As a team of alumni volunteers we appreciate a well-oiled class agent program. We also realize that it is important to identify how class agent programs play a role in advancement evolution. Lori Wineman’s presentation on “Creating and Executing a Successful Class Agent Program” at Occidental College precisely tackles the type of return an institution can experience by turning static reunion gift committees into enduring relationships with class agents.
By implementing a class agent program Occidental saw a 2x increase in reunion fundraising, a transition from regular to leadership giving, increased annual fund participation and an “exponential rise” in event attendance. Lori also clearly builds out in her presentation how mobile and social have catapulted a new reality of alumni communications. Nearly every alumnus is capable today of leveraging their network to make the ask, and all it takes is just a few seconds. In addition to the making the most of the mobile and social boom, Occidental’s class agent movement also provides proof that an effective class agent program helps advancement teams maximize on reunion.
Elements to Building a Class Agent Program
An essential element of building a class agent program is letting class agents take ownership in their fundraising. Whether an alumnus develops their own Four Factors to Reunion Campaign Success, or writes copy in their own style as seen on Slide 12 below, a class-specific perspective can make a major difference in relationship building. In addition to giving class agents some freedom, Lori also states the importance of keeping them informed, identifying tools and to providing them some helpful guidance as to what their role is with some basic training. Lastly, as always, cultivating donors, making it fun and rewarding class agents (we suggest a tasty local treat!) is a critical component.
Check out the presentation below for a comprehensive take on “Creating and Executing a Successful Class Agent Program”: