How alumni relations professionals have adapted and reimagined the ways they engage volunteers online
Around the globe, advancement teams and the alumni they work with have adapted to the challenges and opportunities of virtual volunteer engagement. These online activities—from mentoring and student career guidance to planning online events to community service—offer institutions new and reimagined ways to engage alumni. Here’s how advancement professionals have adapted to work with alumni volunteers online—and the key strategies they’ve used to make these virtual opportunities a success.
The University of Pittsburgh boasts a robust diversity and inclusion education program
Diversity and inclusion education has been an essential component of college and university campuses for years—both for faculty and staff and for students—but the current climate around racial justice is compelling many schools to re-evaluate or refresh their offerings.
With a high-profile founder and headline-grabbing gifts, BU’s Center for Antiracist Research also relies on commitment from constituents
Boston University launched the Center for Antiracist Research in the middle of a movement. Yet, planning for the center—which officially began its work on July 1, 2020—extended back nearly a year, when author, professor, and anti-racism authority Ibram X. Kendi came to Brookline, Massachusetts, U.S., on a speaking tour for his acclaimed 2019 book How to Be an Antiracist.
Remaining focused on organisational objectives in uncertain times
The past year has highlighted advancement professionals' agility and innovation out of necessity. It has also brought to light areas where we must improve in order to be more inclusive and embracing of diversity. Like emotional intelligence, this doesn’t have a finish line: It is a continuous journey. What is not in question, ever, is our respect for our community.
Awareness and understanding are crucial when advancement personnel interact with alumni suffering from dementia
Worldwide, dementia affects more than 50 million people. For alumni with dementia, the condition may alter their personality or ability to engage like they used to, but it doesn’t cancel their lifetime connection to their alma maters. Working with alumni suffering from dementia takes patience, tact, and graciousness.
For schools, it requires looking through multiple lenses, not just donning multiple hats
To address new and increasing challenges, we must return to the heart of what CASE advocates: true integration for the health of our institutions. Schools must move from a rubber-stamp version of integration into a truly collaborative, revenue-generating unit. The process for doing so is not as labor-intensive as one may imagine and will ultimately produce a nimble external affairs team.
How data scientists and advancement personnel are harnessing artificial intelligence and machine learning to be more efficient, responsive, and successful
Although the technology is still on the early side of adoption in the advancement space, offices at a wide range of institutions have been working with AI and machine learning solutions for years, discovering methods to bolster fundraising, increase internal efficiency, and communicate to constituents better.