I am interested in Andy Shiandlin’s newest Alumni Futures blog post- “Social Technology & the Leadership Volunteer” because it made me think about my engagement with my boarding school and my college. While money is not something I have to offer them, I have a set of skills and an enthusiasm for the institution that allow me to give back in very valuable ways. Yet I am never asked for this kind of donation.
For many of us, the money will go to our schools once the loans are paid off and pizza has been replaced with weight watchers shakes. But at that time, our enthusiasm and our time won’t be available. Schools are losing the most from their young alumni by not utilizing these skills now.
Here are five things as a school I would ask of young alumni who are interested in helping their school:
1. Post 1 comment on the School’s Facebook (admissions or general) page about why you decided to attend and ask fellow alumni to chime in with their stories.
2. Create a 30 second video that shows how you keep your school spirit as an alum.
3. Invite alumni to check into your school on Facebook places when they come back to visit campus
4. Recruit 5 of your classmates to join the fan page and encourage them to write
5. Ask your alumni who are on twitter to tweet out a picture of their favorite school memorabilia, add #(your school)Pride and @(your school twitter handle) to the tweet.-This is something I am happy to help with if you have questions
I highly suggest that as a school you create a social media panel or group consisting of young alums, students, faculty and administration. I would hold the meetings on Facebook. I am happy to help with this if you have any questions!
Asking alums to show their pride through outlets like Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube is going to grow your presence and takes no time out of our normal patterns. We are already using these networks and want to help.
Once your alumni are engaged through these social networks, they bring their friends and continue to connect. These will be great interactions to show not only on the development side of things, but definitely for admissions as well.