It's the time of year again when I expect to find a flyer in my mailbox for the Hillsdale College Homecoming weekend... the annual invitation to come watch the Chargers play football, join the tailgate beforehand, enjoy the tent party after, attend the class celebrations, etc.
Seems universities have the system down; they had us for 4+ years, and then they try and keep us connected via mailings and engage us with returns to campus, news on current students, articles from favorite profs, etc. I always joke that our alma maters have our social security numbers and therefore can find us when they want to.I still believe today as I did in 2013 when I shouted from the top of the bleachers that our K-12 schools could be just as successful engaging their own alumni. With many of our schools averaging 100+ years of continuous operation, one can imagine the possible roster.Who do we ask to join the team? I presented a webinar for the Lutheran Education Association in 2014 on the Xs and Os of engaging your alumni. Below are a few highlight reels from the presentation: Alumni represent your past and should be the foundation of your school's future. Don't forget the "& Friends" in "Alumni & Friends." Include parents, grandparents, etc. It's not easy. It takes time, it takes a plan, it takes someone to own the process, and it takes a database, or you never make it to the end zone before the game ends. You must connect first and ask for money later; try a fleaflicker, and you are asking for a personal foul! Here's a Fight Song to help remember the process: You should not Ask if you have not Engaged. You cannot Engage if you have not Connected. You cannot Connect if you do not have a Database. You cannot have the Database if you have not done the work to Collect names, addresses, etc. You cannot Collect the names, addresses, etc. if you do not Start.Think your school is dropping the pass by not starting now to engage alumni? Let me know. There are a few of our Partner schools doing a great job running up the middle and finding those alumni. I would be glad to share their game day strategies.Helping advance Lutheran education,Jon Dize