Measures of Alumni Engagement (Part-1)

Measures of Alumni Engagement (Part-1)

Measuring alumni engagement is essential to understand the effectiveness of your efforts and to identify areas for improvement. CASE has created a framework for measuring engagement that can be helpful for providing ideas and benchmarking. The key is for your institution to measure what is important to your efforts based on the goals of your institution. 

Because alumni relations is about community building as well as contributions, it can be hard to capture useful data for measuring success. Let’s start with data that is (relatively) easy to collect: 

  • Attendance Rates: Measure the number of alumni who attend events, webinars, reunions, and other activities (online and in-person.) Track attendance over time to measure if programming appeals to your alumni.
  • Online Platform Activity: Track the frequency and depth of interactions on your alumni online platform. Monitor metrics such as the number of logins, profile updates, content contributions, and connections made.
  • Social Media Metrics: Analyze engagement metrics on social media platforms, including likes, comments, shares, and followers. These metrics indicate the reach and resonance of your content.
  • Web Traffic and Engagement Metrics: Monitor website traffic related to alumni pages. Look at metrics like page views, time spent on pages, and bounce rates to gauge the effectiveness of your online content.
  • Email Open and Click Rates: Measure how often alumni open your emails and interact with the content by clicking on links. This indicates the relevance and appeal of your content.
  • Alumni Database Updates: Keep track of how frequently alumni update their contact information and profiles. An increase in updates could indicate a higher level of engagement.
  • Alumni Surveys: Regularly survey alumni to gather feedback on their level of satisfaction, perceived value of engagement efforts, and suggestions for improvement. Participation in a survey is a form of engagement in itself.
  • Retention Rates: Analyze how many alumni continue to engage with your institution’s initiatives over time. Higher retention rates indicate sustained engagement.
  • Qualitative Feedback: Go beyond quantitative metrics! Start to solicit qualitative feedback and sentiments expressed by alumni. This can provide insights into the emotional and community-driven aspects of engagement.

When deciding on what to measure, consider your institution’s specific priorities and goals. Combining multiple metrics and analyzing them in context will give you a more comprehensive understanding of your alumni community and the success of your efforts.

Up next: Measures of alumni engagement (part 2): A deeper dive