While senior alumni have more time and experience to share with others, engaging them means providing a meaningful experience for them. Here are eight (more) opportunities for connecting with senior alumni:
- Volunteer Opportunities: Provide meaningful volunteer opportunities that leverage the skills and experiences of senior alumni athletes. There are many organizations that focus on teaching a sport to disadvantaged youth. It provides a bonding experience and a skill to the young people. Alumni athletes have valuable expertise to contribute and will have a personally fulfilling experience.
- Physical Mailings: Be prepared to send invitations, event schedules, and updates via physical mail for those who request it through survey or other means.
- Intergenerational Events and Projects: Engage senior alumni as mentors, advisors, or guest speakers for current student athletes, fostering intergenerational connections. Organize discussions on current events or have a watch party to bring together senior alumni athletes and current students in the same sport.
- Senior Alumni Sports Clubs: Create exclusive clubs or groups for senior alumni of each sport where they can connect, share experiences, and engage in activities tailored to their preferences. This can be online and in person at local gatherings that are easily accessible..
- Partnerships with Retirement Communities: Collaborate with retirement communities or senior centers to host events and activities that cater to their residents’ interests.
- Recognition and Awards: Recognize senior alumni athletes for their lifelong achievements and contributions in their sport whether professional or voluntary. Awards or honors can provide a sense of pride for the recipient and motivation to stay engaged for the next generation.
- Tech Assistance: Offer tech support or workshops to help senior alumni become more comfortable with digital platforms, if they are interested in engaging online.
- Philanthropic Involvement: Involve senior alumni athletes in fundraising campaigns or legacy initiatives focusing on other athletes in the same or different sports, giving them an opportunity to leave a lasting impact on the institution.
As a reminder from my previous blog: engaging senior alumni athletes is about providing meaningful opportunities that align with their preferences and life stage, honoring their legacy, and appreciating their contributions. Regular feedback and communication will help you tailor your strategies to engage this important group of alumni.