Eight years ago, I started this fun adventure of building lasting alumni communities by encouraging alumni to participate in their school reunions. Based on my experience working on law school, college, and independent school reunions, here are my top three tips to make your reunion bigger and better and how to engage your alumni, no matter how disengaged they are right now.
Relying on a volunteer committee to ensure the success of your reunion is tantamount to playing Russian roulette. We all know that volunteers come in different shapes and sizes. There are those that get the job done and many others, unfortunately, that don’t. Strong centralized leadership of your volunteer alumni committee is essential to make sure the work is actually getting done.
How I Know It Works: In a recent law school reunion, Reunions Reinvented was assigned to manage the volunteer alumni committees of two reunion classes resulting in 114 attendees from those two classes; the alumni office managed the other eight reunion classes resulting in 26 attendees in total from their eight classes.
Bigger is Better
Since the day I started my consulting business, Bigger is Better has been my mantra. A bigger volunteer committee results in a bigger reunion, and a bigger reunion results in better alumni engagement. Your committee members not only will likely attend the reunion, they also will likely make a reunion gift (if fundraising is part of your reunion goals) or become active members of your alumni community. The same is true with attendees: the more attendees, the better chance of those alumni becoming engaged alumni.
How I Know It Works: After working with Reunions Reinvented, a graduate school’s reunion classes accounted for 30 percent of the school’s annual fund participants and the ten reunion committees reached 98 percent participation in giving.
A save-the-date postcard and reliance on your volunteer committee to spread the word are not enough to ensure a large attendance. Engaging class communications that are enticing to open, read, and act upon are essential to building the momentum for a successful reunion. Create anticipation and connections before the reunion with emails and newsletters filled with fun and interesting text, photos, and images.
How I Know It Works: Alumni emails and newsletters prepared by Reunions Reinvented average a 42 percent open rate!
Need help getting the buzz started for your school’s reunion? Let’s schedule a reunion momentum generation call and get your reunion rolling!
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