Stay Connected: 5 Alumni Engagement Ideas
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6 min read
March 13, 2024

Stay Connected: 5 Alumni Engagement Ideas

Group of college graduates throwing their caps in the air.
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If you’re looking for ways to promote your campus and keep current students engaged with their studies, look no further than your alums. Creating relationships with your alums is critical for various reasons, and not just for financial contributions. 

In this article, we’ll cover why engagement with this group of former students is vital for the success of your campus and provide you with five alumni engagement ideas (and tips!) to use on your campus. 

Why Alumni Engagement is Critical for Your Institution’s Success  

Graduation is a special day that many college seniors look forward to celebrating. And for campus leaders, it’s an important day to honor the achievements and successes of their students. However, celebrating students’ wins and successes shouldn’t end after the commencement ceremony. In fact, continuing to celebrate alumni and actively working to increase alumni engagement well after they leave campus is critical to your campus’s success. 

Thinking about alumni from a business perspective, alumni make great marketing tools. Those who graduate from your campus with successful careers represent a future full of opportunities and possibilities. Most alumni fondly remember their time on campus at their alma mater. Sharing these stories with prospective students is great for word-of-mouth marketing, which could lead to an increase in enrollment for your institution.

Engaging with alumni is a great way to establish connections within various industries, inspire current and prospective students, and positively promote your campus.  Alumni engagement plays a vital role in the success of your campus. If your campus lacks alumni engagement initiatives, It’s time to brainstorm how to build an active alumni base.

5 Strategic Alumni Engagement Ideas 

It’s typical to associate alumni engagement with financial contributions. However, you shouldn’t engage with your alumni for the sole purpose of donations. While it’s true that over 80% of millennials make charitable donations to their alma mater every year and that donations are essential, finding other ways to engage with alumni opens up many opportunities for your campus.

Here are five strategic alumni engagement ideas to consider implementing on campus.

1. Organize a Reunion

Hosting a reunion on campus for alumni is a great alumni engagement idea. Not only does a reunion bring plenty of marketing opportunities (photo op, anyone?), but it can also be a great networking event for current, prospective, and former students.  

Think about when your campus will be the busiest, like a homecoming game or a sports tournament. Plan a reunion event before or after the main event to get the most alumni engagement.
Practical tips: Create an online event on social media for your reunion. Then, use Cadence to conduct outreach for the event and increase alumni participation through features like high-speed spending, picture messaging, and more!

2. Host Alumni Events 

Don’t confuse a reunion with an alumni event, although it could technically fall under the same category. Alumni events can be anything from networking mixers to career workshops to guest lecture series. 

The great thing about alumni events is that they are opportunities to invite community members and prospective and current students to campus. These events often showcase how time spent on campus shaped the lives and careers of alumni, which can help spark interest in attending your campus for prospective students. 

Practical tips: Current students tend to miss important announcements for alumni events, like flyers or emails. To get the message out to students, use Cadence to send them SMS messages so they’re always in the know about upcoming events and opportunities. 

3. Offer Mentorship Programs

Starting a mentorship program on campus may be one of the best alumni engagement ideas. Mentorship programs allow current students to connect with successful individuals in their desired fields. These programs can also open various career opportunities your students may have yet to consider. 

Think about the good things that can happen with a mentorship program. Did a current student land a fantastic internship because of their connections with their mentor? Did a mentor and mentee work together on a new initiative? You can promote the success of these mentorship programs on social media to boost campus engagement and interest.

Practical tips: It can be challenging for your alumni department to keep up with the whereabouts of former students. However, using a data management system can help your team keep track of alumni who might be an excellent fit for a mentorship program. Integrate Cadence with your existing technology to make finding this information even more accessible. 

4. Host Professional Development Training for Alumni

Want to keep your alumni connected to your campus? Consider hosting professional development training for alumni. Professional development and continuing education courses are vital for the success of your alumni because they promote lifelong learning and help refresh the necessary skills needed for the ever-changing workplace. 

Plus, when your campus offers professional development opportunities, it often leads to partnerships with businesses in various industries– meaning, it’s a great way to keep your campus in the news! 

Practical tips: Create a separate webpage on your campus’s website for professional development and continuing education opportunities. It’s a good idea to incorporate a chat function, like Cadence’s live chat or AI-powered chatbot, to answer alumni’s questions about these opportunities.

5. Promote Alumni Work on Your Institution’s Blog or Social Media Accounts

According to a study by Alumni Access, 80% of alumni organizations report blogs, social media, and newsletters positively impact alumni engagement. Aside from hosting on-campus events or creating mentorship programs, this might be one of the easiest alumni engagement ideas to implement because it requires very little logistical planning. Simply promote your alumni’s work on your campus’s blog or social media to boost engagement. 

Practical tips: Monitoring social media and blog comments for critical phrases and sentiments can be tedious, but understanding what your readers say is crucial to planning content that resonates with them. Cadence can quickly monitor conversational chats to provide insights and trends to help you better plan your blog or social media content calendar.

Make Your Alumni Engagement Ideas a Reality with Cadence

Actively involving and engaging with alumni is one of the best ways to promote your campus to prospective students and encourage current students to continue with their studies. But you’ll need to do more than just brainstorm alumni engagement ideas.

Turn your lists of alumni engagement ideas into a reality with the help of Cadence. Book a demo with our team today to learn more about how Cadence can help revolutionize your campus and promote engagement for the full student lifecycle.