When it comes to school fundraising the biggest constituents are the families of current students. And rightfully so, but let’s not forget about the school’s alumni! You can always reach beyond the families of current students when fundraising and alumni are a great place to start within your community.  

Here’s how to keep alumni engaged after graduation: 

  1. Keep them in the loop.
    Newsletters and social media are a great place to start when connecting with your alumni base. Keep them updated on current happenings at the school, achievements of current and past students, and any other school-wide or community news. Additionally, give alumni a designated place on your website to make navigation easy and space separate from current students to avoid confusion. This space can include calendars of events, alumni connection portals, profiles of past students, and a place to make donations. 
  2. Acknowledge success after graduation.
    When students graduate it’s good to keep in touch so that you can continue to acknowledge their success beyond school. Not only does it feel good for alumni to get recognition from their community, but it also builds a network of role models for current students. It’s a great way to show students what they too can accomplish when they graduate. 
  3. Actively seek and listen.
    It’s important to be timely and relevant when you’re seeking alumni. Keep recent graduates engaged in things like tailgates, homecoming games, and other social and professional gatherings. This is not the group you want to start hounding for donations –– they just graduated and are probably broke…and will be broke for a couple of years. When you do connect with them, listen. Reply to emails, comment back on social media, send out surveys, seek participation in events and projects. This shows alumni that their opinions are being considered, with or without donating dollars. 
  4. Invite to FUN-raisers.
    No one likes to only be asked for money all the time, so consider throwing events for alumni that are fun, but also raise money. These types of events can be:
    • Tailgates for a big game 
    • Cocktail hour before a show 
    • Running clubs 
    • Battle of the bands 
    • Legacy brick laying festival 

We’ve got more on alumni (and elementary school alumni, at that) in this short school jam session:
Episode 4 – Engagement After Graduation. 

The ultimate study guide for school fundraising. 

Kelsey Woodworth
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