Looking to your alumni to support your chapter’s fundraising activities is important but ultimately it is just one of many ways to keep your alumni involved. Like you, the alumni you will have the pleasure of coming into contact with chose to participate in Greek life because they were interested in a lifelong commitment to service and being part of an organization with a mission they believed in. Looking for creative ways to involve alumni in your chapter’s activities is an important way that undergraduate chapters can promote sisterhood or brotherhood. To make this happen, your chapter should consider creating, implementing and selecting an officer to lead an alumni relations strategy.
It’s easy to look to the local alumni chapter as a mainstay in your alumni relations strategy but it’s also equally important to stay connected to sisters from your own chapter as they graduate. One way of doing this is to stay on top of maintaining regular communication with sisters who have recently graduated. Sending out regular emails or even handwritten thank you or birthday cards are perfect ways to keep the bonds that you’ve built strong even after your sisters graduate.
As Sorority Sugar points out, there are two factors to consider when building your alumni relations strategy: the life or alumni stage that a given alumni is at and then the sorts of activities that would be more likely to interest them given their alumni stage. You can create your own alumni stages to help you categorize your local alumni but Sorority Sugar identifies three: young alums (young professionals with no children), mid-alums (alumni likely to have college-age children who are pledging) and mature alums (alums who are nostalgic and invested in building a legacy).
Alumni relations is sort of like marketing, once you understand the interests of your target demographics by considering their alumni stage, you’ll be able to better find ways to engage them. For instance, because mid-alums are more likely to be busy parents who possibly have small children your chapter could plan kid-friendly events like Easter egg hunts. You could even consider co-planning an outdoor day-long spring or fall ‚Äúfestival‚Äù with your alumni chapter for that would provide entertainment for alumni who have families. Putting on activities that consider the needs of your alumni will leave them grateful for your conscientiousness and likely peak their interest in the other activities that your chapter is spearheading.
One way to involve young alums and mature alums is to make them part of events and traditions. As Sorority Sugar points out, giving alumni the opportunity to participate in ceremonial events can be very meaningful for them. Participating in ceremonial events can remind mature alums of the legacy they’ve built while giving young alums the chance to serve as role models. An important way of engaging alumni is showing them appreciation for the work they’ve already done. Whether you write them a note or give them a plaque, it’s important that they know you’ve appreciated their wisdom and guidance.