Helping Higher Ed Alumni Associations Move into the 21st Century
Over the past few months, we’ve had the privilege of working with leading Higher Ed institutions across North America, and guided them at various stages of their relationships with NationBuilder. Like riding associations or chapter organizations, there are many opportunities for enriching data, empowering alumni clubs with sophisticated and dynamic technology, and enhancing interaction points. We have collaborated with these institutions to support them as they enter the future of digital engagement.
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These are some of the things we’ve learned:
Empowering clubs and groups with a powerful but easy to use toolset puts them in a position to carry forward your brand and work.
In order to empower and engage alumni across the leadership spectrum, we created a rich repository of training materials that featured webinars, best practices and how to leverage the many tools that NationBuilder offers, and also applied this to clear front-end call to action text to ensure that fewer data was being lost between the cracks.
Give clubs and leaders a website that’s modern, responsive and beautiful and they’ll reward you with valuable data.
When your leaders are focused on leading and are empowered with modern tech, all the data collected through your sites; newsletter signups, event RSVPs, membership sales can flow up and inform your top-level fundraising and engagement strategies. Empower your clubs, grow your data sets.
The main thing we learned here is that there is no one-size-fits-all system for alumni organizations. Some are big, others exclusive; some host 20 events a year, others one reunion every 2 years. For this we leveraged homepage widgets, making homepage styles more malleable and as a result, giving clubs ownership about what they show on their homepage and how.
In addition, by prescribing image sizes and formats onto websites will allow websites to be easily integrated and shared with social media.
Email is still king: Giving alumni association's multiple, easy to use email themes will allow them to send more and better emails.
Many alumni groups mentioned that they were stifled by their existing email capabilities, saying that it didn’t facilitate sending frequent newsletters. And while they appreciated the variety of data they received from e-blasts, they faced difficulties making conclusive decisions from their data.
As a result, cStreet developed multiple email themes: including basic branded email themes, an email theme just for event invites, and card-styled newsletter template, that minimized the formatting that club leaders had to do. The consequence of this is that club leaders can now plug in the information/pages they want to feature and send it in minutes.
In addition, by peppering in best practices in everything we do, we directed alumni leaders to send clean and focussed emails with 1 Call to Action, that would reap focussed data and streamline metrics for e-blast data.