Last week, Brent, Jesse and I traveled to the Dana Hall School for a breakfast discussion featuring alumni relations and development officers from area Independent Schools. The conversation covered a variety of topics from Alumni Boards to Reunions and allowed for sharing of best practices. As I learn the ropes here at EverTrue, it was fun to talk about alumni engagement with such a knowledgeable room full of people.
After reflecting on that meeting, I thought this week I would take a look at all girls schools and the social media being used to engage alumnae in hopes of continued support of their institution.
The National Coalition of Girls Schools releases yearly statistics supporting the value of a girls school education. These stats highlight that girls schools alumnae are more likely to attend college than their counterparts at coeducational schools. Girls school alumnae are three times as likely to become engineers as alumnae from single sex schools.
But what about girls schools and their alumnae engagement? Do the traditions and values that girls schools promote endure beyond graduation? Are alumnae networks stronger at girls schools as they continue to promote mentorship and a powerful female presence?
Each year the National Association of Independent Schools releases data about its member schools. In the chart below I have compared given trends of alumni from all schools relative to girls schools alumnae only.
Wow! Girls school alumnae are giving more when they give, either annually or as a capital gift, than their coeducational alum counterparts. Nationwide, Alumni Offices work tirelessly to engage their alums–but these numbers would suggest that girls schools might be doing something special.
Social media has been a natural outlet for development offices to engage their alumni with. National Cathedral School has an active Facebook fan page with 790 likes. From an alumnae perspective, this page is working in a variety of ways: A 2003 NCS graduate posted an internship opportunity (see image below), the development office posts articles about cool professional endeavors happening with NCS alumnae, as well as current events on campus. The NCS Facebook page even has two additional tabs- one for Alumnae and the other for the Black Alumnae Association, both with their own announcements and the BAA’s with alumni profiles. This is a great place to make alumni specific announcements.
Dana Hall School also has an incredibly active Facebook page with over 1,500 “likes”. They also have a LinkedIn group directed to Dana Hall School Alumnae with just about 300 members. The networking opportunities available instantly through LinkedIn are stretching far beyond the typical boundaries of an alumni office. It should also be noted that Dana Hall has a plethora of resources available to alumnae on the alumnae section of their website. Another great example of a Facebook page that is working is the Miss Porter’s School page with 1,884 likes. Miss Porter’s has a decent number of alumnae posting on their wall (such as the post below) suggesting there is an openness and willingness of Porter’s alumnae to continue to participate virtually with the school. Is this a sense of community ingrained in girls school alumnae before they graduate?
Some girls schools have chosen to create a page dedicated solely to alumnae such as The Winsor School did with their Alumnae Association page (currently at almost 500 likes). Emma Willard School, with a vibrant Facebook presence (almost 2,000 fans!), directs visitors on their page also to their also thriving Twitter and YouTube feeds and grants visitors to ability to donate instantly through a page tab.
From working on this post it is clear to see even with just these few examples that the connections girls school students create, only continue to blossom after graduation. Alumnae offices are doing a great job to keep their online communities abreast of school happenings and exciting alumnae news. What else are you seeing from girls schools specifically as Development Offices continue to engage alumnae?