Event Streaming Tips
How to Build Alumni Engagement in a Virtual World
Kate Migliazzo
May 3, 2024
8 min read

Build Alumni Engagement

Alumni engagement is a critical aspect of any educational institution. By taking advantage of digital advancements, institutions can build a strong alumni network that contributes to the success and growth of the institution.

According to the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s (CASE), philanthropic gifts to American colleges and universities totaled $59.5 billion in Fiscal Year 2022. Despite representing a 12.5% increase over the prior year, the road ahead remains unclear in an uncertain economic environment. Drawing from analyst projections, the main challenges for higher education include an end to stimulus funding, uncertain government support, soft enrollment trends, and a tight labor market. In addition, the sector is becoming increasingly segmented between selective, wealthy institutions and smaller, regional schools.

As pressure mounts to remain competitive and sustain operations, institutions must be creative in their efforts to pique the interest of businesses, private entities, and their alumni community.

1: Create personal connection among alumni

Organizing networking events is a great way to engage alumni. Networking events provide an opportunity for alumni from various industries and professions to gather, interact, and build professional relationships. As virtual events, they provide an avenue to exchange ideas, learn about new opportunities, and form partnerships without geographical limitations.

Alumni can connect to each other from anywhere, anytime using their computer, tablet, or smartphone.. Or institutions can facilitate connection, partnership, and mentorship between alumni through speed networking and small group activities.

Alumni can connect to each other from anywhere, anytime using their computer, tablet, or smartphone. Facilitate connection, partnership, and mentorship between alumni through speed networking and small group activities.

2: Offer exclusive content

Whether it be athletic events, continuing education, or behind-the-scenes footage, extend the value of alumnus experience by creating community around nostalgia, shared passion for athletics, or live-long learning.

3: Elevate your fundraising events

With the advancement of digital technologies, virtual fundraising has become an increasingly popular way for institutions to reach potential donors and raise funds without the need for physical infrastructure and costs of organizing in-person events. Virtual fundraising can reach a wider audience, including people who cannot attend in-person events due to location, time, or mobility constraints. It can take many forms, including online auctions, peer-to-peer fundraising, online donation drives, and more.

Your institution can livestream online auctions, concerts, webinars, or workshops, to raise funds for a cause. Or donors can join a live event and contribute from anywhere, anytime using their smartphones, tablets, or computers.

Engaging alumni is a long-term process that requires consistent effort and dedication, but the benefits are well worth the investment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can institutions foster personal connections among alumni in a digital age?

Organizing networking events provides an excellent opportunity for alumni to connect regardless of geographical constraints. Through virtual networking events, alumni can exchange ideas, explore new opportunities, and establish professional relationships using their computers, tablets, or smartphones. Additionally, institutions can facilitate connections, partnerships, and mentorship through activities like speed networking and small group interactions.

What role does exclusive content play in engaging alumni?

Offering exclusive content such as access to athletic events, continuing education opportunities, or behind-the-scenes footage creates a sense of community and nostalgia among alumni. By catering to their interests and passions, institutions can enhance the overall alumni experience and foster a deeper connection with the alma mater.

How can institutions elevate their fundraising efforts through digital platforms?

With the rise of digital technologies, virtual fundraising has emerged as a cost-effective and efficient way for institutions to engage potential donors and raise funds. Through online auctions, peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, and live-streamed events like concerts or webinars, institutions can reach a broader audience and solicit donations from individuals who may not be able to attend in-person events. These digital fundraising initiatives enable donors to contribute from anywhere, anytime using their smartphones, tablets, or computers.

What are the advantages of virtual fundraising events over traditional in-person events?

Virtual fundraising events eliminate the need for physical infrastructure and reduce costs associated with organizing in-person gatherings. They also offer greater accessibility, allowing individuals to participate regardless of their location, schedule, or mobility constraints. By leveraging digital platforms, institutions can engage a wider audience and maximize their fundraising potential.

Why is consistent effort and dedication essential for successful alumni engagement initiatives?

Engaging alumni is a long-term endeavor that requires ongoing commitment and investment. By maintaining regular communication, organizing meaningful events, and providing valuable resources, institutions can nurture relationships with alumni and cultivate a sense of loyalty and support for the alma mater. While it may require time and effort, the benefits of sustained alumni engagement are invaluable for the institution's growth and success.

Kate Migliazzo
Head of Product
Combining research and product principles to build user centered experiences. Enjoys libraries, sushi, and treetop views. Loves a good HEB deal.