
  • Enter the information! Here is the KnowledgeBase page about it: › support › add-manage-sponsors
  • Decide how you will publicize the page in the launch campaign - headlines, group postings, and social media are all useful.

If you are not planning to populate the page for launch, turn it off in General Settings.


Community members often want information that exists somewhere else such as on a department website or from an outside source. There are two places to include links for easy access and connection for our members.


Links to everywhere! With the platform as the one-stop-shop for your members, provide access to other key areas for them with links to the organization’s webpage, related pages, and other types of information. The links can be added directly within the Admin settings.

A screenshot of the resources tab
A screenshot of the resources tab


The footer can have a limited number of links. We recommend including only two or three very important internal links in the footer. The links can be added directly within the Admin settings.

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