Alumni Programming is a continuous set of services, projects and activities that keep your alumni always engaged with the alma-mater, the association and the community in furthering the mission of the association.
The choice of programs and projects are dependent on your strategic priorities and the desired impact your association wishes to have on its members, the alma mater and the society at large. For example, you may come up with programs that promote your brand, culture or integration. They may be programs that boost your engagement, enhance recreation through sport or music, respond to a need in the community such as blood donation drives, voluntary service schemes, scholarships, welfare program, etc. You may also initiate projects that support your alma matter such as the refurbishment of buildings, mentorship of students and activities that support the programs that already run in the school such as metal-work courses, arts and music. Some key elements of your program include its structure, its content and its impact. The program ought to be sustainable and aligned with your mission.
5.2 FRAMEWORK FOR DEVELOPING AN ALUMNI PROGRAM
Below is a proposed four-step process to plan an effective program or event for your alumni community. These steps will provide you with a guide that helps you to:
- identify and prioritize your community’s needs,
- design your specific program/event,
- deliver the program/event,
- and evaluate success!
Issues for considerations
What is the need the program aims to meet?
You will need to understand the needs and determine the priorities for your intended program at this stage
Who is your primary target for the program?
Who will be involved in or affected by the program?
How will the program be set up,
How will it be run,
Who will lead it
What will be the reporting channels?
What are the specific issues the program will address?
What will be the specific actions, messages and activities that will make up the program
Monitoring and Evaluation
How will you monitor and evaluate the success of the program?
1.1.1 Understanding Needs and Determining Priorities
Start by talking with the members, the school, volunteers, and other key stakeholders. Their input will help to determine the needs and priorities of your program. This will enable you to identify the target audience, community assets and strengths, barriers to participating, program needs or desires and benefits of programs for your alumni. This is the stage where you set your vision, brainstorm program ideas, and prioritize different programs to develop in your alumni community
The template below can help you to clarify the needs and priorities for your programs
Identify your Associations, assets and strengths
What is available in your community? Engage your members and stakeholders to identify what programs are currently provided for all ages.
What types of support do you currently have in your community to help in creating your programs? (such as mentors, coaches, volunteers, facilities)
Identify the gaps and needs you need to address
Looking at the population of interest, how would they benefit the most from the intended program? Why?
1.1.2 Designing your program
After having a clear understanding of the needs, the priorities and the goals for your program, you now need to develop the blueprint needed to successfully run your program. The design enables you to see the complete picture of your program before you even start implementing it. It ensures that your program is well organized and that it provides opportunities for the intended participants to participate.
The following templates will help to identify your program goals/outcomes, tasks to be carried out and what resources are needed for the program to happen. Taking time to lay out your ideas on paper will ensure your event or program is a success!
126.96.36.199 Program Planning and Evaluation Template
Name of Program (what your program is called)
Demonstrated Need (why you are offering this program)
Target Group (who the program is for)
(The changes expected to result from the program – can relate to knowledge, skills or behavior)
(resources needed for the program to happen)
(tasks or activities that are to be carried out as part of the program)
(products produced from
Program activities – expressed in numbers)
How will we know we are successful? (Methods of evaluating program)
188.8.131.52 Project/ Program Plan Worksheet
Program Name (What):
Program Timelines (When):
Program Location (Where):
Program Description (How):
Responsible (Who is responsible?):
Accountable (Who is accountable?):
Consulted (Who must be consulted?):
Informed (Who must be informed?):
184.108.40.206 5W Brainstorming Planning Tool
Who will be involved? Which partners will help us?
What are the outcomes of the project? What impact are you trying to accomplish? What do you hope to achieve?
Where will the project take place? Will you need to rent space?
When will the project take place? Is there a clear start and end date?
When does evaluation take place?
How will the project proceed? How will you measure and evaluate the success of the project? How much will it cost?
Why are you doing the project? Is there a need being fulfilled? How were needs defined
220.127.116.11 Framework for Organizing Alumni Events – Event Concept Note
Event Description (Give a general overview of the event. What is it, why is it being organized, how will it be conducted, who is involved etc.)?
Goals and Objectives (what do you aim to achieve by organizing the event?)
Expected Outcome (what are the key tangible impacts you intend to achieve through the event)
Target Groups (Who do you expect to either attend or support your event?
Call for Partnership (What is your message to potential partners, suppliers and donors? What are the opportunities available for them to support you and how do they stand to benefit?)
Events Schedule (Give an outline of the schedule for the event, before, during and after?)
Contact Information (Where, who and how can the people reach the event organizers? Provide physical address, postal, email, telephone, website and social media addresses etc.)
Event Budget (what are the key budget lines and how much is allocated for each?)
General Remarks (Provide any other relevant information necessary for the advancement and promotion of the event)
18.104.22.168 Budget Template
Identify all possible costs for your program. Then list any revenue (donations, etc.) and determine if a registration fee is required. Participant Fee = Total Costs / Expected Number of Participants
Program: _________________________ Date: ________________________
Estimated Program Budget Template
Stationery/ Office Supplies
BALANCE (Surplus/ Deficit)
1.1.3 Delivering your alumni program
Now that you have clarity of what you want to achieve and how to go about it, the next thing is to roll out the implementation of the program. At this stage you will need to keep the community involved and informed, maintain records of participation, and recognize and celebrate your success. This is where your consistency and commitment are very important to keep people engaged, participating and achieving the desired impact. Use the following framework to keep yourself in check
How will you keep records on your program? (i.e. attendance/ participation, incident/ accident reports, etc.)
Recognition and Celebrating Success
Don’t wait until the end of the program to recognize and celebrate your successes! Little things
can be done along the way. Example: “thank you announcements” to recognize participants, and
community recognition suppers or events.
Ideas for recognition include certificates of participation/achievements, community recognition night, suppers/feasts, awards, etc.
1.1.4 Evaluating, Celebrating & Sustaining your program
This will involve measuring the success of your program and celebrating your community accomplishments. You will need to put in place plans to ensure continued development of the program, ways to maintain it, and methods to nurture the relevant activities. During the evaluation, it is important to involve program participants, including volunteers, schools, alumni, organizers, as well as those who help out. Planning for the future of the program is also important, including how to continue and sustain the program from year to year and how to secure the necessary funding.
22.214.171.124 Program Evaluation Template for Participant
Thank you for participating in this event. In order to best serve you, we would appreciate any feedback
What were the highlights?
What were the lowlights?
What changes do you feel would enhance the program?
Any other comments?
How did you hear about the program?
Would you like to be contacted about future programs?
If yes, please give your name and address
Please circle the number that reflects your overall experience: 1 = low, 5 = average, 10 = great
126.96.36.199 Program Evaluation Template for Organizer
Program Success, Challenges, and Reduced Barriers
What were the barriers to the program?
Did the program go as planned? (Please explain)
Did the program meet the needs and benefits you wanted for the target audience?
Describe the program successes
Describe the challenges you may have encountered. (Remember, challenges can help us discover a
new way to do things and improve our programs.)
Recommendations: Describe what changes will be made, if any
How will you ensure your program will run next year? Where will you get the funding? Will you have
the same volunteers?
1.1.5 Putting in place Policies in your Programming
Since your programs and projects will involve many volunteers and engage more alumni, there will be need for you to put in place policies which are intended to ensure:
- a consistent approach to the delivery of service by staff and volunteers
- that volunteers and staff are protected in their rationale for decision making
Policies are important because they provide guidance, consistency, accountability, efficiency, and clarity on how the program operates. This allows members to have direct guidelines and principles to follow.
5.3 SAMPLE PROGRAMS, EVENTS AND PROJECTS
Alumni associations can engage in different projects that benefit the organization.
Below is a list of some of the programs you may initiate for your association
- Fund-raising – A strong association can be one of the biggest benefactors of an institution that can contribute towards various developmental activities of the institution.
- Placements – the alumni network is one of the biggest sources of placement opportunities to the students. Alumni can help students get placed at their respective firms and organizations.
- Mentorship and Scholarships – alumni can play an active role in voluntary programs like mentoring students in their areas of expertise. They could also play a significant role in contributing scholarships to deserving students.
- Career Guidance – alumni is a huge talent pool whose guidance can be beneficial to many students and other fellow-alumni in their respective areas of study.
- Networking Platforms – alumni network by itself is one of the best professional networking platforms.
- Welfare Programs – alumni can be a great resource for the wellness of each other but building and maintaining a welfare fund
- Social, Recreational and Sports Programs – these programs and events will enable your members and the association to develop a cohesive bond while impacting positively to the community