DERF Theory- Secret to Building Your Strong Alumni Network

Alumni Network is becoming a bigger part of institutions with growing alumni base every year. Alumni offices work dedicatedly towards building meaningful relationship with the alumni and growing its alumni community. The four main pillars of strong alumni relations are:

  1. DATABASE

As institutions grow, so do its alumni. Updated alumni database is a powerful resource to own. Huge alumni community means that alumni are located all over the places working in different organizations or active socially. Updated alumni database is a catalyst to effective alumni communications. Strong Alumni Database has all the information of the current location of the alumni, correct email address, organizations they are working in, designations, their social media presence, etc. The reach out channel is strong but if the email id is wrong or the designation is incorrect, it hampers the flow and institutions end up connecting with a handful of alumni. Moreover, incorrect information of the alumni leaves a negative impression of the institution. Updated Alumni Database is a base in planning engagement campaigns and reach out.

  • ENGAGEMENT

The second most important pillar to your Alumni Relations is ‘Alumni Engagement.’ Strong alumni communities are built with strong alumni engagement. Strong relationship with alumni fetches strong support from them. Sharing regular information, keeping alumni posted of latest updates and more helps in building a lasting relationship with them. Besides, alumni actively seek support from its alma mater in terms of access to campus accommodation, library support, transcripts, job placements, mentoring, etc. With the updated alumni database, institutions are in a good position to plan engagement activities as per the interests of the alumni. It is observed that alumni respond more if they are engaged in the right way. For every alumni community, there are distinct types of alumni including value-seekers, recognition seekers, loyalists and alumni who do not care. The first step to strong alumni engagement is identifying your distinct kind and planning alumni engagement accordingly. When built meaningful relationship with them, your biggest assets can be your biggest supporters.

  • REUNION:

Institutions organize alumni reunions and homecomings on a larger scale, why? The simple reason to it is to walk its alumni the path of memory lane. Reuniting with the institute and fellow friends is a strong gesture of belonging and nostalgia. There are various occasions when institutes plan its reunions like celebrating Golden Jubilee of the college, Yearly meets, Weekend Outings, Reunion Dinner, etc. Alumni Reunions are very powerful in terms of establishing long lasting relationship with the alumni. It infuriates personal touch. Besides, alumni can build a strong professional network for themselves which can further benefit both the institutions and the alumni.

  • FUNDS:

If there is anyone who is as much invested in the cause as the institute is, it would be its alumni. Alumni feel deeply for the institutions and would support in the best possible ways to see its alma mater prospering. The power of any alumni community lies in the support received from them. Effective alumni engagement and meaningful relationship with your alumni would ensure huge alumni participation in your fund-raising campaigns.

Strengthening these four pillars eventually leave you with the strong and engaged alumni community.

Aaron Joseph

Aaron Joseph

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