Create a symbiotic relationship with the college in order to reduce costs of running the association e.g. the college (being the biggest beneficiary) can contribute by housing the alumni office and/or staff
Establish a perpetual endowment fund/foundation from whose proceeds the association may run its’ programs. This creates stability & sustainability of funding
Be entrepreneurial by Innovating programs, projects and products that generate additional revenue for the association
Encourage engagement by structuring value/benefits for all categories of alumni, including the students in college; and offering additional incentives for engagement. Engagement avenues may include offering one’s time, talent or treasure
Create and articulate value to alumni including networking, sustaining friendships,
Stay relevant to both the college and the alumni by continuous engagement, surveys and roundtables
Closely connect and align your activities to the priorities of the college
Closely monitor, measure and encourage engagement and impact from the form 1 girl to the oldest alumni. Aim at converting every contact to givers
Stay interdependent with the college by aligning the association with the leadership, programs and activities of the college and maintaining a good relationship with the college, without compromising your independence to be able to offer oversight to the college. Independently elect your leadership and lobby for representation in the board of the college to champion and advocate for the interests of alumni
Diversify the leadership to cover all age-groups and structure your membership to reflect the peculiar needs of each age-group and create an aspirational cycle e. g what the students look up to, what the young graduates look up to, what the mid-career alumni look up to and what the senior alumni look up to
Start with developing a vision and a Strategic Plan for the association
Begin fostering lifetime commitment by recruiting members right from the time they get admission numbers in form1
9.5 MEMBERSHIP FEES
Start with Membership Fees
Clarify value/benefits to members who pay membership fees. Also clarify what goes to admin work and what goes to the college.
Grow towards universal membership by reducing reliance on membership fees and innovating new revenue and engagement channels
Create awareness about the alumni association and encourage giving rather than paying.
Membership Fees increase engagement especially during renewal time; Generates a commitment from members; Creates a sense of pride (feel-good vibes) in the members; and generate regular income you can budget on.
However, Membership Fees may also create a negative vibe from non-members who do not appreciate the benefits of paying membership fees. This can often lead to a divided alumni community and generate heavy admin overheads in distinguishing between alumni services and membership services
9.6 SAMPLE MEMBERSHIP ENGAGEMENT MODEL
9.6.1 Factors to Consider
- Inclusivity: make as many alumni as possible feel and be part of the association
- Funding: Eliminate direct competition between fundraising for needs such as scholarships and membership dues
- Create synergy between the association and the college
- Adopt a Membership Model that promotes engagement, encourages giving and widens the donor base. The more an individual engages or gives or expands your network, the more benefits she gets entitled to
- Package membership to take into account alumni donations in various funds (such as Alumni Support Fund & Endowment Fund) as well as participation in various activities such (Such as Mentorship, Sports, Sponsorship, Personal Wellness, Training, Work-shops, Fun-days and networking events). You can become a member by participating in Your Alumni Programs, contributing to various funds or by paying a membership fee.
- Structure membership to take into account diverse alumni characteristics such as age, financial capability, availability, locality, skills and experience
- Create value-addition programs for member benefits by incentivizing members to engage in activities such as
- Organizing, Hosting or attending Alumni Events
- Hosting Your Interns or employing Your alumni
- Volunteering in various causes & Programs including Mentorship, Fundraising and Secretariat Support
- Belonging to or Leading regional chapters or Class Groups
- Actively Participating in a Sub-committee or Boards of Your alumni/college
- Partially or fully Sponsoring students at Your or collage
- Contributing to the Endowment Fund Initiatives
- Contributing to the various Funds including Projects Fund and Alumni Support Fund
- Recruiting or referring new members, corporates, alumni and other relationships to the association
- Assisting Prospective students to successfully apply to Your college
- Frequently using your mobile app or logging into your website and sharing content
- Participating in your digital community by posting or sharing your posts and commenting on them (Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, etc.)
- Responding to your SMS, Emails and WhatsApp Messages
9.7 SAMPLE PROPOSED MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS
Examples of Benefits
Career Related Benefits
Job-search assistance programs
Job Networking Platforms
College Related Benefits
Parking Space facilities
Education Related Benefits
Discount on classes e.g. music classes for children; coding bootcamps, etc.
Financial/ Insurance Related Benefits
Group Life Insurance; Last expense insurance, group medical insurance, etc.
Discounted rates on group club memberships, discounted rates on services by alumni; shopping discounts with supermarkets, petrol stations, restaurants, etc.
9.7.1 More examples
- Access to Camping facilities at your College
- Access to facilities at your College for conferences, weddings, music, sports grounds, etc.
- Access to Exclusive Networks (Senior alumni in Government; C-Level Executives Networks etc.
- Access to online Alumni Business Directory/ Database
- Career Networking Opportunities
- Access to Scholarship Material and Advise
- Discounts at Alumni Events
- Opportunity to support college projects & sponsorships
- Exclusive Access to select Recreational Facilities through strategic partnerships
- Parking Space at the College Premises
- Career Coaching & Mentorship opportunities
- Subsidized Fees at Alumni Owned Facilities/ Services such as Doctors; Lawyers; Rental Properties etc.
- Access to group investment opportunities such as class groups
- Access to Welfare Support coordinated by the Secretariat such as group life insurance
- Legacy Opportunities e.g. Nomination to the board of the college or Leadership Positions in the association
- Access to Alumni Support Fund
- Discounts at selected Retailers through strategic partnerships
- Access to select Sports Clubs/ Members Club Facilities E.g. United Kenya Club, Parklands Sports Club, Muthaiga Country Club etc.
- Recommendations by the Association and vouching for job interviews etc.