As the school year gets underway, a new set of constituents is arriving on campus - future alumni. Your school’s new students may not be in a position to donate to your advancement department yet. But the right stewardship efforts can still be very impactful in the long run.
What tactics should you take to introduce your advancement initiatives to new students?
What information will make a lasting impression with future alumni?
Read on to learn more:
Share how you improve the school’s reputation
Even in their first days on campus, students know the value of attending a school with a great reputation. What they may not know yet is all of the work it takes to build it.
As new students learn the details of their chosen schools, you should also introduce them to your advancement department. You can run a session during orientation week, provide a pamphlet to campus residences, or ask for a few minutes to speak at the beginning of large classes.
It is helpful to detail the work your team does as it improves the school’s reputation in the business community and the public eye. This can include events that you run, the research you help fund and promote, or any other projects. This overview will give students a basic understanding of how important advancement is to them, even if they hadn’t considered it before.
Promote services for future alumni upon graduation
Much of the work your advancement and alumni relations team do help alumni out in the workforce. Even though that may not be top of mind for new students today, it is valuable information for them to have. With future career goals driving many to higher education, knowing how your team will assist them down the road will leave a lasting impression.
Between showing what your advancement department does for both your school and its alumni, it will be clear to new students how valuable your efforts are. Over the next few years they spend on campus, you can work to build relationships that lead to donations upon graduation.
Show new students how to get involved on campus
New students may not be in a position to donate to your school’s advancement department yet. But there may be other ways for them to contribute that catches their interest.
For new students that don’t have the funds to give yet, offering ways to get involved in advancement efforts on campus can be beneficial for everyone involved.
You should promote chances to volunteer for campaigns and attend on-campus events to new students. These opportunities can offer valuable networking, resume-building, and just plain fun for students. Plus, your alumni relations team will get a chance to connect more personally with them and help build stronger relationships for the future.
Tell them how their families can donate
New students may not have the funds available to give to your advancement department. However, they may have family members that can. After sharing the great things your team does for the school’s reputation and alumni, these families may be interested in contributing.
You may want to create materials that students can bring to their family members that outline these benefits. Or, you can provide students with an option to sign others up for the advancement department’s mailing list. Then, you can reach their families directly with your campaign communications.
Once a family member becomes a donor prospect, it’s important to effectively track them. They should be linked to students so that you can promote campaigns relating to the right areas of study. This will also help you deliver great, personalized outreach and communications.